Fantasy Football 2014: Colts at Broncos 9/7/14 Week 1 Preview
Indianapolis Colts (0-0) at Denver Broncos (0-0)
Sunday, September 7, 2014
Our first 2014 installment of “Sunday Night Football” will be a big one. NBC is kicking things off right by going to the biggest star in the league--Peyton Manning--and featuring his Broncos hosting his former team the Colts.
This will be a meeting of two perennial AFC powerhouses, and should make for some very interesting television. That means we’ll have plenty of fantasy football implications as well with all those stars out on the field in the opening weekend, so with that in mind let’s take a look at a few key players from each team and see what we should be expecting on our rosters.
Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts: The heir apparent in Indianapolis doesn’t get as much love on the fantasy stage as he probably should this year. Luck was probably around No. 6-8 among quarterbacks in your draft, which is a bit undervalued in our opinion. Now that he’s got a healthy (and talented) receiving corps, along with what hopefully will be a revived running game, Luck should be much more effective this season. We see around 30 touchdowns and a 60 percent completion percentage.
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Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos: And here you have it. If you nabbed Manning you your draft, you paid up for him big-time (likely in the second round). Throwing for 55 touchdowns and snagging a 115.1 passer rating will do that for a QB’s fantasy stock. Manning is working with a reduced supporting cast these days, with Moreno gone and Welker on the shelf due to injury, but we doubt that will have much effect on his success. He’ll be slicing and dicing as usual on Sunday.
Trent Richardson, RB, Indianapolis Colts: On the other side of the expectations coin we have Richardson. We saw him ranked everywhere from the mid-20s to the mid-30s in the pre-draft rankings, and honestly he could finish anywhere by season’s end. He had a tough go of things in 2013, but optimists will point to the fact that he’s now familiar enough with the Colts playbook and should do much better this year. Whether that pans out--or whether he crashes and burns--remains to be seen.
Montee Ball, RB, Denver Broncos: Ball is a top-6 or top-7 running back in most circles, and we have a hard time arguing with that logic. Now that he’s the main man in the Denver backfield, he should see plenty of opportunities to supplement the passing game. Ball had an appendectomy in the off-season, but he’s all healed up and should be able to hit the ground running in Week 1.
T.Y. Hilton, WR, Indianapolis Colts: Hilton isn’t necessarily a No. 1 WR in a fantasy sense, but he’s got the capability to put up No. 1-type numbers on a week-to-week basis. There are few Colts who are as dynamic and talented, which makes Hilton a must-watch player. We feel good about his draft value as well, since he was ranked in the early-30s among wide receivers for the most part this preseason. He should outperform that.
Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos: Few players have looked as promising in the preseason as Thomas, which is a good thing for his fantasy owners. He comes in just behind the Lions’ Calvin Johnson in the fantasy WR rankings, which gives him lots of big expectations heading into this campaign. With the Welker situation and Eric Decker gone from town, it’s hard telling how that will affect Thomas, but he’s worth the relative risk.
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