Broncos Fantasy News
Panthers de-emphasizing zone read
Tuesday, June 18, 2013, 9:25am
The Panthers did not run a lot of zone read during OTAs, and it appears the option package will be de-emphasized under first-year offensive coordinator Mike Shula.
Third-year quarterback Cam Newton looks comfortable running a more user-friendly offense.
This could all mean a bit of a drop in Newton's fantasy rushing production, as it seems the Panthers want him to run a little less. He has 1,447 yards rushing and 22 rushing TDs over his first two years. That also means a possible bump up in value for RBs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. We still rank Newton third among our QBs and have him available in the fourth round along with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
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Broncos release Willis McGahee
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 10:55am
With McGahee gone, Montee Ball is the logical option as the team's main ballcarrier, but HC John Fox has always favored veterans over rookies when given the choice, so this still may become a muddled RBBC with Ball, Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno all in the mix. Keep in mind that Hillman has been first in line for reps at minicamp, but that's probably just a courtesy. He figures to serve as a change-of-pace back in 2013. Peyton Manning recently said that the team is going to count on Ball 'in a big way' in 2013. We definitely like Ball more with this news, though Hillman will be a factor. Consider Ball a RB2 with upside. McGahee could have some value if he lands in a great situation.
Danny Amendola has "clear rapport" with Tom Brady
Thursday, June 13, 2013, 9:35am
WR Danny Amendola has established himself atop the Patriots' receiving group. He's been as advertised: shifty, quick, dynamic with the ball in space and with enough speed to stress a defense vertically. There's a clear rapport between him and Tom Brady. The Patriots moved quickly to sign Amendola after it appeared Wes Welker was closing in on a deal with the Broncos, and it's easy to see Welker-like qualities in Amendola's game. His underneath route-work is reminiscent of Welker.
No surprise here. If healthy, Amendola should be a PPR monster, but he's not likely to have as much value in standard formats. Staying injury-free is key.
Willis McGahee returns to practice, gets limited reps
Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 10:26am
McGahee, who has stayed away from the bulk of the team's offseason program while working out in Miami, reported with the other Broncos players Monday night for this week's three-day minicamp. In the Broncos' offseason program all but this week's minicamp is voluntary for players, but this week is a mandatory affair.
McGahee got only a few plays in team drills — he called it "a couple" — and largely spent the day as a spectator.
Prior to the draft, GM John Elway said that McGahee 'is our big back right now.' The 'right now' is/was key, because the team took Ball in the 2nd round of the draft, and as a result the Broncos' depth chart is unsettled. With McGahee at 31 years-old and coming off an injury, Ball seems like a logical option as the team's main ballcarrier, but HC John Fox has always favored veterans over rookies when given the choice, so this may become a muddled RBBC with Ball, McGahee, Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno all in the mix. Still, given the pick, Ball has landed in a good situation long term, while the writing seems to be on the wall for McGahee and Moreno. Peyton Manning recently said that the team is going to count on Ball 'in a big way' in 2013.
Sunday, June 9, 2013, 6:25pm
The Broncos started dialing up their offensive tempo in the final month of last season. Through the first 12 games, with Manning trying to figure out his new team and his teammates trying to adjust to their quarterback's rhythm, the Broncos averaged 65.5 plays per game.
In their final five games, the Broncos averaged 75.6 plays. That includes regulation of their playoff loss to Baltimore despite kick returner Trindon Holliday taking away two possessions with touchdown runs.
Manning attempted 586 passes last season and we have him projected for 606 in 2013.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013, 10:37am
Broncos TE Jacob Tamme has been out there with the first team. Besides the youthful competition at his position, Tamme may also be affected by the addition of slot receiver Wes Welker. Last season, there was a nice mix between Tamme and slot receiver Brandon Stokley. They ranked third and fourth on the team with 52 and 45 catches, respectively.
Even if in the interest of balance Welker's stats drop from his 112-catch average in six previous seasons with New England to around 80 this year with the Broncos, Tamme doesn't figure to have as many balls thrown his way.
Contract talks with Victor Cruz have "hit a snag"
Saturday, June 1, 2013, 10:42am
Restricted free agent wide receiver Victor Cruz has hit an impasse with the New York Giants when it comes to contract talks. Rather, Friday saw the news that the contract negotiations "hit a snag," as Cruz is looking for something in the $8 million per year range. Unfortunately for Cruz, slot receivers aren't typically paid as much as outside receivers, and it seems unlikely he'll get the number he's after.
