By Brett Heinzerling and Mark Ackerman, CBS4’s Fantasy Football Pros
The Broncos proved they’re legit, so who do you start?
They put a hurting on a team that looked like Super Bowl contenders, and in doing so, they found a run game. So now what?
Peyton Manning – Start him. He didn’t throw any touchdowns, but his yardage total was impressive. This week he goes up against a suspect Colts defense. Expect some big numbers again.
Emmanuel Sanders – Sit him. One thing I didn’t think I’d say this season is that the Broncos may have too many weapons. Peyton didn’t look his way much against the Pack, and I don’t expect that to change too much. At least not until he’s totally healthy.
Demaryius Thomas – Forget what I just said about too many weapons. DT will get his. Start him every week.
Vernon Davis – He’s new to the team and it may be a bit early to put him in your lineup, but I am. I can see him being a modified Julius Thomas-type, and Peyton just started looking for tight ends. Davis could get in the endzone.
Denver defense – Clearly a start. I’m also going to advise you not to start ANYONE opposite the Denver D. They made Aaron Rodgers look like Tim Tebow, and that’s hard to do. Don’t start Luck this week, or T.Y. Hilton, or Frank Gore. Just scrap any Colts this week, with the possible exception of Adam Vinatieri.
Another week, another knee injury. How can you replace your injured superstars?
In one of my leagues (12 teams), I’ve lost Jamaal Charles, Arian Foster, Steve Smith, Keenan Allen and Ben Roethlisberger for a few weeks (somehow I’m still above .500). This week more big names went down. Here’s my advice for replacing them.
Le’Veon Bell (knee) – This is a no-brainer. If you can snag D’Angelo Williams, get him fast. He had big games in each of his starts while Bell was suspended. Williams is the best pickup of the week.
Matt Forte (knee) – Forte also injured his knee, but may only miss a couple of weeks. Jeremy Langford will take over the lead back duties this week against a Chargers team that is susceptible against the run. His matchups get a lot more difficult (Rams, Broncos, Packers) so he may be a one week rental.
Keenan Allen (kidney) – Malcolm Floyd is coming off a 2 TD, 92 yard day. He will see more action this week against a beatable Bears secondary.
Steve Smith (Achilles) – There is no internal candidate to fill Smith’s role. He was the only real receiving option for Joe Flacco and the Ravens, I’m not buying the Kamar Aiken buzz. Try to pick up DeSean Jackson or Sammy Watkins coming off of a bye week and injuries. Or, try to catch lightning in a bottle again with Travis Benjamin hooking up with Johnny Manziel on Thursday Night Football. In deeper leagues, Dorial Green-Beckham is a solid sleeper.
One game does not a hero make. How much stake should you put in high scorers from week 8?
Drew Brees went OFF last week with a ridiculous 7 touchdowns. Eli Manning almost equaled him with 6 of his own. Don’t let this sway you. Eli is still a weak start. I say this because fantasy can often be a knee-jerk endeavor.
Stick with what works, and aside from last week, Eli doesn’t work too often. If a guy has a breakout week, before picking him up, find out WHY it was a breakout week. Neither the Saints nor the Giants even attempted to play defense. Maybe injuries led to fluke touchdowns. Whatever the reason, FIND the reason before dumping a steady player for someone that could easily be a flash in the pan.
Who should you keep during a busy bye Week 9?
Arizona: Carson Palmer (keep), Larry Fitzgerald (keep), John Brown (keep), Arizona Defense (keep) This crowded running back situation is anyone’s guess.
Baltimore: Justin Forsett (keep), Joe Flacco (drop)
Detroit: Matt Stafford (keep), Calvin Johnson (keep), Golden Tate (keep, could get more targets in Megatron is really injured)
Houston: DeAndre Hopkins (keep), drop everyone else
Kansas City: Alex Smith (keep), Charcandrick West (keep), Jeremy Maclin (keep), Travis Kelce (keep)
Seattle: Marshawn Lynch (keep), Jimmy Graham (keep, but barely), Seattle Defense (keep)
Mark Ackerman’s credentials: CBS4 Producer. AFC North Expert. Childhood ruined by Drive & Fumble. Drafted Adrian Peterson and still won it all last year.
Brett Heinzerling’s credentials: CBS4 Producer. Bronco fan since birth. 7 years as a sports producer. Won the regular season twice, never won the big one. Call me Peyton. (I know, he won it all once, just humor me)