Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Fantasy Football Today Blog
Gameday Inactives
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Scores
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
Fantasy Baseball Today Blog
2015 Draft Prep Guide
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Fantasy outlooks: Denver Broncos

Senior Fantasy Writer
  •  

The Broncos have three significant questions entering training camp at quarterback, running back and No. 2 wide receiver. The answers could lead to significant Fantasy options in the majority of leagues.

At quarterback, new Broncos coach John Fox has to decide if Tim Tebow showed enough in three starts last season to remain the starter this year ahead of Kyle Orton. Early indications are mixed since Fox appears to be leaning toward the veteran in Orton, but executive vice president John Elway might want Tebow to start since he's the potential future of the franchise.

There's still a chance Orton could be traded, and Brady Quinn is also in the mix to start, although he's a longshot to win the job. It should be a fun battle to watch during camp, and Fantasy owners should hope Tebow wins the job because he offers the most upside.

At running back, Knowshon Moreno should be considered a solid No. 2 Fantasy running back if he remains the starter. Fox built a strong running game in Carolina, and Moreno has proven he can be an every-down back with at least 1,100 total yards, eight total touchdowns and an average of 32 catches in each of his first two seasons.

But the Broncos might bring in a veteran rusher to compete with Moreno, and that will lower his value. He won't be replaced, but he could be relegated to a third-down role, which would drop him from a No. 2 Fantasy option to more of a key reserve or flex.

And at wide receiver, Brandon Lloyd established himself as the No. 1 option in the passing game, but the depth chart is unknown after that. There are four candidates for the No. 2 spot in Eric Decker, Jabar Gaffney, Demaryius Thomas and Eddie Royal, and the Broncos will have to sort out who starts opposite Lloyd.

We expect Decker to win the job ahead of Gaffney, with Thomas coming off an injury and Royal more of a slot receiver. But we'll have to wait to see if Fox feels the same way before finalizing our board on Draft Day.

Sleeper ... Tim Tebow, QB

Fantasy Value Chart
Player Draft Day value
Quarterbacks
Tim Tebow
Kyle Orton
Running Backs
Knowshon Moreno
Correll Buckhalter
Lance Ball
Wide Receivers
Brandon Lloyd
Eric Decker
Jabar Gaffney
Eddie Royal
Demaryius Thomas
Tight Ends
Julius Thomas
Richard Quinn
Kicker/DST
Matt Prater
Broncos DST

Orton would be a solid No. 2 Fantasy quarterback if he wins the starting job, but Tebow has a higher ceiling based on his play last year. In 2010, Tebow started the final three games of his rookie season with Orton out with a rib injury and performed well for Fantasy owners. Tebow had at least 24 Fantasy points in a standard league in all three outings. He finished with 651 passing yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions, with 199 rushing yards and three touchdowns in that span. His ability to run and throw makes him an excellent stat producer. We would consider him a high-end No. 2 Fantasy quarterback if he's the starter, and he would be worth drafting with a mid-round pick. But if Orton gets the job back and Tebow is the backup, then he wouldn't be worth drafting in the majority of leagues.

Bust ... Brandon Lloyd, WR

Lloyd had an amazing season in 2010 when he was the No. 1 receiver in standard Fantasy leagues with 77 catches for 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns on 153 targets. He had 203 Fantasy points in standard formats, and now we'll find out what he can do for an encore in a contract year. With Lloyd, there's good and bad. The good: He's the no-doubt No. 1 receiver for Denver, he plays in a weak division and should be motivated for a new deal. The bad: He's never produced like this before in eight seasons and is known as an underachiever, his offense will be more run-based with Fox calling the shots compared to Josh McDaniels and there's no firm commitment to a quarterback by the Broncos. The safe option is to let Lloyd fall to you on Draft Day. He has the chance for another quality season, but he could easily turn into a one-year wonder, which is why some owners won't touch him. If you don't overvalue Lloyd and let him fall to you in the right spot on Draft Day – say around Round 5 or 6 – then you could end up with a solid pick. But don't be the guy on Draft Day who says Lloyd is a must-own Fantasy option based on his play last year because repeating those stats again are unlikely.

