Broncos’ Sean Payton hire a fantasy football boost
Since the start of the 2022 season, not much has gone well for the Denver Broncos. They recently managed to hire Sean Payton to be their new head coach in hopes he could help Russell Wilson revive the Broncos’ offense, but it looks like he wasn’t even their first choice, and it cost the team even more draft picks after they sent a big hit to the Seattle Seahawks for Wilson last offseason.
Despite that, the Broncos can’t go anywhere else until after their miserable 2022 season, and hiring Payton should prove to be very helpful for Denver. Payton enjoyed a successful tenure with the New Orleans Saints, which was highlighted by him leading them to Super Bowl XLIV.
Payton will have his work cut out for him, and while there’s some skepticism around him right now, especially given the price the Broncos just paid him, there’s a good chance he’ll help this team. to improve, especially when it comes to Wilson. In fact, after being unplayable in the fantasy football leagues in 2022, Wilson’s fantasy stock is trending up for the 2023 season now that Payton has officially taken the reins.
Why Sean Payton is good for Russell Wilson’s fantasy stock
There really is no beating around the bush when it comes to Wilson’s 2022 campaign; he was awful. His numbers are easily the worst of his career (292/483, 3524 YDS, 16 TD, 11 INT, 55 CAR, 277 YDS, 3 TD) and he looked nothing like the quarterback he was in Seattle. Considering how much the Broncos have invested in Wilson, they need to get things straight with him, and fast.
In fantasy football, Wilson was selected as a top ten quarterback by many in hopes that he could have a great first season in Denver. After all, he was extremely effective with the Seahawks and joined an offense that had top options such as Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Javonte Williams at his disposal. It seemed like Wilson had everything he needed to succeed.
Wilson finished as the 16th-highest scoring fantasy quarterback in 2022, but his 15.05 ppg average (using ESPN’s standard scoring for quarterbacks) saw him come in at 20th. rank. Wilson wasn’t even really usable as a backup quarterback, because if you really needed someone to fill in for him, there was almost certainly a better streaming option available than him.
The addition of Payton certainly won’t make Wilson a starting caliber option, but it does help push his stock up a bit. Payton had a lot of success turning the Saints into an offensive powerhouse during his time there, and he can hopefully have a similar effect on the Broncos.
As mentioned earlier, the Broncos have a handful of good weapons on their team that Wilson can use. Losing Williams to the ground early in the season hurt, but we saw Wilson have stretches where he looked very in tune with Sutton and Jeudy. The problem was that these stretches never came at the same time.
Denver definitely needs to fix its offensive line, as Wilson has been sacked 55 times as the league leader. Part of that was because Wilson just freaked out and sat in the pocket when he couldn’t find anything, as he’s played behind below average offensive lines before and managed to put things back together. , but that just never happened this season.
Giving Wilson a competent coach in Payton will also help, as Nathaniel Hackett literally had no idea what he was doing as the head coach of this team. Payton knows what it takes to build a winner in the NFL. Hackett was a mess from the first snap of the season, and it was truly surprising that he lasted as long as he did as team leader.
It won’t be as easy for Payton, but the pieces to lead this attack to greatness are already in place. A big part of the plan, however, involves him getting Wilson back on track. Wilson struggled to identify covers and get the ball out in a timely manner throughout last season. Building an offense designed for Wilson will help, but he’ll need to be able to take advantage of it from time to time.
He’s still very early in the offseason, but Wilson could find himself a sleeper quarterback heading into the 2023 fantasy football season. His stock is obviously very low, and drafting him as a starter is a horrible idea, but stashing him on the bench and seeing how he does to open the season might be worth it. Wilson shouldn’t be counted on immediately, but who knows, maybe Payton can help him become a relevant fantasy football asset again in 2023.