NFL Splits Tool, Week 9: Russell Wilson’s Impact in Denver


After seven-plus months of preparation and analysis, the NFL season is in full swing as we head into Week 7 of the regular season. Over the offseason, I did an “NFL Splits” series, looking at historical trends to help predict the outlook of the 2022 season. I will be continuing the series during the season by using the FTN Splits Tool and looking at actionable takeaways from the previous weeks.


The Splits Tool allows me to experiment with different situations, such as active/inactive players, spreads, locations, and more, to get a better understanding of the rest of the season. Users can sign up for an FTN Fantasy subscription and gain access to all the tools needed to dominate their fantasy leagues.

Broncos Country, Let’s Ride

Since Peyton Manning‘s retirement in 2016, the Broncos have spent five seasons searching for an answer at quarterback. Despite bringing in numerous free agents and allocating significant draft capital to the position, the Broncos couldn’t find the right fit, finishing under .500 in four consecutive seasons. After hiring general manager George Paton and bringing in Packers’ offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett as head coach, the new front office in Denver pushed all their chips to the table and traded for nine-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. They sent away Drew Lock, Noah Fant, Shelby Harris, and five draft picks to Seattle in hopes of finally landing the new face of their franchise. 

There was a lot of excitement surrounding the new-look Denver offense, with Super Bowl aspirations. The team featured many young and talented players that were seemingly a quarterback away from being a real contender. Unfortunately, the 2022 season has not played out the way the Broncos had envisioned, sitting at 3-5, third in the division. Below, I am going to look at the last two seasons and see if Denver’s offense has really improved with Wilson under center.

Broncos Offense

Denver Broncos Week 9 Fantasy Football Splits Tool

Rather than addressing quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Broncos traded a sixth-round pick for Teddy Bridgewater to compete with Drew Lock for the starting spot. Although Bridgewater won the quarterback competition, both quarterbacks saw the field and made a handful of starts. The team finished 7-10 last season, dead last in the AFC West. Despite having the third-best defense, Denver’s offense ranked 14th in yards per game (330.5) and 23rd in points (19.1), rotating between Bridgewater and Lock under center. Fast forward to the 2022 season, and the offense has gotten even worst, ranking 23rd in yards per game (328.9) and 31st in points (15.1). The offense is significantly worse in every category besides passing yards when looking at the splits with Wilson relative to every other quarterback. Although Wilson’s 242 pass yards per game ranks middle of the pack among quarterbacks (QB16), it hasn’t been enough, as evident by the second lowest-scoring offense.


Courtland Sutton, WR

Courtland Sutton Week 9 Fantasy Football Splits Tool

One of the biggest debates of the offseason was which Broncos wide receiver would emerge as the No. 1 option. After a constant drumbeat of Courtland Sutton‘s chemistry with Wilson during the offseason, he became the consensus WR1 in Denver. After catching 72 passes for 1,112 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, Sutton has not been able to replicate the same type of production. However, with Wilson under center, Sutton’s receiving numbers have improved across the board relative to the past two seasons. After averaging 83.4 receiving yards in the first five games, Sutton has been held to less than 25 yards in the last three games. Although only two games have been with Wilson, it is something to monitor after Denver’s Week 9 bye.

Jerry Jeudy, WR

Jerry Jeudy Week 9 Fantasy Football Splits Tool

The Broncos’ first-round pick in 2020, Jerry Jeudy has yet to live up to expectations. After two seasons in the NFL, Jeudy has not eclipsed 860 yards in a single season. In his first game with Wilson, Jeudy came out of the gate hot, catching four passes for 102 yards and a touchdown in Week 1. However, from Weeks 2-6, Jeudy was held to under 55 receiving yards in five straight games. Overall, Jeudy’s receiving production has been slightly worse regarding receptions and yards with Wilson under center. In fact, his second-best game of the season came in Week 6 when Wilson was ruled out with a hamstring injury. Jeudy had seven receptions for 96 yards while catching passes from Brett Rypien. His stock is rising after a 7/63/1 outing in his most recent heading into the bye.

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