Over the last two seasons, the Denver Broncos have watched three top fantasy performers walk out of Dove Valley for the last time. In 2014, the team lost Eric Decker to the New York Jets and Knowshon Moreno to the Miami Dolphins. In 2013, Moreno finished the season with 236.6 fantasy points, an average of 14.79 per contest. Decker scored 194.8 fantasy points on the year, an average of 12.18 per contest.
Entering the 2014 season, Montee Ball and newly-signed Emmanuel Sanders were set to fill the vacated roles in the offense. Ball faltered early and was eventually replaced by Ronnie Hillman. In four starts, Hillman scored 66 fantasy points, for an average of 16.5 per game. Unfortunately, Hillman suffered an injury that sidelined him for a number of weeks. His replacement, C.J. Anderson, was able to notch 166.6 points, for an average of 20.83 points per contest.
For the purpose of replacing Decker, Emmanuel Sanders came to town and put up 198.8 points and 12.43 points per game, barely improving on Decker's numbers, but providing much better consistency as a WR2 mainstay in most leagues.
This offseason, the Broncos lost tight end Julius Thomas, who when in the lineup and healthy, was a top player at his position. To compensate, the Broncos signed Owen Daniels, James Casey and re-signed Virgil Green. Of the trio, Daniels is expected to be the beneficiary of being Peyton Manning's security blanket and will be a mid-TE1.
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Should Daniels suffer an injury, Casey would likely jump into his role, as he did when the two played for the Texans. Green is the wildcard in this equation. I'm a big Green fan and I've always had the feeling he would stay in Denver with Thomas being allowed to move on. He has all the measurables and is a better athlete than Thomas. Green has the opportunity to blossom as a pass-catcher with the help of Daniels, and Gary Kubiak's affinity for using two-tight end sets.
Defensively, the signing of Antonio Smith should be good for six or more sacks added to the defense and should also help boost the Broncos pass-rushing linebackers' production. The team hasn't seen much change on the defensive side of the ball, looking at mostly inhouse options to replace Terrance Knighton, Nate Irving and Rahim Moore in their transition to the 3-4 scheme.