Emmanuel Sanders
Emmanuel Sanders
31-Year-Old Wide ReceiverWR
Denver Broncos
Injury Achilles
2018 Fantasy Outlook
A Week 5 ankle injury largely derailed Sanders' season, so don't read too much into his career-low per-play numbers and meager fantasy output. That he played with three of the worst quarterbacks in the league didn't help, either. At 5-11, 180, Sanders is small, but he's fast (4.41 40), quick and agile. He turned 31 in March, but smaller receivers often age well, and he hadn't shown significant signs of decline before the injury. For 2018, Sanders' outlook is markedly improved. For starters, he's had an entire offseason to get healthy, and Case Keenum should be a significant upgrade over the trio of scrubs with whom Sanders played last year. Finally, the Broncos still have a narrow receiving tree - at press time, Demaryius Thomas is the only experienced player of note on their depth chart, though rookie second-rounder Courtland Sutton should work his way into the mix eventually. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a three-year, $33 million contract with the Broncos in September of 2016. Contract includes $10.25 million team option for 2019.
Making progress in recovery
WRDenver Broncos
February 13, 2019
Sanders (Achilles) is no longer wearing a walking boot on his injured foot but is moving around with a "slight limp," Zack Kelberman of CBS 4 Denver reports.
Sanders originally tore his ACL in early December and was given a six-month timeline for his recovery. He appears to have avoided any setbacks in the two months since suffering the injury, and while it seems unlikely he'll be available for OTAs this spring, Sanders should be ready to go well before the start of training camp. That said, it's possible Sanders could take his time getting back onto the field considering the soon-to-be 32-year-old is entering a contract year in 2019 on a team that is grooming two other young receivers for the future.
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NFL Stats
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Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Emmanuel Sanders' 2018 advanced stats compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Air Yards Per Game
Air Yards Per Snap
% Team Air Yards
% Team Targets
Avg Depth of Target
9.2 Yds
Catch Rate
Drop Rate
Avg Yds After Catch
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NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
Denver BroncosBroncos 2018 WR Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Emmanuel Sanders lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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Measurables Review View College Player Page
How do Emmanuel Sanders' measurables compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his draft workout metrics with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average.
5' 11"
180 lbs
40-Yard Dash
4.40 sec
Shuttle Time
4.10 sec
Cone Drill
6.64 sec
Vertical Jump
39.5 in
Broad Jump
126 in
Bench Press
12 reps
Hand Length
9.25 in
Arm Length
32.00 in
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Emmanuel Sanders
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68 days ago
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Weekly Rankings: Week 15 Value Meter
70 days ago
Rob Gronkowski had a terrific offensive game last week, and now faces a Steelers defense that got torn apart by three different tight ends.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Like Demaryius Thomas, Sanders benefits greatly from the Broncos' narrow passing tree. Without a reliable third receiver, no pass-catching TE of which to speak and with backs who catch passes occasionally but no one who specializes in it a la Theo Riddick or James White, the Broncos essentially target two players regularly every week: Thomas and Sanders. For that reason, even when the team had an elite defense and a below-average first-year starter in Trevor Siemian, Sanders (even with Thomas opposite him) saw 137 targets. At 5-11, 180, Sanders is small, but he's fast (4.40 40), exceptionally quick, runs good routes and has good hands. Despite his diminutive stature, Sanders saw plenty of red-zone work (22 targets, 4th), but caught only three TDs in that area. Sanders didn't make many big plays (13.1 YPC, 7.5 YPT, 12 catches of 20-plus and two of 40 or more), but that's likely on the Broncos quarterbacks as Sanders had six 40-plus plays with Peyton Manning's decaying carcass the prior year. The Broncos will again enter Week 1 with Siemian under center, but he'll be more experienced this time around, and new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy could add some life to the passing attack. The Broncos also drafted rookie speedster Carlos Henderson and signed Jamaal Charles, but neither should hugely impact Sanders' targets.
Like teammate Demaryius Thomas, Sanders' production fell off last year due to the precipitous decline in quarterback play from Peyton Manning. Sanders still managed 14.9 YPC and 8.3 YPT (a far cry from his 10.0 YPT in 2014) and, like Thomas, scored six TDs, only on 40 fewer targets and 12 fewer red-zone ones. Sanders increased his catches of 40-plus yards (six last year, four in 2014), but, more significantly, his catches of 20-plus decreased from 24 to 12. At 5-11, 180, with 4.40 speed, excellent quickness and good hands, Sanders is still capable of big plays, but the Broncos' offense was decidedly less explosive in 2015. While Mark Sanchez – or whoever gets the bulk of the team's snaps this year – will be a major upgrade from 2015 Manning; the days of the record-shattering Broncos offense are long gone. And if the Broncos' defense is anywhere near as good as last year's, Denver might find itself running more. Nonetheless, there's little depth beyond Thomas and Sanders, so a repeat of something approaching last year's target volume is likely.
