Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/5/12
Fantasy playoffs are on the line. It begins with the Thursday night football game. The red hot Denver Broncos meet the ice cold Oakland Raiders. If it wasn't Thursday night it would be a slam dunk.But it is a Thursday night game where the visiting team does not do so well. But this is not Tim Tebow's Broncos. This is Peyton Manning's team. Is there anyone you can depend on Thursday night?QuarterbacksCarson Palmer or Peyton ManningThe Denver defense ranks fourth in the league. They have recorded 38 sacks which is second in the NFL. Carson Palmer has been sacked 25 times. The Raiders' defense ranks 25th in the league. They will be going against Peyton Manning. Manning is the quarterback who has gotten you to the playoffs. Last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he had 242 yards and three touchdowns. For the season he has 29 touchdowns and 3,502 yards. If you are having flashbacks to last Thursday where the always trusty Drew Brees ended the night with no touchdowns and five interceptions. Steady down boy. You won't get DB'd. This is Peyton freaking Manning. Depend on Manning. Palmer versus Von Miller and the Broncos' defense is considerably less dependable.Running BacksDarren McFadden/Marcel Reece or Knowshon MorenoThere are rumors that McFadden will return for the Thursday night game. Will that hurt Reece's fantasy value? Reece has 270 receiving yards on 23 receptions. He also has 225 yards on the ground. Reece is a dual-threat in the Raiders' offense. That should equal some fantasy points for you.  McFadden showed little value before he was injured.  Moreno has 24 touches in his last two games. He is averaging 3.5 yards a game. He also has the freshest legs in the game.  It is a Thursday game. You don't have anyone Sunday you can play?  If you must, Reece should see multiple targets. If you are in a PPR league he could be your man.  This would be more of a codependency. But it works.  Moreno is the Broncos' run game. Coach Fox likes the run game. It sounds surprising to say but Moreno is dependable. Wide ReceiversDenarius Moore or Eric Decker/Demaryius ThomasMoore has fallen off the radar. Last week against a much inferior defense he was targeted eight times and caught two of them. He totaled 31 yards.Decker too has slowed his production. Thomas meanwhile has upped his game. Did you see the pass he caught in the back of the end zone last week?  There are many options in the Broncos' defense. And there is a quarterback who is not afraid to try each option.  Depend on Thomas.  Tight EndsBrandon MyersMyers leads the team in receptions with 69. He has 721 yards and four touchdowns. He is third amongst tight ends. Last week against an inferior defense he amassed 130 yards and a touchdown.   The Broncos struggle against tight ends. If there is a weakness therein it lies.  The fantasy football tight end situation this season has been abysmal.  Depend on Myers as he is a reliable tight end in a world of unreliable disappointments, I am looking at you Antonio Gates.  Thursday night is a long way away from Sunday when playoffs are at stake. Play the studs. Depend on your instincts. Depend on what got you here. And depend on Peyton freaking Manning.  Follow me on Twitter @neverenoughglt
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