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

Tony RomoJul 27 10:59a

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will sit out practice Friday, July 25 as part of a preplanned day off, according to Jason Garrett. Romo is scheduled to take [ More ]

Brian TymsJul 27 10:12a

The New England Patriots signed WR Brian Tyms (Browns) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Geno SmithJul 27 10:05a

New York Jets QB Geno Smith received 16 snaps with the first-team offense during practice Saturday, July 26, while QB Michael Vick received three snaps. Smith has received 42 [ More ]

Davin MeggettJul 27 09:02a

The Indianapolis Colts re-signed RB Davin Meggett (Redskins) Sunday, July 27. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

J.T. ThomasJul 27 01:12a

Jacksonville Jaguars TE D.J. Tialavea (quadriceps) and LB J.T. Thomas (hamstring) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of injuries. Thomas was carted off the field after suffering his injury.

Darius JohnsonJul 27 01:02a

Free-agent WR Darius Johnson (Falcons) was arrested in May by the Atlanta Police Department for driving under the influence, expired or no driver's license on person, failure to have [ More ]

Willie YoungJul 27 12:32a

Chicago Bears DE Willie Young (quadriceps) left practice early Saturday, July 26, because of a sore quadriceps, according to head coach Marc Trestman.

Quentin GrovesJul 27 12:12a

The Houston Texans will sign free-agent LB Quentin Groves (Browns).

Lawrence SidburyJul 27 12:12a

Updating a previous report, the Houston Texans have signed free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts). Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Andre JohnsonJul 27 12:02a

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson said he will be moved around to different spots in head coach Bill O'Brien's offensive system.

Brian HoyerJul 27 12:02a

Cleveland Browns QB Brian Hoyer (knee) said he will wear a brace on his surgically repaired knee during the entire season. He said he does not believe it will affect his play much.

Cam ThomasJul 26 11:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers DEs Cam Thomas, Brian Arnfelt and Stephon Tuitt all received snaps at left defensive end with the first-team defense during practice Saturday, July 26.

Ben GardnerJul 26 11:12p

Dallas Cowboys DE Ben Gardner (shoulder) suffered a shoulder injury during practice Saturday, July 26, and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.

Mike NealJul 26 11:02p

Green Bay Packers LB Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot, knee) is close to coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list and participating in practice, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.

Lawrence SidburyJul 26 10:22p

The Houston Texans are expected to sign free-agent LB Lawrence Sidbury (Colts), according to a source.

Tim FuggerJul 26 10:12p

New York Jets WR Quincy Enunwa (hip) and LB Tim Fugger (ankle) did not participate in practice Saturday, July 26.

K. ThompkinsJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots WR Kenbrell Thompkins (undisclosed) was not able to finish practice Saturday, July 26, after he slid on the ground during the later portions of practice. The [ More ]

Tommy KellyJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Tommy Kelly (knee) participated in some of the team's walkthrough Saturday, July 26, and has been activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Vince WilforkJul 26 10:02p

New England Patriots DT Vince Wilfork (Achilles') said his surgically repaired Achilles' tendon responded well during one-on-one rush drills during practice Saturday, July 26.

Tyler GaffneyJul 26 09:02p

Carolina Panthers RB Tyler Gaffney (knee) will miss the entire 2014 season because of a torn lateral meniscus in his knee.

Jimmy StatenJul 26 08:32p

Seattle Seahawks OG Nate Isles (hand) suffered a left hand injury during practice Saturday, July 26, while DT Jimmy Staten suffered a leg injury.

Phillip TannerJul 26 07:32p

Free-agent RB William Powell (Eagles), RB Orwin Smith (Packers) and Phillip Tanner (Cowboys) worked out for the Seattle Seahawks Saturday, July 26.

Rokevious WatkinsJul 26 06:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs waived OG Rokevious Watkins (back) with the non-football injury designation.

Alex OkaforJul 26 06:32p

Arizona Cardinals OLB Alex Okafor is filling in for OLB John Abraham (personal) as the starting weakside linebacker.

Mark AsperJul 26 06:12p

The Buffalo Bills released OG Mark Asper.

Tony MoeakiJul 26 06:12p

Buffalo Bills TE Tony Moeaki (hamstring) will be out a significant amount of time with a hamstring injury. TE Chris Gragg (dehydration) is expected back by next week.

Aaron RossJul 26 06:12p

Baltimore Ravens CB Aaron Ross (Achilles') was placed on Injured Reserve with a torn Achilles'.

Dominique JonesJul 26 06:02p

The Buffalo Bills signed free-agent TE Dominique Jones (Chiefs) to an undisclosed deal.

B. RoethlisbergerJul 26 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger concentrated on strengthening his throwing arm in the offseason and said it is the strongest it has been in his career. He also worked [ More ]

Bobby RaineyJul 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Mike James is working with the second-team offense Saturday, July 26. It's still early, and Bobby Rainey could still figure into the mix at the [ More ]

Sean McGrathJul 26 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Sean McGrath has decided to retire, according to head coach Andy Reid.

Devon StillJul 26 03:52p

Cincinnati Bengals DT Devon Still (back) has been cleared to practice. Still was listed on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp.

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