Denver Broncos Early August Scouting Report
The Broncos have a lot of questions at some key fantasy offensive positions: Trevor Siemian vs. Paxton Lynch; Jamaal Charles believes he can still be the man while the Broncos apparently envision more "spot duty" if his knees hold up in training camp; a committee backfield; getting both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders over 1,000 yards again. HC Vance Joseph has stated Denver plans on using a committee backfield with open competition. OC McCoy has a proven track record of getting the most out of offenses, so a committee is likely. McCoy also is proven to get the most out of quarterbacks, which could mean Lynch gets the starting job and is an inconsistent, high upside QB2.
QB Trevor Siemian wasn’t spectacular in his first season as a starter, but Trevor Siemian was also rarely the reason that his team lost games. Lynch likes to throw the deep ball while Siemian seems more practical.
RB C.J. Anderson is in line to get the biggest share of the touches. He’s fumbled just three times in over 500 career touches and his reliability will be an important consideration for Denver. Anderson is more of an RB3 for fantasy and his upside is limited due to the crowded nature of Denver's backfield.
RB Jamaal Charles. The Broncos seem to believe that there is still some life left in Charles' 30-year-old legs. The Broncos want Charles to see eight to 10 touches per game. He’s going to have to fight for carries although neither C.J. Anderson nor Devontae Booker looked particularly great in 2016. Charles' upside is tremendous, but there's some serious bust potential. He will likely need more than 10 touches a game to be a real fantasy factor in standard leagues.
RB Devontae Booker. Entering his second season as a pro, Devontae Booker has shown some serious signs of potential (power/gap system), but failed miserably (a bad zone runner) when given the opportunity. Booker projects as a late-round flier with upside.
WR Demaryius Thomas produces low-end WR1/solid WR2 numbers every season, making him one of the safer WR2s (quality numbers most weeks) with little competition for targets and low bust potential. With some progression from Trevor Siemian, Thomas could be a top-12 fantasy wide receiver.
WR Emmanuel Sanders (high floor) continues to produce quality fantasy production (never finished outside of fantasy WR2 range) despite finishing in the top three of all receivers in inaccurate passes thrown in his direction in 2016.
TE Virgil Green. There’s a real chance that Green could emerge as the third passing game option, particularly in the red zone. At 6’5"255, Green possesses the size to make up for some of the inaccuracy problems that Siemian has shown. He is not a draft able player in any format (monitor early in season).
TE Jeff Heuerman The Broncos are patient with their draft picks, but Heuerman is running out of time because of injuries and inconsistency.
"X-factor" WR Isaiah McKenzie (5'7 173): game-changing explosiveness as an inside receiving target, a runner on jet and fly sweeps. He has won the job as punt returner.
The Broncos offensive line is being completely remade in a rebuilding year with first-year OC Mike McCoy. The line is upgraded but the new offense needs time to install. C Matt Paradis has become one of the best centers in the league. LT Russell Okung only lasted a year in Denver and wasn’t a difference maker.
The practices are more physical and at a quicker tempo than OTAs and mini camp, even without pads. Battles to watch: LT: Garett Bolles vs. Ty Sambrailo; LG: Ronald Leary vs. Allen Barbre.
Physically Unable to Perform list: DT Kyle Peko (foot) QB Chad Kelly (wrist), LB Shaquil Barrett (hip) and TE Jake Butt (knee).
RB Devontae Booker: surgery to repair a fractured wrist (6-8 week recovery); now destined for a backup role. The injury could really open the door for Charles to see a lot more opportunities, but don't sleep on R RB DeAngelo Henderson. Everything Henderson showed at Coastal Carolina has translated to the next level. His vision, burst, ability to secure the football and quick read-and-reaction to holes as they develop are all there. He doesn't dance; he surges forward.
The Broncos signed RB Steven Ridley; waived G Chris Muller; signed LB Danny Mason; waived TE Henry Krieger-Coble; gave up a conditional late-round pick in 2019 for 10-year veteran G Allen Barbre (Phi.).
OLB Shane Ray (surgery) will miss at least six weeks with torn ligament in left wrist, further exacerbating the team's depth at outside linebacker after losing OLB Shaquil Barrett to a hip injury in late may. The Broncos look to veteran pass rusher Kasim Edebali signed in the off season from New Orleans for his rushing skills to step up.
WR Jason Taylor is a fast target and developing route runner who is on the roster bubble; RB Steven Ridley probably won't makes the 53-man roster; RB Bernard Pierce only has an outside shot of making the team.
OL Conner McGovern is filling in for C Matt Paradis and playing really well.
FB Andy Janovich is an old-school physical fullback that can also carry the ball and is a "four phaser: on special teams.
DE DeMarcus Walker was drafted to handle a hybrid role, that includes inside and outside alignments, all around the front seven and standing up from time to time.
K Brandon McManus drilled a 73-yard field goal during a special-teams period; missed a 57-yarded during a team scrimmage.
The Broncos are trying to find the best guy to play opposite of Von Miller in Week 1.
QB Trevor Siemian seems to be stepping ever so slightly ahead of QB Paxton Lynch. Siemian appears to be ahead in decision-making which the coaches value highly in their system. Both quarterbacks have struggled with consistency.
Take a chance on RB Jamaal Charles (pick 94).
Draft WR Demaryius Thomas (pick 32) and WR Emmanuel Sanders (pick 82). The quarterback play will hurt, but they are still both top 30 fantasy WRs.
Take a chance on PK Brandon McManus (pick 169) although due to an inconsistent offense, he maybe no more than a middle-of-the-road fantasy prospect.
Draft DST (pick 100).
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