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Finally, we can start talking some fantasy football! For those of you not participating only in Bronco homer leagues, this post may be useful. There are value picks for the Broncos that we should all consider during our live drafts over the next five weeks.
I say value picks, because only a total homer or those in non-competitive leagues would consider drafting any player on this roster in the first round. Blasphemy, I know. However, when you combine a new coach, new scheme, a myriad of new players you will have tons of unknowns going into the season and since so much is riding on the first few picks of a fantasy drafts it is best to draft the known quantities over the unknown one's.
That said, we all know our Broncos very well, while non-Broncos fans only hear about how much our team stinks, which means picking up key Broncos players in later rounds could be the difference maker for you this season.
Top Fantasy Prospects By Position
In this section I will give you my top prospects for each offensive position and where I'd target them in a standard 15 round fantasy draft.
This is the one position where you are going to run into a bonehead - and every league will have one - who thinks Tim Tebow will be scoring all the touchdowns based simply on the hype. That said, if Mr. Tebow is still hanging around by the middle rounds feel free to snatch him up.
As for Kyle Orton, he would be the perfect pick up as your #2 quarterback. The Main Stream Media has all but assured he will go unnoticed until later rounds. The only thing that might get in the way will be that most fantasy league websites will have him listed in the top half of quarterbacks based on stats alone, so keep an eye on the available quarterbacks and if Kyle Orton begins to get near the top then snatch him up! He will produce by virtue of being at the peak of his ability and career.
Once again, we're dealing with a bunch of unknowns here. Is Knowshon Moreno going to have a break out year? Will Willis McGahee take all of the touchdowns? Or will LenDale White? Hell, even Lance Ball might do something. Unless it's your last pick of the draft, stay really far away from all of the Broncos running backs! The cool thing is, most will do the same and by Week 1 you should have an idea of which running back is going to be the touchdown scorer - then and only then should you be scouring the waiver wire.
Personally, I never draft a wide receiver in the first two, sometimes three, rounds. They just don't get enough touches in a game to have any real value to me in fantasy football leagues. That bodes well for Broncos fans though, cause Brandon Lloyd should be right around that two to three round range. He is a play maker and is a perfect #1 wide receiver.
Eddie Royal is another guy that could return to his rookie year form and would be a worthwhile pickup in from rounds seven to ten. If by some chance you miss out on both the top two Broncos wide receiver, then Eric Decker would be a solid gain in the latest rounds for spelling your starters during the Bye weeks.
There are only two tight ends worth looking at from the Broncos. Daniel Fells is a late round prospect and a proven tight end in this league. However, from what I've heard from those at training camp so far, Julius Thomas is going to be something special. You could probably pick up Thomas as the last pick in the draft and find yourself a solid #2 tight end.
If you want Matt Prater, you will need to take him not long after the fifth round (jump the gun at your own peril) as by that point you will have your starting quarterback, both running backs and both wide receivers. He is in the thin air of Denver and has a huge leg, people are not stupid - Prater will be gone early as far as kickers are concerned.
I saved my best for last. The Denver Broncos defense and special teams unit may just be the most valuable pick up you can make if you end up waiting too long and all the "proven" Defense/ST units are off the board. Why? For one, fantasy football doesn't count as much against this unit for yards and points, rather sacks, turnovers, and scores can more than make up for a high scoring, bad game.
The Broncos get Elvis Dumervil back, have added Von Miller and placed a massive focus on creating turnovers on defense. The front office also added a slew of return specialists, so the big play may be returning to the special teams unit as well.
For all intents and purposes, this could be your last pick of the draft as well. The risk is rather low, but if things work out and the defense improves as much as it is supposed too, then the value will more than outweigh the risk.
Dark Horse Candidate
The one guy that you could probably pick up off the waiver wires after the draft is over and score you a ton of points would be Julius Thomas. Naturally, it's only been about a week or so, but if he continues to progress the way he has we could be looking at a touchdown scoring machine in the making.
So there you have it. Not a whole lot of safe picks, but if you maintain your patience and pick your spots you could fill several spots in your roster with quality fantasy players from your favorite football team!