Fantasy preview: How will Broncos stars fare against Washington?

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In advance of Sunday’s Broncos-Jaguars game, Broncos Wire examines the matchup with fantasy football projections for Denver players courtesy of our colleagues at The Huddle.

The Washington Football Team (2-5) is on a three-game losing streak and in a three-way tie for last in the NFC East. The Denver Broncos (3-4) are trying to end their four-game slide. Home field is an advantage for the Broncos, as Washington is just 1-2 in road venues, and the return of wideout Jerry Jeudy should spark better passing for the Broncos. This matchup offers a get-right game for the Broncos, but both teams have struggled this season.

The Broncos are on a four-game losing streak, and their only wins are against the Giants, Jaguars and Jets — three teams that have combined for a total of just four wins. The Broncos played in Cleveland against a Browns team that was stripped of talent due to injury yet still lost. This week’s matchup is the best chance to win at least until Week 14, when the Lions show up.

Vic Fangio’s third season as the head coach has been impacted by injuries, but no more than most teams. This matchup needs to be a win versus a weak defense. A loss here could bring changes, because it would cast an even darker shadow on the rest of the year.

Quarterback

To his credit, Teddy Bridgewater has thrown for multiple touchdowns in each of the past three games, but he’s also thrown five interceptions in that time. Bridgewater is playing through a foot injury, and he hasn’t had Jeudy since Week 1. He’ll get Jeudy back for this matchup, and that can only help, particularly against a weak defense. With a difficult Week 9 game looming at Dallas, the passing game needs to get tuned up fast, and this is a great chance to get Jeudy back into the game plan.

Teddy Bridgewater projection vs. Washington
Fantasy Points: 25.5
Passing: 270 yds, 3 TD

Running backs

No changes to the backfield that still treats Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams as equals. In most weeks, the two receive the same number of touches, though Williams is used for slightly more receptions. Both backs recorded their first receiving touchdown last week, but they’ve combined for only three rushing touchdowns on the season. Neither back has received more than a dozen carries over the past month, but the matchup against Washington should be the best chance for a higher volume of rushing attempts. This will be the softest rushing defense that the Broncos will face for the upcoming month.

Javonte Williams projection vs. Washington
Fantasy points: 12
Rushing: 50 yds
Receiving: 4 rec, 30 yds

Melvin Gordon III projection vs. Washington
Fantasy points: 8
Rushing: 50 yds
Receiving: 2 rec, 10 yds

Wide receivers

As noted, Jeudy returns from his ankle injury and adds a much-needed talent bump for the receivers. Courtland Sutton is on a three-game stretch of solid performances, including 120 yards and a score on seven catches in Week 5 at the Steelers. Tim Patrick filled in for Jeudy with a few good games and one score in the past five weeks. Patrick is a capable receiver, but he doesn’t offer the same difference-making that Jeudy can produce. This week against a soft secondary, Jeudy should step back into a busy workload if he is completely healthy.

Courtland Sutton projection vs. Washington
Fantasy points: 21
Receiving: 7 rec, 80 yds, 1 TD

Jerry Jeudy projection vs. Washington
Fantasy points: 19
Receiving: 6 rec, 70 yds, 1 TD

Tim Patrick projection vs. Washington
Fantasy points: 6
Receiving: 3 rec, 30 yds

Tight end

Noah Fant offers around 40 yards per game and scores in every other game. He’s been as good as 97 yards on nine catches with a score in the recent home game against the Raiders. But he’s been held to fewer than 50 yards in all other games, and he likely will see a slight reduction in workload with Jeudy back.

Noah Fant projection vs. Washington
Fantasy points: 16
Receiving: 5 rec, 50 yds, 1 TD

Match to the defense

Here is a chance to get back on track, if only for this one week. Washington brings the No. 32-ranked defense against quarterbacks, so this will be the best situation for Bridgewater all season. The Washington defense has allowed 17 passing touchdowns over just the past five games and never fewer than 270 passing yards. Add in that Jeudy is expected to return, and Bridgewater will continue his string of multiple touchdown games.

The defense is strongest against the run, where no back has gained more than 71 yards on them, and they’ve allowed only three rushing touchdowns to opposing backs. Expect a down game from the Denver rushing duo, although Williams can prop up his fantasy production as a receiver. If the Broncos cannot take advantage of one of the worst defenses in the NFL, then there are significant problems that may not be resolved this year. Washington has allowed an NFL-high 210 points — 30 points per game on average. No team is worse.