First things first: Peyton Manning isn’t walking through that door.
The Denver Broncos’ quarterback situation entering 2017 is less than ideal, as Trevor Siemian, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly don’t quite inspire fear. But at least the Broncos will have clarity at quarterback: The team is expected to name Siemian its starter Monday afternoon, as first reported by Denver’s 104.3 The FAN.
That news shouldn’t come as much of a surprise; Siemian looked sharp through two preseason games, completing 14 of 18 passes for 144 yards and a touchdown. He also boasts more experience than the 23-year-old Lynch and the rookie Kelly, having started 14 games for the Broncos last season.
Siemian shouldn’t be much of a factor from a fantasy football perspective, especially in leagues with just one starting QB. But the question still remains: Can you trust Denver’s other offensive weapons with the 25-year-old at the helm?
Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are the No. 13 and No. 15-ranked wide receivers on NESN.com’s draft board, respectively. The Siemian news essentially entrenches that duo in those rankings: He’s the best QB option of a mediocre trio and, with his relative experience in Denver’s offense, likely will throw the ball more than Lynch would have.
In fact, you could argue Thomas and Sanders have slightly more upside in 2017 than they did last season. Thomas caught 90 balls for 1,083 yards while Sanders snagged 73 passes for 1,032 yards in 2016, and that was in Siemian’s first year as a starter. Denver doesn’t really have any other viable receiving threats (sorry, Virgil Green) so these two could see an uptick in production as they develop more chemistry with their QB.
What about running back C.J. Anderson, essentially the only other fantasy-relevant player in Denver? The veteran had a disappointing 2016 campaign, but with second-stringer Devontae Booker on the shelf due to a wrist injury, he could see a more consistent workload in 2017. Still, we wouldn’t bump Anderson up any higher than his current No. 27 ranking on our running back board.
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