The Denver Broncos are the team to raid if you want to stack a bunch of players from one NFL team in fantasy football. There, I said it.
It’s the truth. Peyton Manning is going to have a hard time not being fantasy football’s best quarterback, Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas are both freaks, Montee Ball is walking into a monster role and Wes Welker is still alive.
That’s not even the end of the long list of Broncos that could make a positive impact in the fantasy realm, though. And while putting a blindfold on and throwing darts at pictures of Denver players is one fairly good way to pick which Broncos to draft, simply following our power rankings might be the best way.
All of these guys have good value and even some lesser known options might be worth drafting in 2014. But in what order should you draft Denver fantasy options? Perhaps this one:
1. Peyton Manning (Quarterback)
Manning was fantasy’s top passer by a long mile a year ago, and while that gap might shrink a bit this year, he still could take the cake. Naturally, he should out do all of his Denver counterparts and be one of fantasy football’s top scorers again in 2014.
2. Demaryius Thomas (Wide Receiver)
Thomas comes in at #2, a number he’s used to now after barely coming short of fantasy’s #1 wide receiver spot a year ago. He’s a stable weapon that could be even better now that Eric Decker is in New York. Thomas is a virtual lock for 90+ receptions, 1,400+ yards and 10+ touchdowns. That’s elite, top-5 WR production right there.
3. Montee Ball (Running Back)
In terms of value, Montee Ball might be the first Broncos player you should draft. Based off of what Knowshon Moreno did in his exact role a year ago (5th best fantasy back), the upside is clearly there for Ball to go nuts in his first full season as a starter. He’s tough to fully trust, though, while an appendectomy isn’t the best of starts. Take him as the third Broncos fantasy option off the board and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
4. Julius Thomas (Tight End)
Thomas was a mega breakout performer in 2013 and for the most part, came out of nowhere. He scored 12 touchdowns in just 14 games and took the backseat to other passing weapons often. With Eric Decker gone, he should once again chase down 10+ scores and should put up even more receptions and yardage.
5. Wes Welker (Wide Receiver)
Welker is probably headed for a slow decline at 33 years old, while what we saw last year is arguably his ceiling in this offense. With so many other mouths to feed, Welker won’t see much more than 80 balls even if he’s healthy. With that said, he can still be a PPR factor and carries WR2 upside.
6. Emmanuel Sanders (Wide Receiver)
Sanders has spent most of his career either banged up or playing inconsistent football, but there’s no denying he has the talent to go nuts in Denver. Coming off his best year yet in 2013, Sanders could stretch the field and make big plays in 2014. He’s not the most reliable WR, but he has WR3 potential in his first season with the team.
7. Ronnie Hillman (Running Back)
Hillman looked solid in Denver’s first preseason game and has the leg up for top backup duties behind starter, Montee Ball. Even as the backup, Hillman may hold weekly Flex value in this offense, while an ineffective or injured Ball would potentially put Hillman on the map as a high-end RB2 or low-end RB1. He needs to be owned in all leagues.
8. Cody Latimer (Wide Receiver)
Latimer is just a rookie, but he was a versatile, explosive weapon in college and could be a key player right away in Denver’s high voltage offense. He’s reportedly shown well in camp and could potentially push Emmanuel Sanders for playing time. That’s yet to be determined, though, so for now he comes in as Denver’s fourth best WR to own.
9. C.J. Anderson (Running Back)
I’m not high on Anderson’s talent, but he can run inside effectively and is still in the running for the top backup gig behind Montee Ball. I still think Hillman takes that gig, but anyone remotely close to a role in Denver still needs to be monitored. Anderson isn’t all that far away from having a prominent role. Truly, just one injury, really.
10. Denver Broncos (Team Defense)
Denver’s defense wasn’t atrocious at all times in 2013, but they surely lacked a consistent pass defense. Already able to stop the run and getting a healthy Von Miller back to spark the pass-rush, the unit also beefed up all over the place by adding DeMarcus Ware, T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib in free agency. It’s a lot of noise on paper, but it realistically could help translate into top-10 or even top-10 numbers.
Kicker Matt Prater would fall in 11th here, but don’t let that knock his value. He’s a darn good fantasy kicker, if those ever existed. Really, Denver’s true value runs about eight deep, unless Anderson finds himself in a huge role or wins the top backup gig. Regardless, that’s a long chain of solid value to be had. Draft accordingly.