John Elway and the Broncos broke the internet on Tuesday when they acquired Russell Wilson from the Seahawks. Not only does this trade make the Broncos an immediate contender in the extremely tough AFC West, but it also has the potential to take an offense full of weapons to the next level.
While Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, and Javonte Williams got the immediate fantasy buzz, tight end Albert Okwuegbunam and speedy wideout KJ Hamler drip in real upside with Wilson.
ALBERT O ENTERS TE1 TERRITORY
Former first-round tight end Noah Fant was included in the deal, which opened the door for Okwuegbunam to be the team’s TE1. Albert O is an elite athlete who has yet to put up fantasy-relevant numbers due to injury or being second fiddle to Fant, but the potential is there to hit his monstrous ceiling.
The third-year tight end is coming off his best season as a pro, when he hauled in 33 of 40 targets for 330 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games. It’s been tough for him to crack the starting lineup with Fant staying healthy, but barring a major free agent or draft splash, he should absorb a good chunk of Fant’s 90 available targets.
Even if the Broncos add a veteran blocking tight end to mask Okwuegbunam’s inefficencies should be the pass-catcher. Luckily, Wilson loves to target his tight ends. Just last season, Gerald Everett had a career year with Wilson, notching 48 receptions for 478 yards, and four touchdowns. Jimmy Graham also racked up 18 touchdowns during his three seasons in Seattle — highlighted by a 10 touchdown season in 2017. He’s also made no-namers Jacob Hollister and Will Dissly fantasy-relevant at times. Hollister, who’s been irrelevant for most of his NFL career, had 41 receptions and three scores on 59 targets in only 11 games in 2019.
It’s safe to say Albert O is in for a monster 2022 season.
KJ HAMLER IS NOW A LAST-ROUND BEST BALL STAB
It’s no secret that Wilson throws one of the league’s prettiest deep balls. Just look at his deep connections to Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Then the list of ridiculous deep targets, such as Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, Paul Richardson, and David Moore.
Not only are the deep balls aesthetically pleasing, but he has the stats to back it up. Entering last season, Wilson was the league’s most accurate deep ball thrower, according to ESPN.
“Since entering the NFL in 2012, Wilson leads all quarterbacks in several categories on throws traveling at least 25 yards beyond the line of scrimmage: completions (159), completion rate (41.8%), yards (6,421) and touchdowns (53).”
The Broncos have two studs in Jerry Jeudy and Courtland Sutton, yet there is another name to keep tabs on who will benefit from Russ’ deep ball.
The third-year speedster has an elite deep-ball skil-set that has yet to be unleashed. Hamler ran a 4.32 40-yard dash at his Pro Day and is compared to DeSean Jackson from a measurables and athletic standpoint.
The 2020 second round pick snagged 30 balls for 381 yards and three touchdowns. However, he only made it to Week 3 last season when he tore his ACL against the Jets. Luckily for Hamler, the injury occurred early in the season and GM George Paton said Hamler’s recovery is ahead of schedule.
“You know how tough he is and he just grinds it,” Paton told the media at the NFL Combine. “He grinds his rehab. He’s making really good strides. Obviously a significant injury, but we feel he’s ahead of schedule.
“I can’t put a time on it, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone grind the rehab like he’s doing,” Paton added.
With Wilson under center, The Wolf believes Hamler is the optimal last round stab in 2022 Underdog Fantasy Best Ball drafts. His ADP is currently 217 overall and the upside is enormous as the Broncos’ premier deep-threat.
While the entire offense will get a boost with Wilson under center, Okwuegbunam and Hamler are two of the more overlooked pieces of the offense who should shine with favorable ADPs in 2022.
As a result, Albert O is now ranked TE12 (+17 vs ECR) and Hamler is penciled in at WR80 (+12 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2022 Fantasy Football Rankings.
To get a chance to draft Albert O, KJ Hamler, or other pieces of the new-look Broncos offense, download the Underdog Fantasy app and click the link or promo code RSJ for a 100% deposit bonus of up to $100. Play 2022 NFL Best Ball, daily fantasy, and/or player prop pick ’em contests.