In advance of Sunday’s Denver Broncos-Philadelphia Eagles game, Broncos Wire examines the matchup with fantasy football projections for Denver players courtesy of our colleagues at The Huddle.
Maybe it was a symbol of the improving nature of the Denver Broncos team that is on a two-game winning streak and a half-game back for the lead of the AFC West. Maybe it was just a monumental trap game like several others in Week 9 that caught the Cowboys ego-drunk after beating the Vikings without their starting quarterback the previous week.
Whatever it was, the Broncos (5-4) never looked in more control this year. There is only a bye waiting on the other side of this matchup, so no reason for the Broncos to look ahead. The Chargers and Chiefs wait in Weeks 12 and 13, and the AFC West is going to be a four-way dogfight to crown a division winner.
The Broncos cannot afford to let easier games like this week’s matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) get past them.
Teddy Bridgewater only passed for 249 yards and one score in the win over the Cowboys, but he also rushed in a touchdown for the first time this season. When games go according to plan, Bridgewater remains below 30 passes, so his yardage rarely skews above 250 unless they trail and are forced to abandon the run later in games. Bridgewater was sacked four times in each of the past two games but only has totaled five interceptions on the year.
Teddy Bridgewater projection vs. Eagles
Fantasy Points: 15.5
Passing: 230 yds, 1 TD
In fantasy terms, this would be a dream backfield if they just used one back and didn’t split the workload down the middle. Javonte Williams ran for a season-best 111 yards on 17 carries in Dallas when the Cowboys’ top-10 defense against running backs never showed up. Melvin Gordon ran for 80 yards on 21 rushes and scored for the sixth time this year. The Broncos prefer Gordon near the goal line, though Williams has taken several shots near the goal line with limited success. Last week was an aberration with 38 carries between the two runners. Most weeks will split up roughly 20 carries between them. Facing the Eagles this week should continue the fun.
Javonte Williams projection vs. Eagles
Fantasy points: 17
Rushing: 60 yds, 1 TD
Receiving: 3 rec, 20 yds
Melvin Gordon III projection vs. Eagles
Fantasy points: 15
Rushing: 50 yds, 1 TD
Receiving: 2 rec, 20 yds
Jerry Jeudy has only been back for two weeks after missing six games, but he accounted for 69 yards on six catches in the win over the Cowboys, while Courtland Sutton was limited to only one catch for nine yards. Even Tim Patrick turned in his best fantasy showing of the season with four catches for 85 yards and a touchdown. The notable is that Sutton was the No. 1 receiver and produced three efforts of 90-plus yards this year. But in the two games since Jeudy returned, Sutton was limited to only six targets and three catches in that time. Jeudy turned in 10 catches from 12 targets for 108 yards.
The sample size is very small, and the recent opponents were Washington with one of the worst defenses, and then the Cowboys who stumbled in an apparent trap game. But Sutton was the focus of the passing scheme and fielded up to 14 passes in a game before Jeudy returned.
Jerry Jeudy projection vs. Eagles
Fantasy points: 13
Receiving: 5 rec, 80 yds
Courtland Sutton projection vs. Eagles
Fantasy points: 8
Receiving: 3 rec, 50 yds
Tim Patrick projection vs. Eagles
Fantasy points: 7
Receiving: 3 rec, 40 yds
Noah Fant missed last week while on the COVID-19 list but assumedly returns for this week. He’s scored three times and typically turns in around 40 yards and a score about every other week. He’s been held below 20 yards in three of the last six games though, and like the rest of the receivers, is sensitive to the success of the rushing effort.
Match to defense
The keys to this game are not hard to find. The Eagles rank No. 29 versus running backs and have allowed nine scores to the position over the past seven games. They average over 100 rushing yards allowed to opponents. They’ve already allowed four recent opponents to total two scores using their running backs, so both Williams and Gordon should be locks for healthy yardage and the upside for a touchdown by both backs.
The other key is that the Eagles rank No. 32 — dead last — against tight ends. They allowed seven scores to the position and very healthy yardage to the better receiving tight ends. Expect Noah Fant to turn in one of his better efforts — 60 yards and a score should be the least he’ll do.
The success of their opponent’s rushing offenses means that it has been six games since the Eagles allowed more than two scores to a quarterback. Bridgewater rarely provides more than moderate yardage and one or two scores, so a home game should provide an average outing for passing and one of the better efforts by the two running backs.