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September 7, 2013

Fantasy Forecast: Broncos offense should run wild on defenses all season

This just in: Peyton Manning is a really good quarterback — both in reality and fantasy.

I’m sure no one had to be reminded of this, but it was only put more into focus after Manning’s absolute throttling of the Ravens Thursday on opening night. But the real story of the game was the rest of the Broncos offense.

Needless to say, the Broncos offense is legit. For all those who had concerns about how Manning was going to keep all the receivers happy, the ball was spread around pretty well as tree different receivers had two touchdowns apiece. Despite concerns in some corners about how he would mesh in a new offense, ex-Patriots wideout Wes Welker had 9 receptions for 67 yards and 2 TDs.

Yet the really big takeaway was the emergence of tight end Julius Thomas. Owned in just 48 percent of Yahoo! leagues, Thomas was dominant as the former fourth round pick caught 5 passes for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. Manning has always shown the ability to elevate tight ends and Thomas was already a sleeper entering the season. Throw in Thomas’ considerable athleticism and the upside is there. The sheer number of targets through the air could become a concern, but it could also become a boon — opposing defensive coordinators may be inclined to focus more on the Broncos’ trio of impressive receivers, thus opening up opportunities for Thomas.

If Thomas is available in your league, I would go out and add him immediately.

The other big news was the fact Knowshon Moreno appears to be the Broncos No. 1 running back, at least for now. After all the preseason hype over rookie Montee Ball, Moreno saw most of the playing time vs. the Ravens when the game was still in doubt. Sure, he wasn’t particularly effective (28 yards on 9 carries), but neither was Ball or Ronnie Hillman. I’m not suggesting you should give up on Bell, but I am pointing out that Moreno looks as though he will get plenty of runs. And Moreno is still widely available, owned in only 43 percent of Yahoo! legaues.

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