Prior to their Week 7 bye, the Denver Broncos were notorious for their slow starts. They turned the ball over four times in the first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 2 and looked like the Keystone Cops again in the first half of their Week 6 tilt versus the San Diego Chargers.
Yep, Denver put its defense in some tough predicaments. But in each of their three losses, they clawed to within striking distance. In most of their contests, the defense has been a big reason that the offense has had opportunities to get back into it - and in one case, even win it.
Of course, they climbed out of the immense hole they dug in America's Finest City with the combination of a Manning-led assault and two touchdowns by the D. They intercepted Philip Rivers four times, sacked him on four occasions and recovered both of his fumbles.
Pundits seem to agree universally that Denver is a Super Bowl contender based on their performance against the New Orleans Saints, their standing in the AFC West and their remaining schedule. Well what, pray tell, wouldn't a fantasy owner like about the opponents they have left that a TV talking head does?
OK, it's not that simple, naturally. The Broncos' average of 8.0 standard fantasy points per game receives a huge boost from the contest in which they dismantled the Bolts in the second half, of course.
But they're tied for 12th in the league in team sacks (19) and were mighty impressive against Drew Brees' crew. (The Saints' offense is hard to victimize for fantasy points, as was the case in that tilt.) If Denver has put sloppy starts (with the help of the extra week) behind them, what's to stop their D from becoming a major fantasy commodity?
The Indianapolis Colts' defense was certainly that kind of asset in some seasons thanks to a similar formula. Denver's defense boasts two ferocious pass rushers, a couple of unheralded linebackers who do the dirty work and a quality secondary. Rumor is that tackling machine D.J. Williams will return from his league-imposed paddling ... eventually.
Hey, if your league uses Week 17, you'd be crazy not to pick up the Broncos. They have nine games left ... and two of them are against the moribund Kansas City Chiefs!
About Nicholas Minnix
Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.
The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.
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