Courtland Sutton
Dustin Bradford: Getty Images

Is Courtland Sutton A Reliable Option For 2021 Fantasy?

Courtland Sutton was taken with the 40th overall pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2018 NFL Draft. Sutton attended SMU and looked like a star receiver on the rise until his his 2020 season was cut short by injury. In 2019, Sutton had his best year as a pro with 72 receptions, 1,112 yards, and six touchdowns while catching passes from Drew Lock, Joe Flacco, and Brandon Allen. Can Courtland Sutton be a reliable pick-up for 2021 fantasy football?  

There are a couple of things working against Sutton when it comes to his production. First, the quarterback situation in Denver is horrendous. Lock may have a hose of an arm, but he is too careless with the football and is too inaccurate with his throws. Teddy Bridgewater’s days as a starting quarterback are evidently behind him, as the Panthers traded for Sam Darnold after a single year with Bridgewater under center. If he somehow wins the job, the offense will look very different compared to a Lock-led offense. Sutton has been great with bad quarterback play in the past, so I believe it is unlikely that quarterback play is Sutton’s biggest obstacle to consistent production.

The more apparent barrier to consistent fantasy production from Sutton is the fact that Denver’s offense has a plethora of weapons. The RBs include Melvin Gordon, an established vet, and rookie Javonte Williams, who seems to have won the starting job over Gordon. Alongside Sutton, the Broncos have Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler. Jeudy had a drop problem in his rookie campaign, but we cannot forget that he was the best college receiver just two years ago. Hamler is a gadget guy with incredible speed who works in both the pass and the run game. Take care not to forget about Noah Fant either, as the young tight end appears to be on the path to elite status and should only improve as he becomes more accustomed to NFL life. The point is, this Broncos offense has a lot of mouths to feed.

On the bright side, Sutton is clearly the number one receiver on this team when healthy and should see around 65-70 catches in 2021. Unlike Jeudy or Hamler, Sutton has shown that he can be a dominant threat in the NFL. He has the look of a low-end WR2, but I am worried that his numbers may be inconsistent.

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