Improvement from Sanders was expected in his new environment, but hardly to this extent. Paired with Peyton Manning, Sanders finished fourth in the league with 101 receptions, tied for third for catches of 20 or more yards (24), fifth in YPT and fifth in receiving yards. The 5-11, 180-pounder also saw 20 red-zone targets (T-10th) and 10 targets inside the 10 (T-7th). Manning and the Broncos aren't shy about using small, quick receivers from in close as they did with Wes Welker in 2013, and Sanders is essentially a younger version with more long speed (4.40 40) and explosiveness. Sanders' opportunity and red-zone upside are capped by playing opposite a target monster in Demaryius Thomas, and there's some chance Manning will drop off at age 39. But unless second-year man Cody Latimer takes a huge leap forward, the Broncos suddenly lack depth at receiver, and Sanders is virtually assured a sizable piece of the Denver passing game. The acquisition of injury-prone Owen Daniels to replace the departed Julius Thomas at tight end probably won't affect Sanders much, either.
Sanders enters a crowded situation in Denver with Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas the favorites to see most of Peyton Manning’s targets. But last year there was plenty of room for those three and Eric Decker, and now there’s a 136-target void to be filled. Sanders should see at least some of those targets, though the Broncos also drafted Cody Latimer in the second round. At 5-11, 180 and running a 4.40, Sanders is small, fast and quick, a completely different style of receiver than Decker and as such probably won’t see many of Decker’s 23 red-zone targets. But anyone projected for a significant role in Peyton Manning’s passing game needs to be considered, and should something happen to the 33-year old Welker, Sanders would be the favorite to take on his role.
With the departure of Mike Wallace, Sanders stands to inherit the Antonio Brown role. The problem is Brown is still around, and no one on the team is Wallace. At 5-11, 180, Sanders along with Brown are likely to form the smallest tandem of receivers in the league. Sanders runs a 4.4 40, and he’s got good quickness, so like Brown he's dangerous in the open field. But neither is suited to red-zone work, and with tight end Heath Miller still recovering from a major late-season knee injury, we'd have to think other receivers will be involved when the team gets near the goal line. Of course, third-round draft pick, Markus Wheaton, is yet another small, quick wideout in the Brown/Sanders mold, so maybe the Steelers are bucking the big-receiver trend on purpose.
A foot injury cost Sanders five games last year, but by that point he had already been supplanted by Antonio Brown as Ben Roethlisberger’s co-favorite receiver (along with Mike Wallace). At 5-11, 180, Sanders is small, but he’s got excellent speed, running a 4.4 40 at the NFL Combine a couple years ago and good quickness. With Hines Ward retiring and Wallace unhappy, Sanders could have an opening to take on a more significant role. But chances are he opens the year as the team’s No. 3 receiver.
Taken in the third round last year, Sanders progressed as the season went on, emerging as the team's third receiver behind Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. At 5-11, 180, Sanders has plenty of speed, but his lack of size limits his red-zone upside, and Wallace is the team's first option for stretching the field. Sanders broke his foot in the Super Bowl but is expected to be healthy for the start of training camp.
The speedy Sanders was taken in the third round of the 2010 draft. Considering the depth the organization has at the receiver position, he'll at best battle Atwaan Randle El for the third receiver spot. The number three spot served Mike Wallace well in 2009 (756 yards, 6 touchdowns), but with the team expected to run the ball a bit more this year, odds are whoever wins the day for the third receiver role will not match Wallace's output from last year.
More Fantasy News
Emerged as No. 1 target in 2018
WRDenver Broncos
January 3, 2019
Sanders (Achilles) caught 71 of 98 targets for 868 yards and four touchdowns during an injury-shortened 2018 campaign. He added 53 yards and a touchdown on four carries and threw a 28-yard touchdown pass during the season.
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Aiming for Week 1
WRDenver Broncos
December 31, 2018
Sanders (Achilles) is confident he will be ready for Week 1 of 2019, saying Monday, "I'll be making plays for somebody," Ryan O'Halloran of The Denver Post reports.
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Hoping for 6-8 months of recovery
WRDenver Broncos
December 7, 2018
Sanders (Achilles) had successful surgery Thursday and is now facing a rehab timeline of 6-to-8 months, James Palmer of NFL Network reports.
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Lands on IR
WRDenver Broncos
December 5, 2018
The Broncos placed Sanders (Achilles) on injured reserve Wednesday.
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Likely dealing with torn Achilles
WRDenver Broncos
December 5, 2018
The Broncos believe Sanders suffered a torn left Achilles' tendon during Wednesday's practice, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
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