2018 Fantasy Football Rookie Roundup: Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos spent 2017 losing more games than they had since before Tebowmania started, and going under .500 for the third time since we learned what a hanging Chad is (not a Henne, Chad). They spent the 2018 NFL draft snagging the best edge rusher in the draft (Bradley Chubb) and then spending roughly seven hundred picks on fantasy football eligible skill position players.

The Denver Broncos walked away with two wide receivers, two running backs, and a tight end. Throw that all in a bucket, add a dash of Case Keenum, and you have a recipe for… something! One or both of Manny Sanders & Demaryius Thomas will be off this squad in 2019, hence their draft capital spent on WRs, but that doesn’t help us for 2018.What can we expect from the Denver Broncos skill position rookies drafted in 2018?

Courtland Sutton, WR, Round 2
Courtland is a big, strong possession receiver who is always open even though he’s hardly ever “open.” He struggles with great separation, but it doesn’t really matter because his great hands and late reaction skills make up for it. He has the ability to be a great wideout, and his measurables are almost identical to Alshon Jeffery, Larry Fitzgerald and Jordy Nelson (all are 6’3” and within two pounds of Sutton). The problem is opportunity. He has to come up behind DT and Sanders and fight for targets there. Still, if one of them goes down, he’s an instant add.

I wouldn’t draft Sutton outside of deeper leagues, but he’s a guy to keep on your radar if Manny or DT go down or start to falter. He was a top-three WR talent in the draft and is the future at WR for the Broncos. He’s just gotta check out I, Tonya on YouTube to get an idea of how to get some playing time

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Royce Freeman, RB, Round 3
Freeman is a big strong man. He’s not a jittery, elusive back (though he has enough wiggle to make people miss). His measurables compare to S-Jax and Lev Bell, but when you watch him, you see more Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde than anything else. Stronger than fast, with enough short area wiggle to make defenders miss. He’s not running past anyone in the NFL, but he will definitely run through them.

There’s a lot of chatter about Devontae Booker taking over, but he looked like hot garbage when he got the ball. Even if Booker begins the season as the starter, Freeman will end it as the main man in that backfield.

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DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Round 4
DaeSean Hamilton is a tough nut to crack, as I watch the film and I’m not impressed. I look at the comps and I’m not impressed (Jerricho Cotchery, Robert Woods). I hear what the coaches are saying and they are praising his work ethic, his intelligence, and that he’s a great guy. What I don’t see in all of this is a picture of a wide receiver that you would want to ever draft in fantasy unless he ends up in an extremely weird situation. This isn’t that situation.

While Hamilton was one of the best downfield threats in college football last year (per PFF, he had the highest catch rate on balls 20+ yards downfield and he caught 80% of his passes for first downs), he plain doesn’t have the opportunity or talent to break through in Denver this year. He could, down the line, have some usefulness, but I don’t see Case Keenum’s fourth target having fantasy usefulness in 2018.

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Troy Fumagalli, TE, Round 5
I do not like Fumagalli as a receiver on tape at all. He looks like someone’s first attempt at CGI or Claymation animation. He’s stiff, runs almost completely upright. He looks extremely uncomfortable out there, which makes sense as he converted from DE in college to play tight end. He’s an extraordinary blocker, and has vice grip hands that will snag a lot of errant Keenum passes.

There are only two problems: (1) Jake (2) Butt. Jake Butt sits ahead of him on the depth chart and does everything he does just… better. Fumagalli will likely end the year with five or six touchdowns, but good luck guessing when he will get them. If you’re desperate to get a Broncos TE, get Jake from State Butt (still working on that nickname), not Fumagalli. He’s one of those “better in real life than fantasy” players.

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David Williams, RB, Round 7
If Williams makes the roster, the only way you will know his name is when you watch him vulture Royce Freeman goal-line carries. He’s a pure depth guy, and a third percentile SPARQ Athlete. Third. Don’t waste your time reading about him. A lot would have to go wrong in Denver for him to sniff double-digit touches in a single game.

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