This article is part of our Team Previews series.
The Broncos enter the 2023 campaign striving to be a playoff contender in the AFC after failing to meet the high expectations that preceded last season. It would seem the team has a long way to go after racking up a paltry five wins in 2022, but the addition of former Saints coach Sean Payton should help the team take a major step forward. QB Russell Wilson in particular figures to benefit from Payton's proven system, fueling what could be a significant bounceback for both Wilson and the Broncos.
2023 Denver Broncos Quarterback Room
- Veteran Additions: Jarrett Stidham (from Raiders)
- Draft Picks: None
- Departures: Brett Rypien (to Rams)
After coming over in a blockbuster trade with the Seahawks in March 2022, Russell Wilson was expected to be the missing piece needed to push the Broncos over the edge as a contender, but Year 1 of the Wilson experience was a complete dud. The 34-year-old was plagued with poor decision-making and timing issues last season, leading to career lows in completion percentage (60.5) and touchdown passes (16). Wilson's 55 rushing attempts were the second lowest of his career, resulting in just 258 yards and three TDs.
Moreover, the Broncos ranked last in the league in points per game, averaging 16.9 points with Wilson commanding the offense. The arrival of Sean Payton, however, should help spark Denver's attack as he implements a scheme that yielded success during his tenure with New Orleans. Payton likely will help Wilson to connect on high-percentage throws while using more of the field. Stidham was brought in as the primary backup this offseason, with Jarrett Guarantano and Ben DiNucci also on the roster.
2023 Denver Broncos Backfield
- Veteran Additions: Samaje Perine (from Bengals), Tony Jones (from Seattle)
- Draft Picks: None
- Departures: Latavius Murray (to Bills), Chase Edmonds (to Buccaneers), Marlon Mack (FA), Mike Boone (to Texans)
Prior to suffering a season-ending ACL and LCL tears in his right knee Week 4 of last season, Javonte Williams showed promise as the Broncos' future at running back. In his first 21 games as a pro, Williams has handled 250 carries for 1,107 yards and four touchdowns, adding 59 catches for 392 yards and three more scores. His explosiveness and ability to break tackles are impressive, so when the 23-year-old is at full strength, he should be the lead option in Denver's backfield. Determining when Williams will be back at full health, however, appears to be up in the air.
The Broncos signed Perine this offseason, and he'd handle No. 1 duties in all likelihood if Williams isn't in top form out of the gate this season. Perine offers versatility as a pass catcher, which could help him earn a defined role regardless of Williams' health. Coach Sean Payton will look to prioritize the ground game, and the signings of G Ben Powers and T Mike McGlinchey show a commitment to improving the run. Beyond Williams and Perine, Jones, Tyler Badie and Jaleel McLaughlin will compete for Week 1 roster spots.
2023 Denver Broncos Receiving Corps
- Veteran Additions: WRs Marquez Callaway (from Saints), Lil'Jordan Humphrey (from Patriots); TEs Adam Trautman (from Saints), Chris Manhertz (from Jaguars)
- Draft Picks: WR Marvin Mims (Rd. 2, No. 63 – Oklahoma)
- Departures: TEs Eric Saubert (to Dolphins), Eric Tomlinson (to Texans), Andrew Beck (to Texans)
The Broncos will return most of the same key pass catchers from last season, which should bode well for the offense as a whole. Like most of the unit, the receivers and tight ends did little to impress on a consistent basis in 2022. Denver's top wideouts, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, struggled last season with the latter finding a bit more success as the season went on. Sutton reeled in 64 catches for 829 yards and two touchdowns, while Jeudy was able to finish with 67 catches for 972 yards and six scores after a strong finish.
Tight end Greg Dulcich, a 2022 third-round pick, had a solid rookie season, appearing in 10 games and racking up 33 catches for 411 yards and two touchdowns. His athleticism and field-stretching ability make him an attractive option on obvious passing downs. Meanwhile, newly-added TEs Trautman and Manhertz don't pose much of a threat as receivers.
WR Tim Patrick will likely be healthy after suffering an ACL tear last August, providing a reliable No. 3 option at the position. The sole rookie is Mims, who has the skill and wheels to be a factor, though fellow speedster KJ Hamler will look to secure a spot as the fourth receiver if he can get back to full strength.
2023 Denver Broncos Sleepers
⬆️ Sleeper: Samaje Perine
Though Javonte Williams appears to have true workhorse potential, fantasy managers should not ignore Perine. Sean Payton is no stranger to using multiple backs in the running game, leaving the possibility that both Perine and Williams could both carry a significant load on offense. A commitment to a strong rushing attack should provide Perine with ample opportunities to produce. The veteran back has proven that, if needed, he can handle a three-down role as both a rusher and a receiver.
😴 Super Sleeper: Tim Patrick
After missing the entire 2022 campaign with a torn ACL suffered in training camp, fantasy drafters may not pay much attention to Patrick after a disappointing year for the Broncos receiving corps. However, the 29-year-old profiles to be the team's No. 3 wideout on what should be a much-improved passing attack under Payton. With QB Russell Wilson likely attempting more schemed throws in Payton's system, Patrick's sure hands could lead to him seeing steady targets.
2023 Denver Broncos Coaching Staff
Head Coach: Sean Payton (Year 1)
Offensive Coordinator: Joe Lombardi (Year 1) – Air Coryell
Defensive Coordinator: Vance Joseph (Year 1) – 3-4 scheme
2023 Denver Broncos Depth Chart
Stats to Know for the Denver Broncos
2022 Record: 5-12
2022 Points Scored: 287 (32nd)
2022 Points Allowed: 359 (T-14th)
2022 Point Differential: -72 (27th)
2022 Run-Play Rate: 41.2 percent (17th)
2022 Offensive Snaps: 1,078 (14th)
2022 PFF O-Line Ranking: No. 21
2023 Denver Broncos Schedule
|1||Sep 10||Las Vegas Raiders||4:25 PM|
|2||Sep 17||Washington Commanders||4:25 PM|
|3||Sep 24||at Miami Dolphins||1:00 PM|
|4||Oct 1||at Chicago Bears||1:00 PM|
|5||Oct 8||New York Jets||4:25 PM|
|6||Oct 12||at Kansas City Chiefs||8:15 PM|
|7||Oct 22||Green Bay Packers||4:25 PM|
|8||Oct 29||Kansas City Chiefs||4:25 PM|
|10||Nov 13||at Buffalo Bills||8:15 PM|
|11||Nov 19||Minnesota Vikings||8:20 PM|
|12||Nov 26||Cleveland Browns||4:05 PM|
|13||Dec 3||at Houston Texans||4:05 PM|
|14||Dec 10||at Los Angeles Chargers||4:25 PM|
|15||TBD||at Detroit Lions||TBD|
|16||Dec 24||New England Patriots||8:15 PM|
|17||Dec 31||Los Angeles Chargers||4:25 PM|
|18||TBD||at Las Vegas Raiders||TBD|
Denver Broncos Odds To Win Super Bowl LVIII
- Broncos Super Bowl 58 Odds: 40-1
Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook as of 12:00 AM ET on July 27, 2023.