The Denver Broncos were dealt a brutal blow prior to Week 14 when top wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders left practice due to an injury. Things got even worse after it came to light that the injury was serious as well. As first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, it was believed Sanders suffered a torn Achilles, which was later confirmed.
Source: The #Broncos believe that WR Emmanuel Sanders tore his Achilles during practice. They’ll do tests to confirm. But that’s the fear.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 5, 2018
Sanders had put together an impressive start to the 2018 season and was primed for a big finish to the year, so this is tough to hear for him. Through 12 games, Sanders had totaled 71 receptions for 868 yards and four touchdowns, wasting little time building a rapport with Case Keenum. Prior to Week 14, the Broncos had parlayed Sanders’ success, as well as the improvements in various other areas into a three-game winning streak. Unfortunately, a loss to the San Francisco 49ers now leaves their playoff hopes in doubt.
Following the injury, the Broncos were set to rely heavily on Courtland Sutton, but one name who stepped up in a big way last game was DaeSean Hamilton. We’re going to take a look at the outlook and impact on the rookie wideout moving forward.
DaeSean Hamilton’s Fantasy Outlook
While there’s little question about the fact that Courtland Sutton is the new go-to option in the Denver passing attack, the next man is Hamilton. This sets up an all-rookie starting group at wideout with the team’s second (Sutton) and fourth (Hamilton) round picks from the 2018 NFL Draft. The big question, though, is what the fantasy football outlook of the former Penn State receiver looks like moving forward.
Although Sutton should see a solid boost in targets, Hamilton will almost certainly continue to be fantasy relevant in his own right. The Broncos’ decision to trade Demaryius Thomas partially had to do with the team’s young core being capable of pairing up with Sanders, and that group will be tested in a big way now.
DaeSean Hamilton’s Production and Week 15 Outlook
After catching three passes for 44 yards against the New York Jets back in early October, Hamilton was essentially silent from that point on. While those numbers didn’t exactly get fantasy players excited, that changed drastically in Week 14 against the 49ers.
Hamilton saw the most snaps on the Broncos roster in that game, playing 97 percent (per Football Outsiders), ahead of both Tim Patrick (86 percent) and Sutton (69 percent). The arrow is pointing up for him in terms of snaps, and last week we saw the large workload finally turn into solid production as well.
The rookie out of Penn State proved to be a reliable target for Case Keenum, hauling in 7-of-9 targets for 47 yards and one touchdown. It was a strong showing for Hamilton, and he’ll now draw a matchup with the Cleveland Browns in Week 15 as he attempts to reel off another productive day.
The Browns have had their struggles against wide receivers this season, allowing 184 receptions or 2,334 yards and 12 touchdowns. The high number of receptions should bode well for Hamilton here, and he makes sense as a fantasy option in point-per-reception leagues. Based on workload and targets, it would tough to fault players for using him in any format this week though.
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