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AFC West Player Analysis
Joshua Simmons, FantasySharks.com, Staff Writer

Denver Broncos (vs Seattle Seahawks)

QB Peyton Manning: The Seahawks defense roughed Aaron Rodgers up, but looked mortal versus Philip Rivers more recently. Peyton meanwhile has thrown three touchdown passes in each of Denver's games. It isn't rocket science: play him if you've got him. ( 252 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int )

QB Brock Osweiler: ( 9 yds pass )

RB Montee Ball: Has yet to bring fantasy owners the return they invested, but at least he's getting 20 touches a game. Avoid for fantasy this week, if possible. Seattle's defense at home isn't a matchup you want to hitch your wagon to. ( 67 yds rush and 1 TD; 3 catches for 24 yds )

RB Ronnie Hillman: Has yet to register any stats, utterly droppable in fantasy. ( 32 yds rush; 1 catch for 9 yds )

RB C.J. Anderson: His portion may be limited to a handful of carries per game, but he's nevertheless broken into the timeshare that is Denver's backfield. C.J. offers little as a receiving option. Still, he's been every bit as good as fellow second-year pro Montee Ball, strictly based on running the football. ( 18 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Demaryius Thomas: His fantasy production has lacked its usual luster but lucrative days are ahead. Go ahead and start Demaryius with confidence, even on the road against Seattle. ( 7 catches for 82 yds and 1 TD )

WR Emmanuel Sanders: Targeted nine times in each game, and he's averaging over 90 yards per. Even with Wes Welker getting some love, here soon, Sanders holds value as a fantasy WR2. ( 1 yd rush; 5 catches for 59 yds )

WR Wes Welker: Reinstated from his suspension, as a result of the NFL revising its drug policy. Welker will presumably suit up this weekend but regardless, we'll keep you posted. ( 5 catches for 49 yds )

WR Andre Caldwell: Was targeted just once, a week ago, after catching two balls in the opener. Wes Welker is back and Cody Latimer will soon be worked in, meaning Caldwell is droppable even in deep leagues. ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

WR Cody Latimer: ( )

TE Julius Thomas: When your fantasy tight end's down week looks like 39 yards with a touchdown, you're doing alright. You have to like Julius' upside against the Seahawks defense, after what Antonio Gates did to 'em. ( 7 catches for 78 yds and 1 TD )

TE Jacob Tamme: Got into the box score with a four-yard score last week and he could come in handy for deep tight end premium leagues, given the opponent in this case. ( 2 catches for 21 yds )

TE Virgil Green: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

PK Brandon McManus: Denver scores touchdowns, albeit not at the same frenetic clip as we saw in 2013. Add to that McManus' one field goal per game, and what you've got is a middling fantasy option. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Denver Broncos: This unit will be in for a long day, as taking on Russell Wilson at Seattle isn't a favorable matchup to say the least. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT )



Kansas City Chiefs (vs Miami Dolphins)

QB Alex Smith: Just one touchdown on the year, but at least he's still padding his fantasy production with rushing yardage. Miami is somewhere in the middle, as fantasy matchups go. You could do worse among quarterback streaming options this week. ( 212 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 31 yds rush )

QB Chase Daniel: ( 6 yds pass )

RB Jamaal Charles: Due to the high ankle sprain he suffered against Denver, Jamaal is a long shot to play anytime soon. Check back closer to gametime though, as we'll update his status here if there's any chance he'll suit up.

RB Knile Davis: Has answered the bell (and then some), on prior occasions when he logged significant snaps in Jamaal Charles' stead. Given the copious injuries to Miami's front seven and Alex Smith's slow start, it wouldn't surprise us if Knile finished Week 3 among the league leaders in fantasy points. 'Plug & play' aptly describes the situation Davis has going for him at this point. ( 73 yds rush and 1 TD; 4 catches for 25 yds )

RB Cyrus Gray: Looking iffy for Week 3 on account of his foot injury. ( 8 yds rush; 1 catch for 7 yds )

RB Joe McKnight: ( 4 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Dwayne Bowe: His inauspicious fantasy production is liable to rise with Jamaal Charles' absence. Whether or not he's lost a step over the years, Bowe has a little something to offer when targeted in the double digits. ( 6 catches for 67 yds )

WR Donnie Avery: As evidenced by his three for 14 stat line, Avery has returned to fantasy irrelevance now that Dwayne Bowe is back to being the primary receiving option. ( 4 catches for 48 yds )

WR Junior Hemingway: Unimpeded by Dwayne Bowe's return, in fact his targets doubled in Week 2. Looks to be the first guy up, in sets that take a tight end off the field. ( 2 catches for 21 yds )

WR Frankie Hammond: ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

WR A.J. Jenkins: Judging from his increased snaps, Jenkins has marginal value in this offense --- just not for fantasy. ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

TE Anthony Fasano: Looks as if Fasano's going to catch around three balls per game, with the occasional touchdown tacked on. No matter how many snaps he logs, this equates to minimal fantasy value. ( 3 catches for 32 yds )

TE Travis Kelce: Getting choice targets and he's carving out a prominent role in this offense. With the notable exception of Rob Gronkowski's touchdown in Week 1, split out wide, the Dolphins defense has limited what opposing tight ends can do. Translation: don't count on fantasy TE1 numbers from Kelce just yet. ( 2 catches for 32 yds )

TE Demetrius Harris: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

PK Cairo Santos: The two things in Santos' favor are K.C. being without Jamaal Charles in scoring territory and Miami yielding seven field goals to opposing kickers thus far. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG and 1 missed FG )

Def Kansas City Chiefs: Injuries play a major role in this unit generating no turnovers and maintaining less fantasy upside than was the case a year ago. Not a bad matchup this weekend though. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT )



Oakland Raiders (vs New England Patriots)

QB Derek Carr: The dink & dunk passing this offense relies on worked out alright against the injury-riddled Jets secondary, but left something to be desired last week. Carr was fortunately able to notch more fantasy points on the strength of 58 yards rushing, but the larger point is that there are bound to be safer options on your waiver wire. ( 230 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 22 yds rush )

QB Matt Schaub: From Pro Bowler to clipboard holder. Hefty contract for an NFL backup, is it not?

