Broncos Being Disrespected by Projected Finish in AFC West

By michael obermuller
Can Drew Lock pickup where he left off in 2019?
Can Drew Lock pickup where he left off in 2019? / Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos 7-9 record last season actually placed them second in the division by tiebreaker over the Las Vegas Raiders. It was not really the outcome most people expected going into 2019, as the Los Angeles Chargers had high expectations and finished fourth.

In the final five games under rookie quarterback Drew Lock, the Broncos went 4-1 (only losing to the Kansas City Chiefs) and played some of their best football. Even so, Vic Fangio's team doesn't have the highest expectations despite some improvements this offseason.

Denver Broncos AFC West Odds

Denver has the highest chance of finishing third (+135) in the AFC West in 2020, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. That yields an implied probability of 42.6 percent. The next highest odds are that the Broncos will actually drop all the way to last in the division at +195.

The Chiefs are expected to win the division again, while the Broncos have +1100 odds to pull that off, but Denver isn't even thought to be a favorite for second either, which is at +260. Based on their most recent run of play, productive free-agency period and highly-graded draft, this could be seen as unjust.

In free agency, the Broncos most notable additions were running back Melvin Gordon, interior lineman Graham Glasgow and defensive lineman Christian Covington. They also managed to trade for cornerback A.J. Bouye (knowing Chris Harris would leave), and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.

The draft followed, and it was a home run by all accounts. After nabbing both Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler to rebuild the depleted wide receiver core for Lock, the Broncos selected CB Michael Ojemudia, C Lloyd Cushenberry, DT McTelvin Agim, TE Albert Okwuegbunam and MLB Justin Strnad in the first five rounds.

Each of these selections was either of position need or graded as a high value pick, some fit both criteria. Despite what the odds tell us, this Denver team is young (but still with veteran pillars like Von Miller in place), hungry, and possibly even an intriguing playoff dark horse in 2020.

Get $5 FREE when you sign up for FanDuel Racing, plus we’ll match your first deposit in site credit up to $50!

Michael Obermuller is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Michael Obermuller also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username king_mizzard. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.