Late-round flier ... Eric Decker, WR

Decker is hoping to make more of an impact in his sophomore campaign than he did as a rookie when he was limited to six catches for 106 yards and one touchdown, missing time early due to his recovery from a broken foot. Decker has the potential to start for the Broncos this year opposite Lloyd, especially with Thomas (Achilles' tendon) sidelined to open the year. We like Decker as a sleeper in deep leagues if he can earn a starting job ahead of Gaffney. He has plenty of upside, but he has to prove himself first, especially with Denver's offense changing under Fox. But Decker could easily see a significant amount of targets in his direction, and he's worth drafting with a late-round pick in deeper leagues.

Schedule breakdown

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
OAK CIN @TEN @GB SD bye @MIA DET @OAK @KC NYJ @SD @MIN CHI NE @BUF KC

The Broncos have the chance to start the season on the right foot with consecutive home games against mediocre opponents in Oakland and Cincinnati and a relatively easy road game at Tennessee. We'll find out early on if Denver's offense can move the ball against those defenses because it gets progressively tougher over the next four games, especially for a run-based team, against Green Bay, San Diego, Miami and Detroit. The Broncos also have a tough stretch against the Jets, at San Diego, at Minnesota, home against Chicago and home against New England starting in Week 11. If they come out of those matchups in good shape then the Fantasy championship game will look nice at Buffalo.

Training camp topics

2010 Touches Leaders
Player Touches
Knowshon Moreno 219
Correll Buckhalter 87
Brandon Lloyd 78
Eddie Royal 65
Jabar Gaffney 65

Fox doesn't have much to do in his first training camp with the Broncos. Just pick a starting quarterback, establish a running game, find a starting wide receiver and improve a defense that was among the worst in the NFL last season. That's all.

As we've established, Fantasy owners need to monitor the quarterback, running back and No. 2 wide receiver spots heading into Draft Day. The Broncos also are hoping rookie tight end Julius Thomas steps up during training camp because the Portland State standout could be the next basketball player to turn into a Fantasy star like Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham. He is someone to monitor in keeper and dynasty leagues.

There could be a lot of change in Denver as the year goes on, so don't be surprised if players like Gaffney, Thomas or Royal end up starting for you or a running back who is not yet on the roster. Coming off a 4-12 season in 2010, the Broncos are rebuilding and Fantasy owners need to pay attention to all the potential moving parts.

Injury update

Demaryius Thomas (Achilles' tendon; doubtful for the start of training camp) ... Eddie Royal (hip; probable for the start of training camp) … Matt Prater (groin; probable for the start of training camp) … Elvis Dumervil (chest; probable for the start of training camp)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can also follow Jamey at @jameyeisenberg . Do you have a question or a comment for our Fantasy staff? Drop us a line at dmfantasyfootball@cbs.com .

Get player news notifications, manage your team and check scores
- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

  •  
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Vikings pick up fifth-year options on LT Kalil, S Smith
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(11:41 am ET) The Vikings announced Monday they have picked up the fifth-year options on left tackle Matt Kalil and safety Harrison Smith, ensuring them one more year of control over a pair of potential difference makers, per ProFootballTalk.com. 

Picking up Smith's option was a simple one for the Vikings, as he picked up 92 tackles and grabbed five interceptions for Minnesota last season. He's scheduled to make $5.278 million next year. 

Kalil was a more difficult decision, as the former No. 4 pick has struggled after a strong start. His salary would be over $11 million in 2016. 


Alex Carrington meeting with Bills on Monday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:38 am ET) Free-agent defensive tackle Alex Carrington is visiting the Bills on Monday, the team announced.

Carrington played his first four seasons with the Bills. In 2014, he played for the Rams and registered one tackle in eight games.


