QB is still a question mark, but the Broncos have a nice stable of playmakers.
2016 Review: Although the Denver Broncos were coming off a Super Bowl victory, the 2016 season began with much doubt considering the dilemma at the QB position. Ironically, their biggest weakness in 2016 was their run offense. The Broncos offensive line grounded their…well…ground game. The Broncos were among the worst teams in the league in rushing yards per game (92.8) and total yards (323.1). By season’s end, only their two top WRs were really worth owning.
2017 Changes: With Kubiak leaving due to health concerns, the job now belongs to former Dolphins D Coordinator, Vance Joseph. Joseph was a surprise hire considering the team really needed more focus on offense than defense. Denver desperately needed to improve on the offensive line and they did so drafting Garett Bolles to play left tackle in the first round of the draft and signing former Raider Menelik Watson and Cowboy Ron Leary. As far as fantasy value goes for playmaker positions, they didn’t add too much. Well besides from division foe Jamaal Charles on a “prove yourself” contract. The Charles signing was intriguing, but perhaps the biggest addition to the ground game is a healthy CJ Anderson.
2017 Outlook: Trevor Siemian showed some potential as a starter in the league, but lacked that week-to-week consistency to really make this an above average offense. The rumor mill seems to suggest that Paxon Lynch hasn’t progressed as quickly as some had hoped, so it seems to be the former Northwestern QBs job to lose at this point. The running game honestly couldn’t have been much worse last season once Anderson was out, so the Broncos could easily improve overall as a unit with the return of Anderson and some much needed additions to the line.
Fantasy Star You Can Trust: Emmanuel Sanders quietly produces around top 20 WR numbers even after the “Peyton in his prime” era and he’s honestly the safest week-to-week play at WR for Denver. Sanders is currently going in the late 50’s on Yahoo, so that means he can fall as late as the 6th or even 7th round. Snagging a solid WR2 that late is certainly a nice value.
Biggest Potential Bust: It’s not that I don’t like Demaryius Thomas…he’s a beast. The problem is that you can get pretty much the same value as Thomas on the same team several rounds later in the draft. Thomas is currently going around 34th overall in fantasy leagues meaning you have to use a late 3rd round pick. I’d prefer to wait a few more rounds for another solid WR2 in my opinion. Considering the QB iffiness in Denver, I don’t want to use an extremely high pick on WR. Especially one that is more of a feast or famine option than Sanders.
Best Sleeper: CJ Anderson may not be a deep sleeper, but considering he’s going as far back as in the 60’s on Yahoo mock drafts means he’s being undervalued. Anderson is worst case scenario a solid RB2 that can be a weekly starter. Sure their line was bad last year and sure there is a lot of competition for carries in that backfield, but Anderson should be taken before the start of the 5th round of drafts and right now he really isn’t being taken that high.
Most Overrated Sleeper: Both Denver backup RBs (Booker and Charles) should not be considered before the 10th round of the draft. Booker was simply bad last year despite getting feature back looks and Jamaal Charles may have torn his ACL just reading this article. Either way I’d only use a very late pick on the Denver handcuff this year.
One Interesting Stat: In 2013, Peyton Manning threw 55 TD passes. In 2014, Manning threw 39 TD passes. In the last two seasons, four different QBs have combined for a total of 39 TD passes.
Most Intriguing Storyline: As cliche as it gets with the below average NFL offenses, I’m most interested in seeing if Denver can discover an established QB this year to move forward with.
One Thing I Was Right About (Last Year): I thought both Sanders and Thomas would still have nice value right around where both respectively were drafted.
One Thing I Was Wrong About: I thought CJ Anderson would finish the season a RB1. He was obviously hurt and not consistent when he was healthy last season.
One Final Thought: Emmanuel Sanders cheated on her?