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

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

Pierre ThomasNov 20 05:42p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20. Thomas has missed the last four games, but he said there's a chance that [ More ]

Jerick McKinnonNov 20 05:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jimmy SmithNov 20 04:32p

Baltimore Ravens CB Jimmy Smith (foot) said Thursday, Nov. 20, that a Lisfranc injury is the reason he is out for the rest of the season.

Montee BallNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Ronnie HillmanNov 20 04:22p

Denver Broncos RBs Montee Ball (groin) and Ronnie Hillman (foot) both did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 04:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is optimistic he'll be able to play Sunday, Nov. 23. He went through rehabilitation Wednesday, Nov. 19 and Thursday, Nov. 20.

James AndersonNov 20 04:02p

The Atlanta Falcons signed LB James Anderson (Titans) Thursday, Nov. 20. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Josh GordonNov 20 04:02p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was amped up and excited to take part in his first practice with the team this year Wednesday, Nov. 19, but QB Brian Hoyer [ More ]

Charles ClayNov 20 03:02p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) is expected to be a game-time decision for Week 12 because of a knee injury.

Dwayne AllenNov 20 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed his second straight day of practice Thursday, Nov. 20, and The Indianapolis Star's Zak Keefer would bet on Allen sitting out this weekend against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 20 02:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Julius ThomasNov 20 01:32p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 01:22p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is not participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) is participating in practice Thursday, Nov. 20.

Reggie BushNov 20 01:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) said he is on track to play against the New England Patriots in Week 12. He was not able to play in Week 11 because of the injury.

Josh GordonNov 20 12:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon is expected to be limited in Week 12 because it will be his first game of the season, and the team does not want [ More ]

Adrian PetersonNov 20 11:52a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has officially appealed his suspension, according to a source. The NFL Players Association is looking for a neutral arbitrator to hear the case, but [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 20 09:13a

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is likely share carries with RB Alfred Blue if he plays in Week 12.

LeGarrette BlountNov 20 08:32a

The New England Patriots signed free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) to a two-year deal for the veteran's minimum plus incentives Thursday, Nov. 20.

Giovani BernardNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (clavicle, hip) will be eased back into the lineup, offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said Wednesday, Nov. 19. 'I think we've got to work him [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 20 01:13a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is likely to get a bulk of the carries in Week 12 against the Houston Texans, according to beat writer Geoff Hobson, despite the [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 19 09:33p

Free-agent RB LeGarrette Blount (Steelers) went unclaimed on waivers Wednesday, Nov. 19, and is now an unrestricted free agent available to sign with any club.

Brian LeonardNov 19 09:33p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Brian Leonard Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Jalen SaundersNov 19 09:33p

The New Orleans Saints signed WR Jalen Saunders off the practice squad of the Seattle Seahawks Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Arian FosterNov 19 06:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited in practice Wednesday, Nov. 19.

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