BRONCOS

Broncos fantasy football outlook for Week 13 against the Chiefs

Dec 3, 2021, 6:45 AM
Javonte Williams...
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos came out swinging after their bye and got a big win last week. This sets up a primetime matchup on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 13. The division lead is on the line, but both teams are somewhat surging.

They had such a big win over the Los Angeles Chargers last week. That was a huge game in the AFC West, but this contest is much, much larger – and it’s not against a team that regularly chokes like the Chargers do.

Here is advice for Fantasy GMs considering starting Broncos players in Week 13.

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Teddy Bridgewater – QB2 with upside

I’m not recommending Teddy Bridgewater as a starter this week, but there is a possibility he becomes quite fantasy relevant against the Chiefs. It all comes down to whether the Broncos must put their foot on the gas against Kansas City.

They may choose to run the ball and keep the Chiefs offense cold on the sidelines. If that’s their gameplan – and it works – then it will automatically limit the fantasy value of Bridgewater. However, if it doesn’t work and the Chiefs get a lead then the Broncos will have no choice but to go to Bridgewater.

He’s gone toe-to-toe with Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and posted great numbers. Just last year with the Carolina Panthers, Bridgewater played a tight game against the Chiefs where he scored around 30 fantasy points. He threw the ball 49 times for over 300 yards with two touchdown passes and one rushing touchdown. I don’t think that’s the plan for the Broncos, but if they must alter the plan then Bridgewater could light up the stat sheet.

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Melvin Gordon – (may not play due to injury) | Javonte Williams – RB2 with upside

Fantasy GMs are going to have to be dialed into the injury report on Friday as there is a good chance we don’t see Melvin Gordon as the Broncos starter in Week 13 due to injury. He has missed two days of practice with a hip and shoulder problem. Gordon has been playing good football, but the team may choose to shut him down this week.

If Gordon does not play (or is limited), then the Broncos could turn to Javonte Williams as their starter. The rookie ranks second among rookie running backs with 568 rushing yards and is tied for the lead among rookie backs with 4.9 yards per carry. He’s also the leading rusher in the NFL of players who don’t start.

The time to start Williams may be now for the Broncos – and your fantasy team. If the Broncos have a plan to run the ball, then Williams is the perfect back to do just that. Williams has toughness and can rip off big plays as a runner or receiver out of the backfield.

If Gordon plays, both backs are flex options with upside. If Gordon misses the game, Williams immediately becomes a RB2 with upside for Fantasy GMs.

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Jerry Jeudy – flex play | Courtland Sutton – flex play | Tim Patrick – WR3/deep flex

Just like with Bridgewater, Fantasy GMs must decide if they think the Broncos fall behind in this game when considering any of the Broncos top trio of wide receivers. Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Tim Patrick could all thrive against the Chiefs – if the team needs them to.

The Chiefs have a rejuvenated defense, and they are one of the best teams in the NFL when it comes to getting pressure. That means Bridgewater won’t have much time to throw. That means short-to-intermediate passing is the key.

Advanced data also shows the Chiefs give up a lot of yards after the catch. In fact, they give up the third-most YAC in the NFL. Short passes can turn into long gains with any one of the trio from the Broncos. That makes all of them flex worthy with the possibility of one receiver having a big game – maybe even two – against the Chiefs. However, that will only happen if they need them to.

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Noah Fant – low-end TE1

The Chiefs give it up to the tight end position, so this could be a good week for Noah Fant. He needs to come through for the Broncos and fight hard after the catch, but the matchup is there for him to be a sneaky play in Week 13.

Kansas City has given up the seventh-most fantasy points (93) to the tight end position in 2021. It’s Fant’s turn to go against the soft defense over the middle. They get after the passer, so tight ends make easy/quick targets to evade pressure.

Fant has not scored a touchdown since Week 6, but the touchdown that Eric Saubert caught against the Chargers was intended for Fant. The possibility is there for Fant to pay off as a low-end TE1 on Sunday night.

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Broncos Defense – High-end D2

If the Chiefs offense plays like they can, then Denver’s defense is not going to be a good fantasy option in Week 13. However, if the Broncos defense can feed off the rushing attack then we could see them hold down the high-powered Chiefs offense.

The key to beating the Chiefs comes from slowing down wide receiver Tyreek Hill. It will be interesting to see if rookie first-round pick Patrick Surtain gets that task this week. He won’t be by himself as I fully expect the Broncos to bracket Hill most of the night. If Hill is contained, as he’s been in the Chiefs four losses this year, the Broncos give themselves the best chance to win and earn the AFC West lead.

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

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