Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fantasy Preview: the Denver Broncos

The premise is simple: I'll tell you what players you can confidently start the season with, and what players should cause your stomach to wobble if you have to start them.

Denver Broncos
2006 stats at and

Travis Henry (RB): Denver running back, big contract, feature back. Even with Shanahanigans running the team, you have to figure Henry's floor is 1,200 yards and 10 TDs, right? With no conceivable ceiling?

Javon Walker (WR): Walker was one of the best WRs in the NFL last season. You may not find 1,084 yards receiving and 8 TDs (and 123 yards rushing and 1 TD) terribly exciting for fantasy purposes, but keep a few things in mind:

a) The 2006 Broncos ranked 26th in passing attempts, 30th in completions, and 27th in passing yards. Javon Walker put up his very good production on an offense that wasn't throwing the ball a lot.
b) His receiving yardage numbers were double the second best yardage numbers on the team (Rod Smith's 512).
c) The team featured the erratic Jake Plummer (55.2%) quarterbacking for 11 games and rookie Jay Cutler for the last 5 games.

So here's my thinking in 2007: Javon Walker is just as good an individual player as he was in 2006, he's still that much better than any other WR on his team, the Broncos are likely to throw more passes in 2007, and second-year Jay Cutler will be a better quarterback in 2007 than the combination of erratic Jake Plummer and rookie Jay Cutler in 2006.

Jason Elam (K): Elam has been a reliable fantasy kicker for a long, long time.

Defense: Why not? They were solid last season, they've done a lot to try improve the pass rush (their first two draft picks were defensive ends), they've got players capable of forcing turnovers, and they hold opponents to very few points (8th in '06, 4th in '05). It's a solid fantasy unit.


  1. Another note for Denver's fantasy D: if your league values INTs, Champ Bailey and Dre Bly will put up numbers there.

  2. and dre bly at the other corner might create some additional "coverage sacks."

    also, tony scheffler might be a decent fantasy TE by the end of the year. he and cutler seemed to have good chemistry (i think i heard they were roomates in rookie camp last year) and they started to connect at the end of last season. he's not worth a draft pick, but if your TE gets hurt or stinks after a few games, scheffler might be worth a look on the waiver wire

    what do you think of cutler's potential for stats this year?

  3. Dang, I forgot to mention Cutler. I wouldn't start the season with him, and early in the season he might have his struggles; in the second half of the year, I think he'll be one of the competent fantasy starters. I think by the end of the season, he'll be regularly throwing for 200-300 yards and 1-3 TDs. IF he can do that throughout the season, obviously he'd be a good fantasy pick.
    This is just my guess--I've seen Cutler play in maybe two games in my life.

  4. Having watched Cutler, I think you're right on -- he'll likely struggle a bit out of the gate and Travis Henry will pound the ball, but about Week 5 or so he might start putting up some numbers.