Fantasy Football: The AFC West

Fantasy football is played by many, but few want to take the time necessary to dominate. Get an expert's look at the breakout players and where everybody has landed now that the smoke has cleared from the offseason.

Denver Broncos: Denver made two bold moves on draft day, trading for disgruntled - and injured - Green Bay receiver Javon Walker, and moving up in the first round to get QB of the future Jay Cutler. Walker, if healthy, will be an immediate upgrade for the offense and push perennial underachiever Ashlie Lelie to the bench. In fact, Lelie further angered the coaching staff by staying away from the team's offseason workouts. With Walker and veteran Rod Smith catching passes, Jake Plummer should again be a solid fantasy pick. Lelie could be traded.

The team did let running back Mike Anderson, one half of their running back duo, go, meaning Tatum Bell will carry more of the load for the Broncos, with Ron Dayne spelling him. Dayne surprised in limited playing time last season and could be valuable as a short-yardage back. Second round draft pick Tony Scheffler, a tight end out of Western Michigan, is a solid pass catcher and is a solid sleeper tight end.

Kansas City Chiefs: The biggest offseason question mark in Kansas City has yet to be answered. What is Priest Holmes' situation? Holmes previously insisted he plans on playing in 2006, but has stayed away from the team's headquarters. Even if he comes back, he won't push Larry Johnson out of the starting role again. Johnson could be the top pick in this year's fantasy drafts.

The draft brought quarterback Brodie Croyle in the third round. Croyle will battle Damon Huard for the backup job to Trent Green.

Oakland Raiders: After years of disappointing fantasy owners in New Orleans, Aaron Brooks takes his erratic game to Oakland. Maybe the change of scenery and working with Randy Moss and Jerry Porter will revive Brooks' once-promising career. He replaces the equally disappointing Kerry Collins, who was released.

The Raiders drafted heavily on the defensive side of the football, which was probably a good move.

San Diego Chargers: With Drew Brees now in New Orleans, the Chargers are rolling the dice that Philip Rivers is ready to take over at quarterback. Expect some ups and downs, but with LaDanian Tomlinson at running back and Antonio Gates at tight end, Rivers will have some fantasy value and should make a decent fantasy backup.

The Chargers also traded disappointing cornerback Sammy Davis for wide recevier Rashaun Woods, who could push Eric Parker for a starting job.

Courtesy of the Observer-Reporter


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