By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on July 17, 2014
The Denver Broncos gave fantasy football owners a lot of good options in 2013, as quarterback Peyton Manning's record-setting season drove a high level of production across the board.
A couple of key players left in free agency, but plenty of high level fantasy options remain in the Mile High City this year. Here are my top five Denver Broncos in fantasy football for 2014.
The proficiency of Denver's offense limits Prater's attempts some, but he was 25-for-26 on field goals ( 6-for-7 from 50 or more yards out). I expect a few more field goal attempts this year, which would offset losing some extra points and keep Prater among the top fantasy kickers.
Welker had a career-high 10 touchdown catches in 2013, but his catch (73) and yardage (778) totals were down as he missed the final three games due to a concussion. His age (33) and his slight build brings significant durability concerns, but Welker should remain a fantasy asset for at least one more year.
Thomas had a breakout performance against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1 last season (five catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns) on his way to 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns in 14 games. His role may expand with Eric Decker's departure, so more catches and yards along with double-digit touchdowns seems to be on the horizon for Thomas this year.
Ball averaged 6.6 yards per carry over the final five games last season, including three double-digit carry games with over 70 rushing yards in all three contests. With Knowshon Moreno gone in free agency, Ball will take over as the Broncos' clear No. 1 running back and be in line to benefit similarly from a Peyton Manning-led offense.
There's little doubt that Manning's record-setting 2013 season (5,477 yards, 55 touchdowns) will not be repeated this year. But even with some regression, and advancing age (38), he will still be the first quarterback drafted in the majority of fantasy leagues and produce at a high level.
Manning's presence has agreed with Thomas, as he's had more than 90 receptions, over 1,400 yards and double-digit touchdowns (24 total) in each of the last two seasons. As long as Manning is healthy, Thomas is a rock-solid top-tier WR1 for fantasy owners.
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