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Denver Broncos

Stadium: Sports Authority Field | Coach: John Fox
Team RankingOverallRushingPassing
Offense3rd117.1 (15th)340.2 (3rd)
Defense19th101.6 (7th)254.4 (26th)
2014 Draft
Rnd#PlayerPos.School
131Bradley RobyCBOHIOST
256Cody LatimerWRIND
395Michael SchofieldOTMICH
5156Lamin BarrowILBLSU
6207Matt ParadisCBOISE
7242Corey NelsonOLBOKLA

Last Game

Thu, August 28
AT&T Stadium
Denver Broncos
at
Dallas Cowboys
DEN27Final3DAL

Game Leaders

DEN
Passing: B. Osweiler (9-13, 190)
Rushing: J. Thompson (13-41)
Receiving: C. Latimer (3-66)

DAL
Passing: D. Vaughan (11-17, 86)
Rushing: P. Tanner (8-26)
Receiving: L. Byrd (4-56)

Schedule

*
Thu Aug 7
W 21 - 16SEA
Recap
*
Sun Aug 17
W 34 - 0at SF
Recap
*
Sat Aug 23
L 18 - 17HOU
Recap
*
Thu Aug 28
W 27 - 3at DAL
Recap
8:30 pm EDT
Sun Sep 7
IND
4:25 pm EDT
Sun Sep 14
KC
4:25 pm EDT
Sun Sep 21
at SEA
4:05 pm EDT
Sun Oct 5
ARI
1:00 pm EDT
Sun Oct 12
at NYJ
8:30 pm EDT
Sun Oct 19
SF
8:25 pm EDT
Thu Oct 23
SD
4:25 pm EST
Sun Nov 2
at NE
4:05 pm EST
Sun Nov 9
at OAK
1:00 pm EST
Sun Nov 16
at STL
4:25 pm EST
Sun Nov 23
MIA
8:30 pm EST
Sun Nov 30
at KC
4:05 pm EST
Sun Dec 7
BUF
4:05 pm EST
Sun Dec 14
at SD
8:30 pm EST
Mon Dec 22
at CIN
4:25 pm EST
Sun Dec 28
OAK

Standings

AFC
West
CONF
W-L-T
Overall
W-L-T
Denver0-1-03-1-0
Oakland0-0-02-2-0
San Diego0-0-02-2-0
Kansas City1-0-01-3-0
Fantasy Analysis | 1409609395
Emmanuel Sanders a strong flex option Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Assuming Wes Welker returns from his concussion and plays Week 1, teammate Emmanuel Sanders still will be a strong flex option. Colts-Broncos is a guaranteed shootout -- the over/under is a whopping 55, highest on the board -- and Peyton Manning can support three productive Fantasy receivers with ease.

Plus, Manning has taken a liking to Sanders. When Sanders debuted in the third preseason game, the duo hooked up for 67- and 29-yard touchdowns in the first half.

"You just throw it as far as you can, and it's hard to outthrow that guy," Manning told the team's website.

Sanders finished with five catches for 128 yards on eight first-half targets, doing most of that before Welker got concussed. Sanders was not 100 percent for that game; he had just come back from a quad injury.

Now Sanders, who started building chemistry with Manning at informal Duke University workouts, "looks ready for the big stage," the website said.

"Peyton puts it on the money," Sanders said. "He takes pride in throwing the perfect football. He takes pride in being perfect all around, in general. He makes my job easy."

Manning is going to help Sanders reach a level he has not hit before, starting Sunday night.

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Fantasy Analysis | 1409606515
Tough matchup not a concern for Julius Thomas
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Broncos tight end Julius Thomas opens the season with a difficult matchup: Indianapolis allowed the fewest Fantasy points to tight ends (5.33 per game) last year.

It's not a concern for Thomas, one of three tight ends to catch a touchdown against the Colts in 2013. In Week 7 at Indy, Thomas caught five of six targets for 41 yards and the score.

That was one of 12 touchdowns Thomas scored in his breakout season. The 26-year-old showed he's not satisfied by taking a diligent offseason approach, according to the Denver Post.

"He's going to be a very special player," former Broncos tight end Joel Dreessen said. "It was fun to watch him grow up last season. In this offseason, he really impressed me with his attitude and work ethic and how hungry he was."

Thomas drew 17 red-zone targets last year. With Eric Decker's departure, the 6-5, 250-pound Thomas should see a few more this season. He's a top-3 play Sunday night.

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Fantasy Analysis | 1409603226
Demaryius Thomas needs better performance vs. Vontae Davis
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Broncos No. 1 receiver Demaryius Thomas dominated most cornerbacks last year. That was not the case with Vontae Davis.

The Colts' top corner held up well Week 7 against the 6-3, 229-pound Thomas. While Thomas caught four passes for 82 yards and a touchdown, his 31-yard score came one play after Davis exited briefly with an injury. Thomas ended up catching fewer than half his nine targets.

Davis graded out as Indy's top defensive player that night. In addition to making five tackles, he allowed three completions out of eight throws to his coverage area for 12 yards. Whatever damage Thomas did, he didn't do it against Davis. Thomas figures to see plenty of Davis (5-11, 207 pounds) when Denver hosts Indy in Week 1.

Thomas should get redemption Sunday night. He usually comes out with a bang -- he has five touchdown catches in four season openers -- and the Broncos will scheme to free him up. Consider him a top-5 play as usual, despite the tough individual matchup.

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Fantasy Analysis | 1409595129
Montee Ball to get heavy workload Week 1
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Broncos running back Montee Ball allayed any concerns about his health in the third preseason game. Nineteen days after undergoing an appendectomy, Ball touched the ball on Denver's first five plays from scrimmage. He got eight touches on the opening drive versus Houston and emerged "none the worse for the wear," per the team's website.

Ball is primed for a heavy workload Sunday night. For one thing, primary backup Ronnie Hillman is not 100 percent. Hillman came down with an undisclosed illness late last week and was taken to a hospital. He returned to practice Monday but was limited.

Ball averaged a healthy 4.7 yards per carry as a rookie, but his finish was especially impressive. After losing a fumble Week 12 at New England, Ball averaged 5.4 yards over his final 73 carries and earned trust as a pass protector.

Ball's strong finish convinced the Broncos to let Knowshon Moreno go. They didn't bring in anyone to challenge Ball.

His first start comes against a Colts defense that ranked 26th in Fantasy points allowed to running backs (19.78) last year. Consider Ball a borderline top-5 option.

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Fantasy Analysis | 1409589208
Peyton Manning is absolutely awesome in season openers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com

Peyton Manning is money in season openers. In his last three, two with the Broncos and one with the Colts, Manning completed 69 percent of his throws for 1,148 yards (383 per game) and 12 touchdowns with no interceptions.

Manning became the sixth quarterback in NFL history -- first since 1969 -- to throw seven touchdowns in a game when Denver walloped Baltimore 49-27 in the 2013 opener.

Not that he needs added motivation, but Manning has plenty entering Sunday night's home game against Indy. His first matchup with his former team, Week 7 last year, didn't go well. The Colts handed the Broncos their first loss, 39-33, as Manning lost a fumble, threw an interception, fluttered his passes and took four sacks.

Linebacker Robert Mathis keyed the rush with two sacks and four hits on Manning. He'll be watching Sunday, serving the first of his four-game suspension.

Indianapolis ranked 15th in Fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last year (18.44). Even though Manning had an off game at Indy, he still threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns and put up 31 Fantasy points.

With Wes Welker (concussion) on track to get cleared, Manning should have all his weapons Sunday. He's the No. 1 QB play on the board.

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