Emmanuel Sanders status update, 10/17 8:01 p.m.
The Broncos released their inactive report, and as expected, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders is ACTIVE for Week 7 Thursday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs. He will start opposite Courtland Sutton, which bumps DaeSean Hamilton down the board in terms of fantasy value. Sanders and Sutton are both quality starts against a bad Chiefs defense.
It’s not too often I talk up a Joe Flacco-led offense, but here I am, ready to put all my weight behind the Broncos’ passing attack. The Chiefs come into Thursday Night Football on a two-game losing streak, and we all know the KC defense is very vulnerable. So let’s take a look at the top two WRs on Denver: Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton.
Starting with Sanders, the slot receiver hasn’t fared very well the past two weeks. He’s combined for four targets, two receptions and just nine yards against the Chargers and Titans. Now, both of those defenses aren’t exactly easy, but Flacco had been looking Sanders’ way plenty prior to Week 5, racking up 34 targets in Weeks 1-4. So with that, we shouldn’t be too discouraged by the past two weeks when considering Sanders.
And onto Sutton, who has been about as consistent as they come at the wideout position this season. Sutton has at least seven targets in each game this season, and only went below 10 FPTS in Week 2 vs. the Bears (which isn’t surprising). He’s become Flacco’s go-to guy and is even getting looks in the red zone, with nine targets inside the 20-yard line.
Fantasy Football Analysis, Denver Broncos WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton
Going back to my first sentence, this game could play out to be perfect for both Sanders and Sutton. The game script should play in favor of Denver passing the ball early and often. If the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes figure it out on offense, Flacco and the Broncos will have to play catch-up most of the game. Flacco should also have plenty of time to throw the ball considering Kansas City’s pass rush hasn’t been a factor and the Broncos’ offensive line has actually played well recently. Denver’s O-Line has allowed just four sacks in the past three games, while the Chiefs haven’t sacked a QB since Week 4 vs. the Lions.
So given Sanders presence in the slot, I’d expect him to go back to seeing around 5-7 targets, close to his average prior to Week 5. Sutton’s been pretty much matchup proof and as reliable as anyone, so it’s status quo there. The only thing I’d worry about is the Chiefs offense struggling again against a tough Denver defense, forcing the Broncos to control the clock with the run game. But even then, Flacco would still have to throw the ball around 25-30 times and these are his top-two guys. I think both are relatively safe plays, with Sutton slotting in more as a WR2 and Sanders more as a FLEX.
“All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS contests.”