2014 DRAFT GUIDE
AFC West

2012-07-10 11:43:52
By JEFF PAUR
Sr Fantasy Writer
RealTime Fantasy Sports

All eyes on Manning in Denver

Raiders

The Raiders always seem to be a team in flux and this season is no different. They have another new coach in place and some question marks on both sides of the ball. The big story for the Raiders might be quarterback Carson Palmer, who is the starter from day one this season. Palmer has some upside and potential but turned the ball over too much last season, which led to several erratic performances. His grasp of the offense will be a big factor to his success for this season, so watching his progress in camp is a good idea. Palmer and the team get started July 30 at Redwood Middle School in Napa, Calif.

Position battle: Not that the starting tight end spot in Oakland scores much, but the starter might be worth a spot start or two in a pinch. And the position is wide open right now. Brandon Myers and David Ausberry are the frontrunners to start for the Raiders. Auberry is the more intriguing fantasy option of the two as he was a receiver in college.

Injury watch: Receiver Denarius Moore injured his hamstring during minicamp. The injury isn't considered serious but it is something to watch going forward, especially since Moore could play a big role going forward. Moore should be ready for the start of training camp but might be slowed a little early because of the injury, which could hurt his chances to grab a starting job.

Broncos

With Tim Tebow gone, the talk of Broncos' camp will be new quarterback Peyton Manning. Can Manning regain his form of old and take his new team to new heights in 2012? It should be a more than interesting camp for Denver. Manning's right arm is going to be the most watched arm in the NFL this training camp. Manning and the Broncos get underway starting July 26 at the Paul. D. Bowden Memorial Broncos Centre in Englewood, Colo.

Position battle: Last season, the Broncos receiving spot brought little to fantasy teams. But this year looks to be a different story with Peyton Manning at the helm. They will be a pass-first team that should produce for fantasy teams. There are plenty of openings at receiver with Eric Decker, Andre Caldwell, Jason Hill, Brandon Stokley and Matt Willis battling for playing time. The only sure thing is Demaryius Thomas, who will be the No. 1. But after him, you'll want to see how things shake out at receiver because one or two of the aforementioned players could be a help to fantasy teams.

Injury watch: As mentioned, the arm of Peyton Manning will be closely monitored during camp. He probably won't ever throw as hard as previous seasons but he needs to be able to dial it up some if he hopes to perform near his level of past seasons. He is a very tough player to gauge for fantasy teams, so getting a look at him in camp could go a long way to deciding where to take him come draft day.

Chargers

The Chargers took a bit of a step backwards last season but still has plenty of talent on the team and should compete for a playoff spot. Philip Rivers had a down season for his standards and will be closely watched this year to see if he can cut down on his mistakes and produce better overall numbers. Rivers probably will be the story of camp, seeing if he can revert to old form. Rivers gets going at camp starting July 23 at Chargers Park in San Diego, Calif.

Position battle: The backup running back spot is up for grabs with the Chargers with Mike Tolbert gone. This is an important position for fantasy teams since starter Ryan Mathews hasn't been able to stay healthy to date. Veteran Ronnie Brown and Curtis Brinkley are the top two candidates for the job. Brown has the experience but Brinkley brings more upside and will be given the first shot at the job.

Injury watch: Antonio Gates has battled foot injures the past few seasons, missing nine games the last two years. He is a force when healthy but hasn't looked full strength in a few seasons. The early reports are very positive for Gates for the coming season but we'll know more when we see him performing in camp and preseason action.

Chiefs

The Chiefs hope to use the momentum from last season's solid finish for a quick start to this year. Romeo Crennell will be coaching from day on this year, hoping to find that spark from late last season. Much of camp will be focused on the health of star running back Jamaal Charles, who is returning from a major knee injury. He is a huge part of the team and will be counted on to produce big if the Chiefs hope to improve from last season. Camp opens July 27 at Missouri Western State in St. Joseph, Mo.

Position battle: Steve Breaston is likely to man one of the two starting receiver spots for the Chiefs but don't discount Jonathan Baldwin for the job. He'll compete for that other starting spot with Breaston. If he can take some steps forward this season, Baldwin could earn a lot more playing time. He brings more to the table than Breaston but has lacked consistency since turning pro.

Injury watch: Running back Jamaal Charles tore his ACL the second week of the season. The only thing good about that injury was how early he got hurt. He should be about full strength for training camp and the start of the year. Charles should open the season as starter, barring a setback.

If you have any questions or comments, please email Jeff Paur at jeff@rtsports.com

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Thaddeus LewisJul 22 10:33a

Buffalo Bills QBs Jeff Tuel and Thaddeus Lewis are alternating series with the second unit in team drills Tuesday, July 22.

Tyler BrayJul 22 09:13a

Kansas City Chiefs QBs Tyler Bray and Chase Daniel are likely to compete for one roster spot with QB Aaron Murray likely to make the team behind starting QB Alex Smith.

Navorro BowmanJul 22 12:13a

San Francisco 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) will likely return to action in Week 9 after the team's Week 8 bye, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

Jacques McClendonJul 21 11:03p

Jacksonville Jaguars OG Jacques McClendon is the frontrunner to start at right guard heading into training camp, according to Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com. OG Brandon Linder is the other candidate for the starting job.

