We are now on the Denver Broncos in the 2018 Fantasy Football Team Previews.
It really was not all that long ago that this was one of the best teams in the NFL. In fact, it was just the 2015 -16 season that they won the Super Bowl.
The Broncos have been a different team since though. The departure of Peyton Manning has brought on quite a carousel of quarterbacks including Brock Osweiler, Trevor Siemian and Mark Sanchez and more. None have gotten the job done and the offense has struggled, getting worse every season since.
The defense has been top notch still, so if the offense can be even average this team can make a playoff run.
2018 Fantasy Football Denver Broncos Preview
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Case Keenum finished in the top 10 of PFF grades pic.twitter.com/YMemSw2hsR
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) January 10, 2018
I opened talking about the quarterback position being a huge problem for the Broncos over the last two seasons. The Broncos made that their number one priority this offseason by signing Case Keenum.
Finally on a good team last season, Keenum shocked everybody by leading the Vikings to an 11-3 record in the games he started and took them to the NFC Championship game.
Keenum completed a season-high 67.6 percent of his passes for 3,547 yards, 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Compare that the combination of quarterbacks who started for the Broncos and he was better in every category except touchdowns. Remember Keenum didn't start the season as the starting quarterback either, he played in 15 games and started 14, so he could have easily thrown for the 111 more yards needed to match the Broncos season passing yard total if he played a full 16 games.
Royce Freeman's path to the 2018 NFL Draft pic.twitter.com/b4xGfEBwHO
— PFF College (@PFF_College) March 30, 2018
This is easily the most volatile position the Broncos have. They let lead back C.J. Anderson go this offseason after yet another lack-luster year. This moved Devontae Booker to take over as the No. 1 back, but for how long? Booker did not exactly light the world on fire when given the chance. His 3.6 yards per carry proves that there is a lot of work for him to do. However, he did have 8.8 yards per reception when used in that role.
In moves Royce Freeman who the Broncos drafted this year in the third round. He was super productive in college, rushing for an Oregon school record 5,621 yards and 60 touchdowns. I could see him easily taking over as the lead back, over Booker, but I expect this to be a committee for most if not the entire season.
Henderson is kind of the dark horse here. Another very productive college player, he did not get much work last season so the book is still out on him. However, I would keep an eye on him in case Booker and Freeman falter.
My prediction is Freeman takes the first and second down role with Booker being the primary passing-down back. This is not a knock on Freeman's pass-catching ability, in fact, he was good at that too, but Booker is one of the better pass-blocking running backs, which is always valuable.
Whatever happens, the Broncos running game is likely to be used a lot and be successful. Offensive Coordinator Bill Musgrave is known for having good rushing attacks in his coaching career.
The most stable part of the Broncos offense over the last few years has been the Wide Receivers. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders were both elite fantasy receivers, especially after they put up a combined 3,000 yards receiving in 2014. Since the 2015 season they have not been as reliable, especially in the touchdown department. Much of that is thanks to the quarterbacks as I mentioned above.
However, some of the blame has to go to each of them as well. Thomas is not even close to the same player after the catch anymore and that is key since they still run a lot of the receiver screens to him. Sanders might have been close to
Still, I fully expect both of them to have bounce-back seasons now that they have a capable quarterback under center. Thomas can easily get back to his 1,000-yard seasons and catch 95-100 passes. While Sanders can get back to his 75-80 catches with 1,000 yards as well. Touchdowns are always hard to predict, but expect an increase over the combined seven they had last season.
Rookie Courtland Sutton should be able to make an impact right away for the Broncos. He is profiled as a possession receiver who can catch just about anything that gets thrown his way. It is unlikely he makes a huge impact in fantasy though as the will be third fiddle on the receiver depth chart easily and even with Peyton Manning in Denver, the Broncos have not been able to support three receivers in being viable options. I have him listed as the slot guy right now, but you could see him take the outside and Sanders move to the slot. This does not change things with his production though.
- Jeff Heuerman
- Jake Butt
The Denver Broncos Tight End position is not a strong one and can easily be ignored in Fantasy drafts.
Heuerman is listed atop the depth chart but only caught 18 passes last season. He was not known as a pass-catching tight end in college either.
Butt has the most potential and is the one you will want to keep an eye on post-draft in Fantasy Football leagues. The 2016 Mackey Award winner sat out last year with injury concerns but should be ready to roll
Good news is Keenum is not afraid to throw to his tight end. Kyle Rudolph was very productive last season with Keenum there. So Butt could wind up being a great in-season addition.
The Broncos looks like they could be a very improved team coming off a five-win season, worst mark since 2010 and 1990 before that.
The Vegas over-under is 7.5 wins and I expect them to beat that and even contend for a playoff spot in an AFC West that is as wide open as any division in football.
Visit the F6P Fantasy Football Draft Kit Page for more advice to get you prepared for the 2018 season.
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