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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Team Talk: Denver Broncos

We've got Adam Filadelfo running two-a-days here at the Brain.  Today it's Dallas and Denver, and the Broncos are up!  Please follow Adam over on Twitter: @Frostt24.

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Everything was looking great for the Broncos last season until one blown assignment happened and Denver found themselves watching the rest of the playoffs from home. This year they reloaded and Peyton starts the season more than a whole year removed from multiple neck surgeries. The Broncos look to finish what they started last year.

Peyton Manning - Regardless if Peyton wins another playoff game or not, he's still a top three quarterback for fantasy. With plenty of weapons at his disposal, Peyton should continue to rack up fantasy points for his owners. With another year in the same offense plus the additions of Wes Welker and Montee Ball, it's possible to think Peyton can be even better in 2013. I wouldn't rule out 40 touchdown passes this year... Just look at who he has to throw to.

Demaryius Thomas - Thomas is a physical specimen. He's big and athletic and he can get downfield in a hurry. He's a threat between the 20's as well as the red zone. He was good before Manning got to Denver and with another year together and a fully healthy Peyton, the sky is the limit for Thomas.  Draft him as your number one with confidence.

Eric Decker - Call him option 1B. Decker saw his share of red zone targets last year and should see another fair amount this year as well. Some are worried that the acquisition of Welker could cut into Decker's targets but even if it does, he should have another fine season with Peyton throwing to him. I'd draft Decker without worrying about his loss of targets knowing that he has the chance to score double digit touchdowns again.

Wes Welker - How lucky is Welker? First he gets to catch passes from Tom Brady and now he gets targets from Peyton Manning. Welker is getting up there in age but can still produce at an elite level. He's gold in PPR leagues and will catch 90 balls in that offense. There is a legitimate concern that there are too many mouths to feed but Peyton Manning will find a way to distribute the ball. The plethora of receivers in Denver shouldn't cut into Welker's production. He's signed for two years and he should be just as effective for Denver as he was for New England.

Montee Ball - Ball was an absolute beast at Wisconsin so naturally it is believed he will succeed at the next level as well. He has all the talent to be the workhorse in Denver but still hasn't emerged with the starting job. With Ronnie Hilman and Knowshon Moreno still pushing Ball for the job, the Denver backfield looks a little crowded right now. Ultimately I think Ball emerges as the lead back and could be drafted in middle rounds of your draft.

Ronnie Hilman/Knowshon Moreno -  In the end, one of these two backs ends up being the backup to Ball. Which one is the question? I'm not taking either just for that reason. It's not worth guessing which will win the backup job. If you draft in a week, it's possible that question is answered but I believe Montee Ball is the only back to own in Denver.  (Note from Dave: This is one where Adam and I disagree.  Ronnie Hillman is listed as the starter right now and he is better in pass protection than Ball and a better runner than Moreno.  It will be a 3-headed monster, but I personally believe that Hillman has the best draft-day value.)

D/ST - The defense saw a steady climb in drafts earlier in the offseason. But then the defense started to take their hits. First there was an error regarding the contract of Elvis Dumervil that caused him to leave for Baltimore. Then there was the six game suspension to Von Miller. Suddenly this defense doesn't look as appealing. They should still be an effective fantasy defense but they aren't going as high in fantasy drafts anymore. Play them every week but you may want to draft another defense in case the losses to them start to take their toll.