Throughout the 2012 offseason, we will be taking a look at each NFL team from a keeper/dynasty perspective. Keeper leagues are very unique, with widely varying formats, but the following are observations based on reasonable draft positions in 2011. Further discussion of different keeper/dynasty decisions and trades is welcome in the comments below. We start by taking a look at the Offseason Odyssey of the Denver Broncos…
Finish: 8-8 (1st AFC West)
2012 Draft Order: 25th overall pick
2011 Leaders: QB- Tim Tebow- 1729 pass yds, 12/6 td/int, 660 rush yds, 6 td RB- Willis McGahee- 1199 rush yds, 4 td WR- Eric Decker-44 rec, 612 rec yds, 8td TE- Daniel Fells- 19 rec, 256 rec yds, 3 td
On the Fence? KEEP him: Tim Tebow- All cheap jokes aside, Tebow will be a usable fantasy quarterback in 2012, no matter how many lame jokes your buddies make when you draft him. Timmy’s value is in his legs and the fact that he loves mowing over defenders in order to pick up extra yardage. Second to only Killa Cam in QB rushing yards (in fewer games, no less), Tebow can keep chucking ducks all over the field and he will still keep fantasy teams from floundering. Assuming Elway can hide his disgust this offseason and help the throwing mechanics of the young quarterback, a top 10 fantasy quarterback performance could easily happen in Denver…the sunshine state. Gorgeous!
On the Fence? CUT him: Eric Decker- Decker salvaged some decent point totals in 2011 due to catching 8 touchdowns, but don’t get suckered into keeping Decker on your squad. A quick peek at the Denver passing game in 2011 shows a drastic fall in Decker’s production as Demaryius Thomas grabbed a larger share of Tebow’s attention. Remember week 8? October 30th? While you were busy working on your Snooki Halloween costume, Decker was registering his very last game of the 2011 season with more than 3 catches. Thomas is the Bronco receiver to own, so cut Decker loose.
Dynasty Vault: Demaryius Thomas- As Thomas became Tim Tebow’s favorite target over the latter stages of the 2011 season, dynasty owners finally got to see what they had in the monster wide out. The results were nice, very nice. Thomas was huge down the stretch, averaging 106.4 yards per game over his last seven contests (including the playoffs). Tebow loves himself some Demaryius, and whether Thomas is catching darts or ducks, they all count for fantasy points. Plus, the guy is a moose and has wheels as well…just ask Ike Taylor.
Dynasty Dump: Knowshon Moreno- The 12th overall pick in the 2009 draft was showing promise in Denver’s backfield, as he eclipsed 1,000 total yards in each of his first two seasons. Then 2011 rolled in, along with John Fox and Willis McGahee. You said, “Fox likes to run the ball…McGahee is ancient…Moreno is dynasty gold!” Amigo, you only hit the first two horses in that trifecta. That pays zilch. Moreno is still young, but appears to be nothing more than a 3rd down back under Fox’s watch.
Dynasty Target: Tim Tebow- Few players polarize football fans as much as Tebow, and this is probably the case in your fantasy league. There is a good chance that the owner of Tebow in your league already has a #15 Denver Broncos jersey and sleeps with a Tebow Fathead poster on their ceiling. However, there is also a chance that the owner of Tebow doesn’t buy into the media circus around the Denver quarterback and isn’t sold on the talent of the scrambling QB (wait, do you play in a league with John Elway?). Either way, it’s worth checking into, as Tebow will be a fantasy factor whether he can throw a spiral or not.
Offseason Interest: Running back- It will be tough to find news out of Denver this offseason that doesn’t deal with their quarterback, but keep an eye on the Bronco backfield. Knowshon Moreno will spend his offseason rehabbing a torn ACL, and 2011 surprise Willis McGahee waived goodbye to his 20’s last October. With Willis aging and the John Fox regime not sold on Moreno as more than a third down back, another running back may enter the fold in 2012. Watch out for the Broncos in free agency and in the NFL draft, as the lead back in this offense will be very valuable in the 2012 fantasy season.