Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 5/15/13
Many of you out there were bold and took the gamble that Peyton Manning on your fantasy team would be better than most of the other quarterbacks available, and I'd say that was a pretty good bet.In his sophomore season with the Broncos I am expecting this to be a team rich in fantasy football value.The team's "worst" stat was probably their rushing offense. They came it at 16th overall. This was not so much of a weakness when you consider the team stepped up in their passing and defense.They made some good moves both in the draft and free agency, and should be an even more impressive juggernaut this year on both sides of the ball.Defensively, the Broncos came in 4th in total points allowed, 3rd overall in passing and rushing allowed and 2nd in passing yards allowed. Pretty impressive stuff.Granted they lost a couple of solid players and did not get past the Ravens in a tough game, but the stats speak for themselves. The Broncos will look to repeat these kind of stats this season and have a good chance of doing so, although I'd suspect they may drop just a little defensively.Regardless of how they perform on D, I am also expecting their offensive numbers to go up even more.As I mentioned earlier, they came in at 16th overall in rushing yards with 114.5 yards per game average. Not bad, but not great. However, they also managed to rank 5th in passing yards, 4th in total yards and 2nd in points per game. They accomplished this with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game, and in his first season with the team.I fully expect them to not have as slow a start this year and to be a dominant force in their division and in the league in general. Not to mention, they also have one of the easiest schedules this season.Offensively, they have several weapons to attack with. You have Manning behind center, you have a fearsome trio in Thomas, Decker and now Welker. You have Dreesen at tight end, and did I mention you have one of the best, if not the best to ever throw the ball running this high-powered offense? I think anyone that watches football would be lying to themselves if they didn't admit this might be an early Superbowl contender. With that being said, these are my players to watch this season and to consider when drafting your fantasy team.Breakout player - For me the breakout player for the Broncos this year fantasy wise will be Wes Welker. Yes, I know he has been a stud for the Patriots for a while, but many are calling for his numbers to drop since he will be catching passes from a new quarterback.I expect a couple of rough games early in the season, but Welker is a smart guy and he is very good at what he does. He will find ways to get open, and Manning will appreciate his work ethic and abilities and will find ways to put the ball in his hand.It is possible that by the end of the season, Welker will have as many or more catches than Thomas or Decker. Look for Welker to make an impact on this offense. He is a solid option at receiver.Bust - As much as it pains me to say it, the bust for the Broncos this season will be their running backs. I'm not going to pick on any one of them, I'm going to throw them all under the bus. It is seeming more and more likely that either McGahee or Moreno one will not be there when the season starts after drafting Montee Ball.While I'd prefer McGahee over Moreno, if Ball is half as impressive as he is expected to be, both may be in danger of finding new work next year regardless. The problem with all of this is too many options at the RB position. This will mean split duties, less carriers, touchdowns spread out amongst the players and overall hard to predict fantasy points. I would cheerfully take any of their big three, depending on who makes it to opening day, but probably only as a backup or light of no one better being available.MVP - For me, this one is a no-brainer. Peyton Manning should be the Broncos' MVP this season fantasy-wise. He will have the offense running even tighter than ever and I fully expect him to break his numbers from last year.His teammates know how he operates now, and he has a new threat with Welker, this will free up the others to get some big plays in. I think he will do much better this season and his teammates will benefit from it as well.Look for Manning to get close to the 5,000-yard mark, if not higher and his touchdowns should be in the 40s if not higher. He is one of the best choices at the position fantasy-wise, and he will be my top choice at QB.Good luck to all in their fantasy football leagues!
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