DENVER (CBS4) – The Broncos are loaded with offensive talent, and those looking to draft studs for their fantasy football teams need look no further than these six Broncos starters.
6. Montee Ball, Running Back
Ball comes in at No. 6. The former Badger runner is a workhouse and is the projected starter. After an inconsistent rookie year (559 rushing yards, 4 rushing TD, 20 receptions) that was partly due to the presence of Knowshon Moreno, Ball should put up big numbers in an offense that just doesn’t stop scoring.
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5. Matt Prater, Kicker
2013 Stats: 25/26 FG, 75 extra points made
Prater finished last year ranked as the No. 2 kicker in the league only behind Seattle’s Steven Hauschka. During the regular season Prater hit 25 of his 26 field goal attempts and converted 75 extra points. But more importantly, because some fantasy leagues award more points for longer field goals, Prater was 6 of 7 from 50-plus yards. He also hit a 64-yard field goal in frigid, icy conditions in Denver against Tennessee for an all-time NFL record.
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4. Wes Welker, Wide Receiver
Welker is always going to get his catches, but with Eric Decker gone, he might be targeted by Peyton Manning even more this year. Because of injury he missed three games last year and still racked up 73 receptions for 778 yards and a whopping 10 touchdowns. Welker is well-known for having some of the best hands in the game, and that’s expected to continue.
3. Julius Thomas, Tight End
Thomas had a breakout season in his third year last season hauling in 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns. It will be hard to top those stats but that’s exactly what some experts are predicting. Just look at what he did in one quarter of work against the 49ers this preseason – 3 catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. CBSSports.com projects Thomas will grab 77 catches for 957 yards and 11 touchdowns.
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2. Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos
How can anyone ignore a wide receiver who had 92 receptions, 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Thomas finished first in the league with his 14 touchdowns and fourth in yards, the two stats that matter most to fantasy owners. The numbers speak for themselves –- Thomas is a must-have player.
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1. Peyton Manning, Quarterback
Last year some fantasy football players were somewhat hesitant to draft Manning as a Top 10 pick, despite a fantastic first year in Denver. But after his record breaking MVP 2013 season (5,477 yards, 55 Passing TDs), anyone who doesn’t feel that way during this year’s drafts is just being foolish. Manning in the QB slot gives any team automatic street cred. Draft him early in the first round. You won’t be sorry.
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