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

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

DeAndre HopkinsDec 18 05:42p

Houston Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins (ankle) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Dec. 18.

Blake BortlesDec 18 04:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has earned positive reviews from the team in his rookie season after being thrust into the spotlight early this year. 'That is not the [ More ]

Jay CutlerDec 18 04:12p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler was benched just for this week against the Detroit Lions, according to head coach Marc Trestman. Cutler will be active and serve as the [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsDec 18 04:02p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (hand) will be fitted cast that he can play with on his injured hand. Williams still has not caught a pass with the injured [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 04:02p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) has not been able to do any running this week, according to head coach Tom Coughlin.

Ryan MathewsDec 18 03:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) fully participated in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and appears to be on track to start in Week 16, according to head coach Ron Rivera.

DeMarco MurrayDec 18 02:42p

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand), who was expected to take some team snaps in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, is in no more risk if he plays in Week [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 02:12p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) said he is not dealing with any pain in his back but is taking things one day at a time. Newton said he [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 02:02p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) left practice early Thursday, Dec. 18, because he is receiving a scheduled day of rest. Manning was not limping when he was walking to the locker room.

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Chris PolkDec 18 01:32p

Philadelphia Eagles RB Chris Polk appears to have become the team's goal-line back of late, and two of the three snaps he played in Week 15 led to short [ More ]

Cam NewtonDec 18 01:22p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) had an increased set of repetitions in practice Thursday, Dec. 18, and it looks like he's on track to play in Week 16 [ More ]

Rashad JenningsDec 18 12:52p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Andre JohnsonDec 18 12:52p

Houston Texans WR Andre Johnson (concussion) has cleared the leagues concussion protocol and will play in the team's Week 16 game.

Julio JonesDec 18 12:12p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Case KeenumDec 18 10:03a

Houston Texans QB Case Keenum is expected to start in Week 16.

Philip RiversDec 18 09:22a

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is battling a back injury that is more severe than the team has acknowledged, according to a league source. Rivers' back injury [ More ]

LeSean McCoyDec 18 01:03a

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy opened practice on the sidelines Wednesday, Dec. 17, while RB Chris Polk opened with first-team reps. After practice McCoy did not seem too concerned. [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanDec 18 01:03a

The Denver Broncos are hopeful RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) will be able to return for the Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals Monday, Dec. 22, or for the [ More ]

Drew StantonDec 17 07:33p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton (knee) said this injury is different from any other he's ever had, and he said it's too soon to know if he could return [ More ]

Carlos HydeDec 17 07:03p

San Francisco 49ers RBs Frank Gore (concussion) and Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not take part in practice Wednesday, Dec. 17.

Jay CutlerDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

Jimmy ClausenDec 17 06:43p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will be benched in favor of QB Jimmy Clausen in Week 16 against the Detroit Lions, according to a source.

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