Tim Patrick was going to have a stellar 2022 fantasy season. With a new coach and Russell Wilson coming in as the new quarterback, there were hopes he would hit his first 1,000-yard season. Instead, he tore his ACL in training camp. As the Broncos’ number one receiving touchdown scorer in 2021 with five touchdowns and accruing almost 800 yards, there will always be wonder what the total would have been in 2022.
Well, as we all know, the Broncos 2022 season was a debacle, and Tim Patrick couldn’t have saved it, nor can we even say it would have been a good year for him now. However, with proper rehabilitation and ample healing time, Patrick has fully recovered, has no limitations, and is slated to start the 2023 season.
Tim Patrick 2023 Fantasy Football Outlook
New Head Coach
The head coach position in Denver has been, to say the least, abysmal for years. But now, this offense has a real chance with coach Sean Payton. With an average NFL quarterback height of 6’3”-6′ 5′ ‘, Payton has worked with Drew Brees, who is 6 foot and will now coach Russell Wilson, who stands 5 ’11”. Payton had no problem constructing one of the highest-scoring offenses with what some would say a shorter quarterback. How good was Payton?
Year after year, the Saints were at the top of the league in passing yards, completion percentage, and touchdown passes. Brees is the only quarterback to have multiple 5,000-yard seasons (5), and Payton coached the team that brought the only Lombardi trophy to New Orleans. Can Payton somehow turn this offense around with Wilson? He can. Will Wilson throw for 5,000 yards this season with, say, 1500 going to Patrick? Highly unlikely. However, the future is promising for both.
The 2023 WR Room
As we all know, there are two wide receivers as of now that will be getting the ball ahead of Patrick. I think Jerry Jeudy will become the #1 receiver. Courtland Sutton, on the other hand, could fall to third, with Patrick quickly moving into the #2 slot. The Broncos did acquire Marquez Callaway and drafted Marvin Mims. Callaway seems to add the depth the Broncos need desperately and has a history with Payton. Callaway and Mims are listed behind Patrick on the depth chart.
The Quarterback Situation
Some of Wilson’s best seasons in Seattle included 4,000 passing yards, and while last year seemed horrible in all ways possible, Wilson did throw for 3500 yards. Under what had to be the worst head coach in the league, Wilson only had 16 touchdown passes accompanied by 11 interceptions. Wilson also rushed for almost 300 yards and had three rushing touchdowns. Yet, Sutton and Jeudy both almost had 1,000-yard seasons. Jeudy also had six touchdowns, while Sutton had two.
There has been a noticeable change in Wilson’s physique, he was out of shape last season, and it affected his play. However, he looks like he has acknowledged this and rectified the situation.
In Seattle, Wilson was used to rushing, and it took a toll on him. He’s not a running quarterback. On the other hand, Payton required Brees to run a lot less in New Orleans, therefore extending his career. Wilson’s age is a factor, and running is not in his best interest.
What Has to Change
First off, the fact that the Broncos were the lowest-scoring team in 2022 is a problem. They averaged under 17 points a game. This offense has to score more points, plain and simple. For comparison, the Chiefs scored nearly 30 points a game in 2022. If the Broncos want to contend, this must be a high priority. This is where Payton has the experience needed. He led the Saints as one of the highest-scoring offenses year after year and is well aware of the competition in the AFC West. This is good in fantasy football terms.
Wilson must throw the ball more, another spot where Payton excels. Brees was a prolific passer under Payton with great success, and this will be expected of Wilson. This is where Patrick can hopefully take advantage.
While Jeudy and Sutton received half of Wilson’s yards, the other half were thrown-up balls caught by a hodgepodge of receivers. This will not happen under Payton. He knows you cannot be successful throwing the ball frantically to whoever.
Finally, they need more touchdown passes. Say Wilson pulls out 30 touchdown passes this season. How many could Patrick see? With a catch rate of over 63% the last two years he played and an average of almost 14 yards per catch, the ball needs to get in Patrick’s hands. He could easily see between eight and, on the high end, eleven touchdowns.
Is Patrick Desirable in Fantasy Football?
With an ADP of 278, according to Fantasy Pros, you can find him in the later rounds of your drafts. So if you are looking for a late-round possible breakout player, Patrick is the guy.
While he is starting as the third wide receiver on the depth chart, it’s very possible for him to move into the second spot at any point in the season. Sutton and Wilson hooked up in the end zone only two times last season. Someone has to catch these passes from Wilson, and I see no reason it’s not Patrick.
Chemistry is important, and with Patrick and Wilson spotted out together, it would appear they are working on that also. If Patrick can take advantage of the situation, and Wilson can get back on track with Coach Payton, you will see a much better offense this season. You could look very smart by the end of the season with a late-round stash of Patrick in your fantasy drafts.
A Look Inside the Denver Broncos
Editor’s Note: We don’t want to leave you hanging on the rest of the team. While Roxanne focused on Tim Patrick in fantasy football, here is a quick look at the other fantasy-relevant Broncos by Ryan Weisse.
There is no denying how bad 2022 was for Wilson. With him being in better shape and a new fantasy-friendly coach, we should expect better in 2023, but expectations must be limited due to the floor we saw last year. Nevertheless, if you’re the last in your league to draft a QB, Wilson is a nice addition as the QB10-12. There is plenty of upside, and you don’t have to pay much.
Williams’ value might be tied to what you have to pay for him. However, if you can land him as your RB3, or even RB4, there is some serious fantasy value. We’ve seen him play well, but his injury history is a concern. With the PPR value of RBs in a Sean Payton offense and the fact that Williams caught 11 balls in his Week 1 game last year, the upside is mouth-watering, but until we know when he will play again, the risk is also very high.
Perine will likely play the same role he did in Cincinnati last year. He will be the 1B option playing alongside Williams. If Williams is not 100%, we could even see Perine take the majority of the touches. Last year, he was the RB34, which feels like his floor in 2023.
Sutton led the team in targets last year but was still 45 fantasy points behind Jerry Juedy. With the return of Tim Patrick, you have to expect that target total to drop. Unless we see far more passing volume and a massive improvement from Russell Wilson, it will be tough for Sutton to even repeat his WR43 finish from a year ago. But, of course, this could all change if Sutton or another Bronco’s WR is traded.
Jeudy had his best season as a pro last year despite his offense’s struggles. He was the WR22, and nothing he did was particularly unrepeatable. However, we should see continued growth heading into his fourth year, and he’s still just 24 years old. As long as the offense improves as expected, this could be the first 1000-yard season of his career, and the sky is the limit if he takes over the Michael Thomas role in Payton’s offense.
Initially, Denver does not feel like a great landing spot for a rookie WR, but there are arguments to be made. Mims is the first WR handpicked by the new coaching staff, and they selected him in the 2nd Round as their first pick of the draft. It might take a year, but if the Broncos trade one of their top 3 away, we could see some 2023 value from Mims too. You’re not drafting him, but keep an eye on his waiver value as the season progresses.
Sean Payton has given fantasy gold at TE before, and that is the hope for Dulcich. Initial reports are that he still has work to learn this offense, but with dreams of Jimmy Graham, Jared Cook, and Ben Watson, there is hope that Dulcich is a late-round steal in fantasy. His ADP needs to stay low, but he is an ideal pick for those that wait on TE. He has top-10 upside, but he still has a lot to prove in the preseason.
We will be covering every team this offseason. So check back here often for all of our A Look Inside articles.