Broncos receiver Courtland Sutton could be in for a big year
Last season, Denver Broncos wide receiver Courtland Sutton hauled in 64 receptions for 829 yards in what was considered a lousy season for the 2019 Pro Bowler. This year, expectations are a little higher in the Mile High City, as the Broncos hired Super Bowl XLIV champion Sean Payton to overhaul this offense. The unit was an absolute disaster in Russell Wilson’s first year in Denver, with a lot of people blaming former head coach — and current New York Jets offensive coordinator — Nathaniel Hackett for the offense sputtering.
In fairness to Hackett, Wilson’s play didn’t make things much easier on the coaching staff. After throwing for 3,113 yards with 25 touchdowns and only six interceptions with the Seattle Seahawks in 2021, Wilson threw for 3,524 yards with only 16 touchdowns and a miserable 11 interceptions last year. The 34-year-old’s completion percentage also dropped from 64.8% in 2021 to 60.5% in 2022. And the worst part about all of that is that the final season in Seattle was largely a disappointing one for Wilson.
The good news in Denver is that Payton is expected to turn things around rather quickly. And Wilson is certainly doing everything in his power to get his career back on track, as he really committed to his nutrition during the offseason. Wilson showed up to camp in much better shape than he did a year ago, so the hope is that he’ll get closer to performing the way he did towards the end of his run in Seattle. And if his mobility has returned in any capacity, he should find a way to do that.
Where this all leads us is Sutton’s receiving yard total. DraftKings Sportsbook has set his Over/Under total at 700.5 yards for the season, and that number feels far too low for a receiver that has gone Over that mark in four of the five seasons he has played at least 15 games in his career. And while health is always a concern with the former SMU Mustangs star, Sutton has been getting rave reviews in camp.
With Sutton’s conditioning and quickness in a great place right now, this feels like one of the best player props you can take before the season. Payton might opt to rely heavily on Javonte Williams and a Broncos rushing attack that has the potential to do big things this year. After all, that might take some pressure off Wilson. But Payton’s New Orleans Saints offenses always provided opportunities for receivers — and especially ones with Sutton’s skill set. And it wouldn’t be all that surprising if he were to be used in unique ways this year.
There was already some talk about Sutton potentially being used as a big slot this season, and it now seems like a lock that he’ll spend some time there with Tim Patrick out for the year after having suffered a torn Achilles in practice a few weeks ago. Lining up in the slot could allow Sutton to rack up some easy yards as a security blanket for Wilson over the middle. Defenders will have a very hard time getting around his big frame to swat away passes. On top of that, Sutton will remain a big-play threat down the field.
Overall, this bet will come down to the health of the sixth year wideout. The oddsmakers clearly don’t have much faith in Sutton staying healthy this year. But the recent reports out of camp should help quell some of those concerns. And the best part about a total this low is that he can realistically hit it with just a few big performances. That means there’s a chance this goes Over even in the event he does pick up an injury. That said, I’d strongly suggest heading over to DraftKings and playing the Over 700.5 receiving yards, which is currently going off at favorable +100 odds. I'd be shocked if this one doesn't end up cashing, and I can see it happening a lot earlier than expected. That's especially true with Jerry Jeudy now out multiple weeks.
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