Aaron ColvinJul 21 10:53p

Jacksonville Jaguars CB Aaron Colvin (knee) will begin training camp and the regular season on the Physically Unable to Perform list as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate [ More ]

Jeromy MilesJul 21 10:03p

Baltimore Ravens S Jeromy Miles has seen some reps with the first-team defense this offseason and is a dark horse candidate to win the starting free safety job, according to ESPN.com's Jamison Hensley.

Brandon MosleyJul 21 09:43p

New York Giants OT Brandon Mosley will be given the first chance to start in place of OG Chris Snee when the first-team offensive line takes the field Tuesday, [ More ]

T.J. GrahamJul 21 09:23p

Buffalo Bills WR T.J. Graham had a pass fall through his hands after beating his defender on a deep route in camp Monday, July 21.ESPN.com's Mike Rodak believes Graham [ More ]

Sammy WatkinsJul 21 09:02p

Buffalo Bills WR Sammy Watkins made several big plays in practice Monday, July 21, according to ESPN.com's Mike Rodak. Watkins beat CB Leodis McKelvin deep, hauled in a pass [ More ]

Marvin JonesJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals QB A.J. McCarron (shoulder), WR Marvin Jones (ankle) and CB Onterio McCalebb (knee) have been placed on the Non-Football Injury list.

Devon StillJul 21 07:03p

Cincinnati Bengals OG Clint Boling (knee), LB Marquis Flowers (hamstring), P Kevin Huber (neck), WR Colin Lockett (hamstring), DT Zach Minter (back), DT Devon Still (back) and WR Ryan [ More ]

Cordy GlennJul 21 06:53p

Buffalo Bills OT Cordy Glenn (illness) does not have a timetable for his return at this point, according to head coach Doug Marrone. 'I don't know that. It's a [ More ]

Mike CaussinJul 21 06:43p

The Washington Redskins have signed free-agent TE Mike Caussin (Bills). Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also waived LS Kyle Nelson.

Cheta OzougwuJul 21 06:32p

New Orleans Saints DE Cheta Ozougwu (undisclosed) and DT John Jenkins (pectoral) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Brennan WilliamsJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans OT Brennan Williams (undisclosed) has been waived with a failed physical designation.

Brian CushingJul 21 06:22p

Houston Texans DT Louis Nix (undisclosed), LB Brian Cushing (undisclosed) and LB Trevardo Williams (undisclosed) have been placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Eric HaggJul 21 06:13p

Denver Broncos SS Eric Hagg has informed the team that he has decided to retire from professional football.

Dominique EasleyJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots DT Dominique Easley, RB Roy Finch, LB Deontae Skinner and OT Chris Martin have been placed on the team's non-football injury list.

Alfonzo DennardJul 21 05:23p

New England Patriots CB Alfonzo Dennard (shoulder), WR Aaron Dobson (foot), WR Jeremy Gallon (undisclosed), DT Tommy Kelly (knee) and WR Matthew Slater (undisclosed) will begin training camp on [ More ]

Leon HallJul 21 05:12p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Geno Atkins (knee) and CB Leon Hall (Achilles') will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

Jon BeasonJul 21 05:12p

New York Giants LB Jon Beason (foot) will begin training camp on the team's physically unable to perform list.

John JerryJul 21 05:02p

New York Giants OT William Beatty (leg), OG John Jerry (knee) and WR Mario Manningham (knee) will be limited when training camp starts.

Kraig UrbikJul 21 04:33p

Buffalo Bills OT Chris Hairston and OG Kraig Urbik saw first-team repetitions at right guard Monday, July 21.

Dezmon BriscoeJul 21 04:03p

The Dallas Cowboys signed free-agent WR Dezmon Briscoe (Redskins), according to his agent. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Phillip HuntJul 21 03:12p

Former Philadelphia Eagles DE Phillip Hunt (knee) has recovered from anterior cruciate ligament surgery and should begin workouts with teams in the near future.

Chris ConteJul 21 02:12p

Chicago Bears FS Chris Conte said he feels good as he recovers from shoulder surgery, but is unsure of his availability for the start of training camp. He could [ More ]

Alameda Ta'amuJul 21 01:53p

Arizona Cardinals DT Alameda Ta'amu (knee) and FS Tyrann Mathieu (knee) are candidates to be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of training camp.

David WilsonJul 21 01:42p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) should be able to help the offense if he is able to stay healthy this upcoming season, according to former offensive coordinator [ More ]

Chris SneeJul 21 01:42p

Updating a previous report, New York Giants OG Chris Snee has officially announced his retirement from professional football.

Garrett CelekJul 21 01:22p

San Francisco 49ers TEs Derek Carrier and Garrett Celek will compete for the No. 3 tight end spot during training camp.

De'Anthony ThomasJul 21 01:22p

Kansas City Chiefs RB De'Anthony Thomas spent most of his time with the running backs during practice Monday, July 21. Thomas run a lot of passing routes out of [ More ]

Christopher OwensJul 21 01:13p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce (knee), WR Kyle Williams (knee), WR A.J. Jenkins (hamstring) and CB Christopher Owens (hamstring) participated in practice Monday, July 21.

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