Drew Lock Offers an Intriguing Return on Investment for Fantasy Owners in 2020
Everyone expected the Denver Broncos to add a tier-1 receiver with their 15th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. The pre-draft rumor mill suspected the Broncos were targeting Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. Well, that’s exactly what happened. The Broncos selected Jeudy with their first round pick. No surprise.
What shocked me was that the Broncos doubled up at the wide receiver position with the selection of Penn State wideout KJ Hamler in the second round. Hamler will work out of the slot with the Broncos. He provides an absolutely lethal combination of blazing speed, quickness, and the ability to adjust to poorly thrown balls. Don’t let his small frame and the fact that he works out of the slot deceive you; Hamler doesn’t just make his living like a typical slot receiver with short to intermediate routes. He consistently stretches the field vertically and provides big-play capability.
We all know what Jeudy provides for the Broncos. The 6’ 1” receiver will do most of his work on the outside. Jeudy is the best route runner in his class and works well down the field. Don't trust the Oakland Raiders and their obsession with speed, Jeudy will be a better player than Henry Ruggs in the NFL.
SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Jerry Jeudy #4 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates his first quarter touchdown reception against the Clemson Tigers the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Drew Lock performed admirably for the Broncos last season in his limited playing time. Joe Flacco was simply a placeholder last season for Lock, so don't read too much into the fact that Flacco edged out Lock for the starting quarterback position last season. Lock is the long term solution for the Broncos, so it made sense to let him start the season on the bench and develop.
In 5 games played last season, Lock posted an impressive 64% completion percentage. The 7:3 touchdown to interception ratio wasn’t stellar, but it wasn’t horrible either. The second-year quarterback's potential is infinitely higher this year than it was last year because of the Broncos offseason additions.
Let’s take a look at what the Broncos arsenal projects to look like for week one of the 2020 season. Flanking Lock on one side of the ball will be Courtland Sutton. The third-year 6’ 4” receiver will work on the outside. Sutton had a fabulous 2019 season, recording 72 receptions for over 1000 yards and six touchdowns. Working on the opposite sideline will be Jerry Jeudy. KJ Hamler will work his magic in the slot, with Noah Fant lined up at tight end. Don’t forget about the offseason addition of running back Melvin Gordon, as well as the incumbent starter Phillip Lindsay. Gordon was once one of the best running backs in the NFL, so don’t rule out a major comeback after a disappointing finale with the Los Angeles Chargers following his holdout. Lindsay is proven as a serviceable back as well.
The Broncos offense is stacked with young talent. Watch for Lock to make the jump as a QB 1 in the 2020 fantasy season in his first full season as a starter. Take into account the offensive firepower in the AFC West as well. The Kansas City Chiefs obviously have the most potent offense in the league. The Las Vegas Raiders’ offense should be decent as well, especially with the addition of wide receiver Henry Ruggs from Alabama. The Los Angeles Chargers offense is somewhat of a question mark with the murky quarterback situation, but the team still possesses one of the best receivers in the game in Keenan Allen, a solid tight end in Hunter Henry, and an explosive weapon at running back with Austin Ekeler. I expect the AFC divisional matchups to be high scoring with a lot of passing involved.
Lock certainly has one of the best combinations of young offensive talent in the league. I expect Lock to be a mid-round selection in next year’s fantasy drafts. His fantasy potential is off the charts, but his inexperience makes his fantasy floor concerning. The talent around him is elite, I just don’t know exactly how his talent translates to the NFL level just yet.
Lock offers the potential for a great return on investment, but his inexperience makes him a riskyfantasy asset. If Moody’s credit rating agency was in the business of rating fantasy players instead of bonds, they’d rate Lock as a Baa asset. Lock offers a high ceiling, but also carries moderate risk. I'm looking to pair Lock with a safer fantasy pick in a proven veteran with the hopes that Lock hits his potential and offers me tremendous value as a mid round selection.