Teddy Bridgewater Named Broncos Starter: How the Move Affects Denver’s Fantasy Outlook & Betting Odds
Pictures by Getty Images. Pictured (left): Teddy Bridgewater. Pictured (right): Drew Lock.
Teddy Bridgewater has been granted the keys to the Denver Broncos’ offense.
The franchise put an end to its highly-anticipated quarterback battle Wednesday and announced Bridgewater the starter over third-year Missouri product Drew Lock.
Bridgewater started 15 games for the Panthers in 2020. He notched career-highs virtually across the board, including passing yards (3,733), touchdown passes (15) and completion percentage (69.1%).
The former first rounder out of Louisville is the conservative option compared to Lock. How that’ll fare in a high-flying AFC West remains to be seen, but Bridgewater has been a money-maker for bettors of late, especially when his teams are catching points: He’s 23-8 against the spread in his last 31 starts as an underdog.
Denver is a one-point favorite for its season-opener against the New York Giants. That game has the lowest total (43) on the Week 1 board.
The Broncos are +4500 to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings as of Wednesday afternoon.
Samantha Previte’s Instant Fantasy Football Reaction
In a shocking turn of events, Teddy Bridgewater has named the Broncos’ Week 1 starter over Drew Lock, who had been the betting-favorite as recently as last week.
The news carries significant fantasy implications.
Bridgewater, 28, is coming off of a one year stint in Carolina in which he completed 69.1% of his passes for 3,733 yards, 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions over 15 starts. His stat line may not seem stellar, but it’s a marked improvement relative to how Lock’s 2020 went. The 24-year-old completed 57.3% of his passes for 2,933 yards, 16 touchdowns and 15 interceptions over 13 starts.
Bridgewater finished as QB17 in fantasy through 16 weeks while Lock finished as QB25. Bridgewater should be a viable QB2 this season, especially with the Broncos’ upgrades at the skill positions. The former Pro Bowler is currently being drafted as QB36. He’s worthy of consideration in two-quarterback and superflex formats.
Both QBs offer low-to-moderate upside for the team’s running backs and wide receivers, but Bridgewater gets the slight edge. Most notably, this should help the fantasy values of receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, both of which are being drafted as WR3s.
Jeudy, 22, had a lackluster rookie campaign and was clearly hamstrung by Lock’s accuracy issues.
Sutton, 25, is recovering from a torn ACL which forced him to miss most of the 2020 season. He may have benefitted from having a strong pre-existing relationship with Lock, but I think Bridgewater will be an overall upgrade for both receivers over the course of the season. Sutton and Jeudy should remain in the WR3 range, but you should feel more confident drafting them there with a less turnover-prone QB.
Managers should also feel more confident drafting tight end Noah Fant now that Bridgewater has been named the starter. Fant, 23, has the talent and athleticism to be a top tier tight end in the league, but has been the victim of lackluster QB play. It’s worth noting that Fant is dealing with a leg issue, and while it’s not believed to be serious, it’s still something worth monitoring leading up to Week 1.
Finally, running backs Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon will also benefit from Bridgewater being named starter because he should keep the team in more competitive game scripts which would favor the run.
It’s an all-around positive move for the Broncos and fantasy football.