First, we'll take a look into the overall fantasy rankings and get an idea if the Denver Broncos were dissed or not. I hate to start that way, but when you have ESPN personalities putting Connor Barth on their ultimate 53-man roster and no other Bronco you start to get a little sensitive to it.
Fortunately, the guys over at SB Nation were kind. With 32 teams in the NFL, I hoped to see at least two Broncos in the top 32. We got three. Demaryius Thomas ranked 9th overall, with C.J. Anderson right behind him. Emmanuel Sanders came in at 30th.
The part that made me raise my eyebrow was Peyton Manning way down at 47th a few spots lower than Russell Wilson who was at 44th. Still, that was good for 4th best rated quarterback on their list so I can live with that.
Fantasy-wise you would be smart to pick up at least one of the big three in the passing game. Manning will get his 35 touchdown passes, so that will never hurt your team. If not, having Demaryius Thomas or Emmanuel Sanders would be a viable option as well. The Denver Broncos offense is going to score points and those two wide recievers are going to catch a lot of touchdowns.
If there was any doubt that people around the league hold Demaryius Thomas in high regard, let this remove that doubt. All but one of the SB Nation fantasy guru's had Thomas ranked between 2-4 on their wide receiver rankings. Overall, he came in at 3rd best rated wide receiver. Well worth your first round pick. Emmanuel Sanders came in a solid 14th and if he is still around in the 3rd or 4th round and you missed out on Thomas, then snatch him up!
As for C.J. Anderson, the hype is big on him right now and that scares me. I prefer to take guys in the first and second rounds who have established consistency. He would need to have a big year in 2015 for me to start drafting him in early rounds starting in 2016.
He graded out as the 6th best fantasy running back, so if he does somehow fall to your position in the second round he would likely be the best guy on the board at that point. Even so, if he somehow doesn't pan out and has a rough start and is replaced then Montee Ball and/or Ronnie Hillman will be readily had off the waiver wire.
Broncos Fantasy Draft Order
1A. Peyton Manning: There are very few quarterbacks in the NFL that will throw for 4000 yards and 35+ touchdowns in a season. You'll miss out on a top flight running back (if they stay healthy), but you'll get a ton of fantasy points anyway. I almost always go elite quarterback in the first round when drafting fantasy teams and that strategy has served me quite well in both free and paid leagues.
1B. Demaryius Thomas: However, there are times when a run on running backs and wide receivers leads you to believe an elite quarterback will be available in the second round. In this case, snag the best Broncos offensive weapon.
2. C.J. Anderson: I would personally only take Anderson in the second round. Not because I don't think he's going to be that good, but because I have a long standing fantasy philosophy of only drafting guys who have strung together multi-years of consistent fantasy output. And also because I have a history of drafting the first round running back that blows out their knee. I'm not about to curse CJ with that kiss of death.
3. Emmanuel Sanders: If you go elite quarterback in the first round, then you likely won't see Demaryius Thomas making it to your pick in the second. Sanders is your elite #2 wide receiver and will produce some big time games for you throughout the season.
4a. Owen Daniels: The last true "fantasy starter" on the Broncos offense late in the draft would be Daniels at tight end. He's not elite by any measure, but with Manning at quarterback you can guarantee he will see some production in 2015. If you miss out on all of the other Broncos passing office (Manning, Thomas, and Sanders) then Daniels might be the guy you want for your tight end position.
4b. Broncos Defense: The Broncos defense in 2014 was statistically sound, but lacked the big play, which conversely caused them to lack in fantasy production. This hurt them in these rankings, but they still came in as the 5th best defense/st unit ranked. I'm pretty high on the Broncos defense and will probably select them as one of the first defensive units selected in all of my drafts. The big play on defense is coming back to Denver in 2015.
There you have it. These are the Broncos I would target in my fantasy drafts this year, but I know there will likely be some breakout players on both sides of the ball that we will likely be able to pick up off the waiver wire (Cody Latimer comes to mind), but its always good to start out with the proven commodities.
What fantasy order do you put on the Broncos players here?