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Vernon Davis won't have Julius Thomas' impact because he's not in the same offense. Thomas found space and mismatches in an aerial circus. Open receivers littered the field under offensive coordinator Adam Gase. It created eye-opening statistics but fell short of a championship.
Davis has regressed the last two seasons, in part, because of quarterback Colin Kaepernick's thud back to earth. That said, Davis provides a tantalizing weapon for an offense that is starting to hum. He frees coach Gary Kubiak to use two and three tight end sets. His offense works best when it runs variations off the same look with tight ends. Owen Daniels and Virgil Green produced their season's best game in the win over the Packers. Davis should only enhance the position.
The story added Davis brings unique speed, which should open the seam route that Thomas ran so well. And with a fresh start and a veteran quarterback in Peyton Manning, Davis could re-emerge as a red-zone threat. He may need some time to learn the new system, but is worth a pickup if you're looking to upgrade the position and given Manning's success throwing to the position over his career.
Owen Daniels and Virgil Green appear locked in on the top two spots, and depending on the frequency at which the Broncos use certain personnel groups, could both end up with play counts that reflect being starters. It was appropriate that their contracts were finalized within 24 hours of each other in free agency, because the two are best viewed as a collective as the Broncos work to build a deep tight end complement after Julius Thomas left for the Jaguars and Jacob Tamme joined the Falcons in free agency.
If both Daniels and Green play starter's snaps, then it's not going to leave much playing time for Cody Latimer as the team's WR3. Marlon Brown (40%) and Kamar Aiken (26%) didn't play enough to be fantasy relevant under Kubiak last year. However, things could change if Latimer makes a leap in training camp.
Daniels and Green appear locked in on the top two spots, and depending on the frequency at which the Broncos use certain personnel groups, could both end up with play counts that reflect being starters.
Julius Thomas, who scored 24 touchdowns the last two years, left for Jacksonville. We rank Daniels 16th on our TE list, but project him for only about 5 TDs this season. While Daniels has the experience in Gary Kubiak's offense, and Green the experience with QB Peyton Manning the last four years, the story points out the job description for the tight ends is a bit different than it was the last three seasons - there'll be a bit more blocking involved. Daniels ADP is the 12th round, however. Compared to those around him, that's about three rounds earlier than Kyle Rudolph and Tyler Eifert who are ranked ahead of Daniels on our list.
Friday, November 28, 2014, 6:04pm
Broncos TE Virgil Green (calf, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 13.
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