QB Matt McGloin: ( 36 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

RB Darren McFadden: Averaged three yards a carry in the feature role, but he did score a touchdown and looked effective as a receiver out of the backfield. Considering all the injuries that altered the fantasy landscape in Week 2, McFadden ain't looking too bad right now. ( 52 yds rush and 1 TD; 2 catches for 22 yds )

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: As youthful and agile as he looked in preseason action, MJD is starting to become droppable in some formats. Unlikely to suit up against New England, due to his hand injury.

RB Latavius Murray: One touch, in a game the starting back misses? Latavius makes for a decent dynasty stash, but oughta be nowhere near your fantasy lineup. ( 12 yds rush; 1 catch for 14 yds )

RB Marcel Reece: Gets his token catch or two per game, and that's about it. ( 3 yds rush; 2 catches for 15 yds )

WR James Jones: Targeted an absurd 14 times last week, and he delivered. Enticing waiver wire add, as 112 yards and a score suddenly appear more within Jones' grasp now that Rod Streater is on the shelf. ( 7 catches for 82 yds and 1 TD )

WR Rod Streater: Unlikely to suit up against New England, due to his hip injury

WR Andre Holmes: His five for 45 stat line may not have been all that impressive, but he was second on the team in targets. Holmes' development last season portends good things for 2014, especially as Rod Streater misses time. ( 4 catches for 46 yds )

WR Denarius Moore: Looks to be plenty involved in this team's offensive plans, pending whatever impression newly signed Vincent Brown makes, but he's only averaging seven yards per reception. ( 3 catches for 30 yds )

WR Brice Butler: ( 1 catch for 7 yds )

TE Mychal Rivera: Again totaled 31 receiving yards and he's not being targeted when the team occasionally visits the redzone. ( 4 catches for 41 yds )

TE David Ausberry: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

TE Brian Leonhardt: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

PK Sebastian Janikowski: The product of a shaky offense, Janikowski has attempted no field goals and converted just four extra points. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Oakland Raiders: This defense has generated two sacks, two turnovers, and travels to Gillette Stadium in Week 3. Just ... no. ( 1 sack, 1 Fumble )



San Diego Chargers (vs Buffalo Bills)

QB Philip Rivers: Small sample size, but Rivers is worlds better at home than in road games this season. Still, fantasy owners have to feel great about his vintage chemistry with Antonio Gates on display versus Seattle. ( 209 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 6 yds rush )

QB Kellen Clemens: ( 26 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

RB Ryan Mathews: Sounds as if his MCL sprain will have at least a one month impact.

RB Danny Woodhead: In terms of the fallout from Ryan Mathews' injury it's probably wise to anticipate a modest uptick in carries, given Donald Brown's presence. Could he surge into the bountiful role as a receiving weapon that fantasy owners enjoyed last season though? Wouldn't surprise us. ( 49 yds rush; 4 catches for 33 yds )

RB Donald Brown: In the wake of Donald's 10 touches in Week 2, the result of Ryan Mathews messing up his knee, a more immediate role opens up which of course makes for a promising waiver wire add. He could be in for lean fantasy week to start out with, as traveling to Buffalo isn't a favorable matchup. ( 33 yds rush; 2 catches for 16 yds )

RB Branden Oliver: ( 9 yds rush; 1 catch for 4 yds )

WR Keenan Allen: This offense is such that Philip Rivers throws to whoever is open, to the tune of an unappealing five for 46 yards per game stat line for Allen. Take heart, fantasy owners, as there will be game scripts that demand a heavier dose of the second-year pro. ( 4 catches for 49 yds )

WR Malcom Floyd: Last week revealed the severe downslope of rostering Floyd, a game of no receptions (and just two targets) following his impressive performance in the opener. A word of caution: the Bills defense handled receivers of Malcolm's type decently well, versus Chicago two weeks ago. ( 3 catches for 42 yds )

WR Eddie Royal: His prowess in the short-to-intermediate passing game came in handy for San Diego this past week, but doesn't generate much excitement for fantasy. ( 1 yd rush; 3 catches for 38 yds )

WR Seyi Ajirotutu: ( 1 catch for 4 yds )

TE Antonio Gates: Having a large hand in winning games for many of his fantasy owners in Week 2, Gates has entered must-start status until further notice. ( 5 catches for 60 yds and 1 TD )

TE Ladarius Green: Following a game in which he wasn't targeted even once yet a whopping 10 passes were thrown Eddie Royal's way, Ladarius is essentially useless for fantasy until further notice. ( 2 catches for 24 yds )

TE John Phillips: ( 1 catch for 6 yds )

PK Nick Novak: No Ryan Mathews, no problem. The Chargers have managed to pick up where they left off last season, with Novak putting points on the board. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def San Diego Chargers: Not many sacks but they're also not allowing many points to opponents, which has added value in fantasy leagues that include related bonuses. ( 2 sacks, 1 INT, 1 Fumble )



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