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Broncos fantasy football outlook for Week 3 against the Jets

Sep 24, 2021, 6:23 AM
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 19: Wide receiver Courtland Sutton #14 of the Denver Broncos sign...
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos are off to a great start after beating up on the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 2. They have a 2-0 record and sit atop the AFC West, tied with the Las Vegas Raiders for first in the division. The Broncos play at home for the first time this year as they play against the New York Jets on Sunday.

More fantasy football general managers are trusting the Broncos skill position players after the first two weeks of production. The Broncos defense is a must-start unit every week, and that may not change for some time.

Here is advice for fantasy GMs considering starting Broncos players in Week 3.

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Teddy Bridgewater – QB2 with upside

Every week, Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater seems to rise up fantasy cheatsheets. After being a player on your bench in Week 1, Bridgewater was a streaming option for you in Week 2. This week, I see Bridgewater as a QB2 with upside. This means you can stream him again, but if you’ve got a quarterback that is hurt or you can’t trust (Carson Wentz for example), then Bridgewater could be your lone starter.

In Week 2, the Jets defense played rookie quarterback Mac Jones. He had an efficient day passing the ball, going 22-of-30 passing for 186 yards with zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Well, Bridgewater is no rookie and should be able to post better numbers in Week 3.

I’m certain that Bridgewater can continue to perform at a high level. He may not go over 300 yards like he did last week against the Jaguars, but I fully expect Bridgewater to push for that number and have projected him for 275 yards passing. The weakness of the Jets defense is their secondary, and that means the targets in the passing game could snare a touchdown or two. Almost 300 yards (or over) with a couple of touchdowns means Bridgewater is a QB2 with upside.

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Melvin Gordon/Javonte Williams – RB2/Flex Plays

Someone queue up the “Talking Heads” because the Broncos backfield split between Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams is the same as it ever was. I feel this is going to be a near 50-50 split every week in terms of touches. Williams is the player I think could get more carries against the Jets, but Gordon could equal his touches because he’ll get more receptions.

The Jets are stout in their front seven of the defense. Last week against the Patriots, the Jets allowed 101 hard-fought yards, but it took four backs to do that. The Patriots leading rusher, Damien Harris, had 16 carries for 62 yards and one touchdown. James White, mainly a receiving back for the Patriots, also had a rushing touchdown against the Jets.

I think this could be a Williams week. The Broncos may want to shorten this game with a bruising runner like Williams who gets stronger as the game goes on (he averaged a whopping 9.0 yards per carry in the fourth quarter during his college career.) He’s flashed big-time ability but hasn’t really been fed the rock – something that could change this week. If you play in a PPR league, then Gordon will have RB2/flex value because of his receiving ability.

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Courtland Sutton – WR2 / Tim Patrick – Deep Flex / K.J. Hamler – What the Heck Flex

I said last week that if Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton blew up on my bench, I would be okay with that because then I would know I can trust him. Much to my chagrin, Sutton did just that – but the silver lining is that I can now trust him as a WR2. Without Jerry Jeudy, it looked like Sutton became the favorite target for Bridgewater. Use that to your advantage and start Sutton against this weak Jets secondary.

Tim Patrick retains fantasy value because of his nose for the end zone. Things get cramped on the field when a team is in scoring position. Patrick knows how to dominate his space and can win on plays “above the rim” due to his leaping ability. He’s been solid for Fantasy GMs over two weeks, and he could be in line for a touchdown on Sunday. That makes him a deep flex play in Week 3.

K.J. Hamler is probably best left on your bench. He could make your week on one play because of his speed and big-play ability but starting Hamler – even as a ‘what the heck’ flex – comes with great risk of him getting you a goose egg. Treat him as a “YOLO” player on your team and use him when you’re up against an opponent you need the biggest hits to beat. Don’t consistently trust Hamler until he cleans up his game on the field, but if you like the gamble then Hamler has the speed to pay off if he hits.

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Noah Fant – TE1

Tight end is a brutal position this year for Fantasy GMs. Unless you have Travis Kelce, Darren Waller or T.J. Hockenson – you are hoping you have Noah Fant. He’s become a top-5 tight end in this league by being a steady presence in the Broncos passing game.

I think the Broncos can use three-tight-end sets (13 personnel) to attack the Jets with Fant as the primary receiving threat at the position. Fant has become a better route runner and is a consistent presence for Bridgewater.

Fant has gone from a low-end TE1 to a TE1 with top-5 upside every week because of his steady play and connection with his quarterback. If you have Fant, you’re more than likely starting him on a weeky basis from here on out.

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Broncos Defense – Start

Like last week against Trevor Lawrence, the Broncos defense is playing a rookie quarterback in Week 3. Jets starter, Zach Wilson, had a bad day against the Patriots in Week 2 and things could be bad against the Broncos as well.

Wilson had four interceptions in Week 2 and he was sacked four times by the Patriots. I think the Broncos could get pressure on Wilson early and often, even without starting outside linebacker Bradley Chubb. Wilson doesn’t do well under duress and likes to get too “cute” with his arm – daring to make throws a more experienced quarterback would not.

The Broncos swarming defense is going to be a good starter for Fantasy GMs most weeks.

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For more of my fantasy football work, check out Footballguys.com.

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