Colts' Irsay would like to win two champions during Andrew Luck era
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:29 am ET) Colts owner Jim Irsay said the franchise's goal is to win at least two Super Bowls while quarterback Andrew Luck is in Indianapolis, reports the team's official website.

Irsay added that the team is trying to achive continued success on a yearly basis and this year's draft will help the team become more successful.

"When you look at that, we look at how do we build this roster over the next three years to really be able to go on a run where you can win two Super Bowls in a row, when you can really be dominant," he said. "Again, that's working on all phases of the ball."


Cowboys' Brandon Carr not willing to discuss potential pay cut
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:14 am ET) Cowboys cornerback Brandon Carr would not comment on whether the team has asked him to take a pay cut or not, reports The Dallas Morning News.

"Some things I don't discuss out in public," Carr said. "This is one of those."

Carr will count $12.7 million against the cap during the 2015 season if he does not restructure his contract and he declined to say if he'd be willing to lessen the amount.

"I'm still here,'' he said. "I'm here until told otherwise. That's my philosophy. At the end of the day, if I'm playing football then I'm going to give my all for whoever I'm playing for."


Colts waive four, including RB Jeff Demps
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(11:08 am ET) The Colts announced Monday they have waived four players, including running back Jeff Demps, who was never able to translate his world-class speed into the NFL. 

In addition to Demps, the Colts released WR Kadron Boone, DE Gannon Conway and OT Matt Hall


Falcons turn attention to extension for Julio Jones
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(11:06 am ET) With the NFL draft completed, Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff said signing wide receiver Julio Jones is a priority for the team, reports ESPN.com.

"There is no question that our focus in the future will be on Julio Jones and where we are," Dimitroff said. "I don't want to get into specifics about the timing of that, obviously. But now that the draft is over and we continue to build this football team, we understand that Julio is a very important part of our building and evolving as a championship-type team."

Jones is a two-time Pro Bowl player and can become a free agent after the 2015 season. Jones has had to deal with foot issues during his career, which Dimitroff said wasn't an issue.

"That's not my concern right now," Dimitroff said. "That's not my concern, period."


Vikings CB Antone Exum ready to make an impact
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(10:53 am ET) The Vikings did not select a safety during last week's NFL Draft, which opens the door for second-year man Antone Exum to step in and produce, per the Pioneer Press

Exum, who was taken in the sixth round last year and only participated in 16 plays from scrimmage, could battle safety Robert Blanton for the position, but is willing to be either a strong or free safety. 

"So whatever I'm asked to play, I will be ready," Exum said. "I take pride in work ethic and not being outworked, and this offseason I've been attacking."


Seahawks decline to exercise Bruce Irvin's option
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(10:19 am ET) Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin will become an unrestricted free agent in 2016 after the team decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie contract for the 2016 season, reports the Seattle Times.

The Seahawks would've owed Irvin $7.8 million had they picked up the option. Despite not picking up the option, coach Pete Carroll had previously said Irvin is in the team's long-term plans.

"If we pick up Bruce's option it's a great thing, if we don't pick up Bruce's option it only means we aren't picking it up... We want him to be here for a long time," Carroll said. 


Redskins release LB Gabe Miller
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:29 am ET) The Redskins released linebacker Gabe Miller, reports ESPN.com. In seven games last season, Miller totaled four tackles.

Bucs decline fifth-year option on RB Doug Martin
by Elliott Smith | Staff Writer
(9:17 am ET) The Buccaneers will not pick up the fifth-year option on running back Doug Martin, meaning he will be an unrestricted free agent in 2016, per the Tampa Tribune. 

Martin rushed for 1,454 yards in 2012, but since then has battled injury and ineffectiveness, falling short of 500 yards in each of the last two seasons. 

Martin remains in line to be Tampa Bay's No. 1 rusher at the start of 2015, but he will have to prove himself in order to be rewarded with a new contract. 


 
 
 
Rankings