Fantasy Football: Game of the Week Preview

Both Washington and Denver were involved in a shoot-out last
week. Only one was victorious and it wasn’t the team people
would’ve expected.

The Broncos are human. Their defense gets burned through the air
and it seems as though a majority of their games will result in
high-scoring affairs…which is GREAT for fantasy football.

The Fightin’ Griffins have won two of their last three and
RG3 has finally returned to the level people were hoping to see. In
2012, he threw for 372 more yards on the road and ran 235 yards
less. That trend will need to continue in Week 8 as the Broncos
secondary is weaker than their D-line.

Players to start:

Quarterback – Peyton Manning and Robert Griffin

Manning is a lock on a weekly basis, as well as any quarterback
facing the Broncos. The Denver secondary is 32nd in the passing
attack, allowing 320 yards per game and 14 TDs. Also, RG3 is
getting more and more comfortable using his legs. Two weeks ago, he
ran nine times for 77 yards, which was a season-high. Last week,
Griffin had 11 rushing attempts and totaled 84 yards on the ground,
the new season-high.

Running back – Alfred Morris, Knowshown Moreno, and
Roy Helu

AlMo has been disappointing to say the least this year. Usually
when fantasy owners draft a Shanahan running back, they know the
risks. However, in 2012, when Morris ran for 1,613 yards and 13
touchdowns owners spent a high draft pick on him this season. Duped
again. Morris has scored in half of his games this year, so
he’s still worthy of an RB2 or flex play. His teammate, Helu,
has consistently rushed for 40+ yards over the past three weeks.
After scoring three TDs last Sunday against the Bears, Helu’s
stock will certainly rise and could be a decent play in deeper
leagues despite Denver’s solid running defense.

As for the Broncos’ ground attack, Ronnie Hillman and
Montee Ball would get more opportunities if they could hang on to
the ball. But, that’s good news for Moreno’s owners.
Washington has allowed a league-high nine touchdowns along with
126.2 rushing yards per game (29th-ranked). Four-straight weeks
with a touchdown helps Moreno’s stock, too.

Wide receiver – Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker,
Pierre Garcon, and Eric Decker

I hope we are at the stage in the season where I don’t
need to convince you to start Denver’s receiver trifecta
(Thomas, Welker, and Decker). But, just in case, here’s some
food for thought…

1. All three receivers have caught between 41-44 passes

2. Decker and Thomas both have over 600 yards receiving, so

3. Even though Welker is 153 yards behind Decker, he has
five more receiving TDs

The Redskins group of receivers isn’t as equal. Garcon has
40 catches for 466 yards and two touchdowns, all of which lead the
team. If you only look at the remaining wide receivers on the
roster, Lenard Hankerson is next with about half the stats as
Garcon (with the same number of TDs). Even with Denver’s
32-ranked passing defense there isn’t another WR I would
recommend from Washington, however…

Tight end – Julius Thomas and Jordan Reed

…I will suggest that fantasy owners pick-up and start
Reed. The Florida rookie had a breakout game last week against
Chicago, catching nine balls for 134 yards and a score. Reed also
seems to be more durable than opening day starter Fred Davis. When
Reed left last week’s game with a hip contusion, he was able
to return to the field.

The “other” Thomas in the Broncos’ offense has
almost identical stats to Welker this season. So, yes, he’s a
must-start as well.


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