Andy Benoit, the Head of Football Analysis for the 33rd Team, wrote an article taking a look at every NFL team's top "X-Factor" in the 2023 season.
For me personally, an X-Factor is, in this case, a player who is very talented and can get you positive stuff out of nowhere by making a big impact on their team or on a specific game. There are multiple players on every team that can be their "X-Factor", but in this article, only one player per team is mentioned. The player that Benoit mentions as the Denver Broncos X-Factor for the upcoming 2023-24 season is...
Fullback Michael Burton
Burton was one of multiple free agent signings by the Broncos during the offseason. To be specific, Denver signed him to a one-year, $1.3175 million deal. He is an eight-year veteran with 113 regular season games, plus nine playoff games. He played for five teams before signing with the Broncos, including the Lions, Bears, Commanders, Saints, and Chiefs. Statistically in regular season games, Burton has 28 carries, 62 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown, 18 receptions, 123 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown, and zero fumbles. In the NFL playoffs, Burton has 2 carries, 4 rushing yards, 2 receptions, and 15 receiving yards. He has also played a lot of special teams.
Regarding Burton as the Denver Broncos X-Factor for 2023, Benoit mentions the following ...
""This is less about Michael Burton and more about what he represents: Sean Payton's commitment to base personnel. For years, people thought of Payton's Saints as a wide-open, aggressive, high-octane offense. But they were just an extremely balanced and proficient offense. It started with featuring a variety of base personnel, including the fullback.""- Andy Benoit, The 33rd Team
For me, Burton is a very versatile player, that can be used in multiple scenarios. He is more of a blocking guy but can help with rushing in short-yardage plays. I think that Burton was a great signing for the Broncos, as he reunites with Sean Payton, who he played in over 20% of New Orleans' snaps in 15 regular season games and two playoff games. He brings experience and more help to Russell Wilson's offense.
Additionally, Benoit mentions the following about Sean Payton, Russell Wilson, and the usage of the fullback in modern football offenses...
""Only four teams (Baltimore, San Francisco, Oakland/Las Vegas and Atlanta) played more snaps with a fullback than Sean Payton during his 15 seasons with the Saints. Featuring a fullback (or an extra blocking tight end) is the smartest way to play with Russell Wilson. A run-heavy offense sets up the two things Wilson does best: bootlegs and downfield throws off play-action.""- Andy Benoit, The 33rd Team
Can Burton really be an X-Factor for the Denver Broncos in 2023?