Friday, May 31, 2013, 10:29am
Broncos HC John Fox said after Thursday's practice that tight end Joel Dreessen has had arthroscopic surgery on his knee and will not be available for the remainder of offseason workouts, including the team's mandatory minicamp June 11-13.
Broncos counting on Montee Ball
Friday, May 31, 2013, 9:57am
One of the concerns with Ball is that HC John Fox has a tendency to lean on veterans and not utilize his rookies. Ball could be a high-end RB2 in Denver if he's given a full workload, but that's no sure thing.
Thursday, May 30, 2013, 9:26am
Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos' top two receivers a year ago, both say that they notice that Peyton Manning has a stronger arm now than he did last year, as he continues to progress from the neck injury that cost him the entire 2011 season.
“We worked out at Duke in March or April and I definitely felt like he had more zip on the ball,” Decker said. “I think he’s come back stronger. . . . I think some of those throws that he fits in the holes, you feel a little more zip on it and he is getting it to you quicker.”
Good report on Manning, who looks every bit a top 5 fantasy QB heading into the 2013 season.
Anquan Boldin "top target" in 49ers' OTAs
Wednesday, May 29, 2013, 10:56am
49ers WR Anquan Boldin caught several passes from Colin Kaepernick, including one during a two-minute drill at the end of practice. He also was the top target for the team's other three quarterbacks - Colt McCoy, Scott Tolzien and rookie B.J. Daniels. In all, Boldin caught eight passes, one of them a touchdown snag between two defenders on a pass from Daniels.
Boldin and TE Vernon Davis are the two candidates most likely to pick up the slack left by the injured Michael Crabtree. It would not be surprising if Boldin led the team in targets. He hasn't cracked the 1,000 yard mark in the last three seasons, but when you factor in his last 16 games of 2012 (including the playoffs), Boldin caught 77 passes for 1,183 yards and seven TDs, and that even includes a goose egg against the Broncos in Week 15. He should be a nice value in the middle rounds.
Wes Welker expects his catches to drop
Thursday, May 23, 2013, 1:07pm
Peyton Manning may be the one of the best quarterbacks of all time, but if he wants to keep his passing game diversified, he can't dish 94 catches to Demaryius Thomas, 85 to Eric Decker and 112 to Wes Welker in the same season. Somebody has to take fewer.
"If I have to catch 112 balls, that probably means we're in trouble," Welker said Monday after his first practice with the Broncos.
There you go. Problem solved. Welker not only doesn't expect to catch 112 passes now that he's with the Broncos, he believes it's better if he doesn't.
"(The catches) are not the goal," Welker said. "The goal is to go out there and help your team win games. However many catches that is, however many blocks that takes, however many routes I've got to run, whatever. I think we all feel the same way about that."
We currently have Welker projected for 96-1158-8, which would still make him a solid WR2 in standard formats.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 10:16am
Klis: RB Willis McGahee not expected to attend OTA today. OTAs are voluntary.
Jones: RB Knowshon Moreno (knee) not cleared for team drills yet. But in uniform for individual drills.
Monday, May 20, 2013, 9:55am
Considering what a transcendent talent Patriots QB Tom Brady is, the career he's had, and that he turns 36 in 11 weeks, this statement he made to me over the weekend is significant: "Going into my 14th year, I have never had more confidence in how I am throwing the football. I've never felt better throwing the football."
"Over the years, I was a little inefficient and I learned how to get away with it. I've been working with Tom House on what's called ground-force production ... Kinetic sequencing, getting the power from the ground, which translates from the ground to your legs, to your hips, to the shoulder, and all the energy is going toward the target. I've always had confidence throwing the football, but you have to stay on top of it. That's going to be a never-ending quest for me."
Cosell: Montee Ball an "ideal fit" for Broncos
Saturday, May 11, 2013, 11:51am
NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell believes second-round pick Montee Ball is an "ideal fit" for the Denver Broncos' offense, citing his burst, fluidity and ability to get skinny at point of attack. Although Cosell's one question was if Ball could be a true foundation running back at the NFL level, the former Wisconsin star has landed in the perfect offense. There's no feature back "in a strict sense" in Peyton Manning's offense. Cosell believes Ball already is the best runner on the Broncos' roster.
The main thing standing in the way of Ball and 250+ touches in 2013 is HC John Fox and his propensity to play veterans over rookies when given the option. Ball also needs to prove that he can pass protect, which is crucial when playing next to QB Peyton Manning. He'll be drafted as a fantasy RB2, but could be part of an ugly RBBC if he doesn't break away from the pack early on in training camp.