Heading into Week 13, Courtland Sutton’s dynasty value seems to have been climbing steadily. With a young receiver working as his team’s primary target like this, fantasy football players in dynasty leagues need to try and identify whether or not his talent is creating these opportunities, or if it’s just volume-based.
In his first big play of the 2019 season, with all eyes on the second leg of the Monday Night Football doubleheader, the Denver Broncos were trying to dig themselves out down 24-9 against the Oakland Raiders in Week 1.
Sutton takes a post route for 25 yards, briefly igniting the offense. Joe Flacco delivers a good ball, but it’s Sutton that finds the soft spot in the zone behind the money backer. Most notable here is that he doesn’t flatten or round out his break in the fourth quarter of a game where his team was almost certainly out of things.
As he crosses the nameplate of #29 Lamarcus Joyner, he makes sure to get his head around. Sutton caught it in stride and was able to tack on another 10 yards after the catch. Were it not for #20 Daryl Worley tripping him up, Sutton is potentially headed for six. A little better balance through the contact like we see from dominant WRs like Julio Jones would help complete his game.
In Week 3, Sutton displays his long speed and savvy route running with the Broncos in a one-score game, down 16-24 to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau. Sutton’s 52-yard gain on a hitch and go gets the Broncos out of their own territory.
This play came on a 3rd & 6, and you can see Sutton hit the hitch right after the sticks. More than just a stop, you can see Sutton drop his hips, causing #20 Kevin King to commit to the hitch. Sutton then explodes vertically from the hips, giving Joe Flacco a window so vast a real estate agent tried to market it as a selling point for some Lambeau property.
Not without room for improvement, Sutton appears to have an issue tracking the ball, looking it into his hands rather than catching it, breaking his stride in the process, and allowing the nearest defenders to rally back to him.
Jumping forward to Week 11 with the Broncos still leading midway through the fourth quarter, we see Sutton run a nice move on a deep post fake, getting behind #29 Xavier Rhodes, #27 Jayron Kearse, and #22 Harrison Smith.
The double move gets Kearse to bite on the underneath fake, as Sutton again explodes vertically and runs into space away from Rhodes and Smith. The ball placement from Brandon Allen could use a little work. If Sutton catches this in stride, he’s got everyone beat, and the Broncos add to their lead and likely come away with a win. As it is now, Allen doesn’t lead him into space, and Sutton has to slow down and prepare for contact right after he secures the ball, which he does successfully.
We know Courtland Sutton’s dynasty value is on the rise. With some vintage moments from Joe Flacco and manageable accuracy from Brandon Allen, it appears that he is mainly responsible for his own success. His route running is a significant asset, and his long speed has been incredibly impressive. Yes, he fell victim to TreDavious White last week, but the list of WRs that get the better of that matchup is terribly short.
We’ve yet to see Drew Lock take the field for the Denver Broncos, and they are still very much in the mix for one of the vaunted QBs in the 2020 class, but it should be as clear to a QB as it is to fantasy football players that Courtland Sutton is an emerging star in the NFL.
Andrew Thomas Jordan is an editor and analyst for the Pro Football Network covering Fantasy Football. You can follow him @The_ATJ on Twitter.