NFL free agency started on March 18th, but technically does not end until the end of the season. However, after a firehose of news the first week, and another run the second week, things quiet down to a trickle. There are still big names out there, but it’s going to take some time to get them signed, sealed and delivered.
With that in mind, it’s time to take a look at where teams stand after the early rush of free agency and what it means for fantasy football. We’re going to take a look at the skill positions, breaking down what the starting lineup and reserves will look like to assess fantasy value heading into August drafts.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Denver Broncos. Denver’s most notable offseason move might have been improving their running back depth with the signing of Melvin Gordon. They also shored up their offensive line by luring Graham Glasgow from the Detroit Lions. He has the versatility to play center and both guard spots and should be an asset for second-year quarterback Drew Lock. The Broncos’ need for wideouts must be addressed though. The Broncos lost cornerback Chris Harris Jr., but retained their rock at safety in Justin Simmons.
Starter: Drew Lock
Backups: Jeff Driskel, Brett Rypien
Lock tallied 1,020 passing yards with seven touchdowns and three interceptions while starting five games. He ranked 30th in fantasy football points per game, but should be set to make a jump in 2020. He’ll be a Week 1 starter this upcoming season with Joe Flacco out of the picture, and has a season under his belt to build upon.
Denver’s receiving corps needs some work, but the Broncos are likely to go get a wideout with star potential in April’s draft. Lock’s improvement will be dependent upon his team’s ability to find talent to support him. He’ll need more than Gordon.
Starter: Melvin Gordon
Backups: Phillip Lindsay, Royce Freeman, Khalfani Muhammad
The Broncos signed Gordon to a two-year deal this offseason. Lindsay was Denver’s top running back in 2018 and 2019, but now it appears like he’ll be backing up Gordon, or at best serving as a complement. Gordon didn’t finish far from Lindsey when it came to fantasy production last season while playing in four fewer games, and averaged more fantasy points per game.
Gordon could return to be the top 10 form he had from 2016 to 2018 and shouldn’t drop outside of the top 15. How sparingly Lindsay will be used is up in the air, but he should drop outside of the top 20 if Gordon is to be the feature back.
Starters: Courtland Sutton, DaeSean Hamilton, Tim Patrick
Backups: Diontae Spencer, Fred Brown, Juwann Winfree
The Broncos have one of the least talented receiving corps in the NFL on paper. Sutton showed promised in his sophomore season and tallied 72 receptions for 1,112 yards and six scores last season, but no other wideout on the season-ending roster eclipsed 300 receiving yards in 2020.
Denver will add some talent to the group from what is one of the most talented wide receiver classes in recent memory. How this impacts Sutton is something to track. Sutton finished last season as the 17th ranked standard receiver and the 19th ranked PPR receiver. He should remain in the WR2 range if Lock can take a step forward.
Starter: Noah Fant
Backups: Jeff Heuerman, Nick Vannett, Troy Fumagalli
Fant was the most productive rookie tight end in the NFL last season and should continue to get better. He totaled 40 receptions for 562 yards and three touchdowns in 2019 and recorded two 100 yard games in the back half of the year. His 66 targets just under half of the 124 Sutton got, and he should earn more as he builds chemistry with Lock.
Fant ranked 16th in standard and PPR leagues. He remains on the TE1/TE2 fringe until we see what Lock looks like in 2020.