AFC West Player Analysis
Joshua Simmons,, Staff Writer

Denver Broncos (vs Carolina Panthers)

QB Brock Osweiler: If called upon, Brock has shown that he can hang with NFL starters in small doses. ( 102 yds pass with 1 TD; 6 yds rush )

QB Peyton Manning: Completing essentially half his throws for 176 passing yards against Arizona was not all that impressive, but he did manage to connect with Owen Daniels for a pair of touchdowns. Conversely the Panthers defense has been quality throughout much of this season, and picked on Carson Palmer to the tune of six turnovers last week. Peyton is the inferior fantasy quarterback to Cam Newton by a wide margin. ( 239 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 2 yds rush )

RB C.J. Anderson: Hasn't had significantly more work than running mate Ronnie Hillman, but has been quite a bit more efficient with his carries. Anderson's stellar play in the AFC Championship Game marked his fourth consecutive game of 72+ rushing yards, and he has three touchdowns over that span. In terms of how this team matches up versus Carolina, you have to think C.J. will get ample opportunities to shine. ( 52 yds rush; 2 catches for 11 yds )

RB Ronnie Hillman: Averaging two yards per carry and getting less carries, over his last couple games, Ronnie cannot be relied upon for fantasy production with any degree of confidence. We like him to benefit from double digit touches again, but that's the extent of our love for Hillman on Super Bowl Sunday. ( 52 yds rush; 2 catches for 11 yds )

RB Juwan Thompson: ( 5 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Demaryius Thomas: Held to two receptions for 12 yards this past week, Demaryius has struggled to make much of an impact lately. Opponents are hampering Thomas' downfield success with Peyton Manning under center. The Broncos will need better production from him in order to keep up with Carolina, though, and we like his chances to lead all players in targets. ( 7 catches for 88 yds and 1 TD )

WR Emmanuel Sanders: Routinely catching a handful of balls, Emmanuel hasn't treated fantasy owners to the level of upside Demaryius Thomas is capable of, but tends to be the safer play. In fact it wouldn't surprise us in the event Sanders emerges as the premier Super Bowl scorer among receivers. ( 2 yds rush; 6 catches for 83 yds )

WR Jordan Norwood: Tends to see slightly more targets than his counterparts in this offense, but to what end? Norwood has totaled three receptions for 26 yards, this postseason. ( 2 catches for 23 yds )

WR Andre Caldwell: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

WR Bennie Fowler: ( 1 catch for 11 yds )

WR Cody Latimer: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

TE Owen Daniels: The Panthers have been uneven in defense of opposing tight ends. While highly unlikely to reprise his two touchdown performance against New England, Daniels could certainly do some damage. He certainly seems to have Peyton Manning's trust. ( 2 catches for 24 yds )

TE Vernon Davis: ( 2 catches for 19 yds )

TE Virgil Green: ( 1 catch for 8 yds )

PK Brandon McManus: He's been making good on his scoring opportunities, which has amounted to multiple field goals in five of his last six games. For Carolina's part, opposing kickers have enjoyed only minimal success. Very poor matchup on tap. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Denver Broncos: Same ol' story: Von Miller, DeMarcus Ware & company are getting to the quarterback as well as any front in football. Cam Newton will be under duress and if things continue to play into Denver's plans, turnovers are sure to follow. In addition to their 16 interceptions, the Broncos have led the league in pass yards allowed and total yards allowed. ( 3 sacks, 1 INT )

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