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

Denver Broncos (vs New England Patriots)

QB Peyton Manning: Getchya popcorn ready, as Peyton is about to put on a clinic against the Patriots defense. ( 301 yds pass with 3 TDs and 1 Int )

QB Brock Osweiler: ( 8 yds pass )

RB Ronnie Hillman: With less and less capable defenders among their front seven, New England has struggled mightily versus the run. Enter Hillman, who's coming off three consecutive solid performances and will reap the benefits in Week 9. ( 63 yds rush; 2 catches for 21 yds )

RB Juwan Thompson: Given the horrid state of New England's run defense, Juwan could well vulcher another goal-line touchdown. ( 33 yds rush; 1 catch for 6 yds )

RB C.J. Anderson: Playing behind Ronnie Hillman and Juwan Thompson, there's not much left. ( 14 yds rush; 1 catch for 2 yds )

WR Demaryius Thomas: He's the explosive sort of playmaker that in some cases affords your lineup a competitive advantage, but he encounters a Patriots defense this week that has been a veritable buzzsaw for opposing wideouts. Demaryius will get his, but perhaps to a lesser degree. ( 7 catches for 101 yds and 1 TD )

WR Emmanuel Sanders: After throttling the Chargers defense in Week 8, Emmanuel is an every-week fantasy start the rest of the way. ( 2 yds rush; 6 catches for 73 yds and 1 TD )

WR Wes Welker: His receiving numbers have become significantly less predictable with a healthier Julius Thomas and the emergence of Emmanuel Sanders. Pretty far down the pecking order, in terms of target distribution. ( 5 catches for 47 yds )

WR Andre Caldwell: ( 1 catch for 6 yds )

TE Julius Thomas: Quiet the past couple weeks, but we like his chances at big-time fantasy production in Foxboro. ( 6 catches for 61 yds and 1 TD )

TE Jacob Tamme: His four-yard catch last week represented the first time he had gotten back into the box score since Week 5. ( 1 catch for 14 yds )

TE Virgil Green: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

PK Brandon McManus: The unfortunate byproduct of an ultra-efficient offense sometimes, McManus has been relegated to extra point conversions and a field goal from time to time. ( 4 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Denver Broncos: The defensive play on this team has improved quite a bit, although you're taking your chances if you start these guys on the road against the red hot Patriots offense. ( 3 sacks, 1 INT )



Kansas City Chiefs (vs New York Jets)

QB Alex Smith: The matchups don't get much better than in this case, with the Jets coming to town in Week 9. Alex makes for a great streaming option, provided his shoulder heals up. ( 215 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 20 yds rush )

QB Chase Daniel: ( 4 yds pass )

RB Jamaal Charles: Don't let the numbers fool you. In three of their last four games, the Jets defense yielded a ton of fantasy points to opposing backs. Over his last four games, Charles has gotten back to producing at the level fantasy owners envisioned. ( 81 yds rush and 1 TD; 3 catches for 28 yds )

RB Knile Davis: Benefiting from plenty of touches, he carries bonus value in fantasy leagues that award points for return touchdowns. ( 46 yds rush and 1 TD; 1 catch for 9 yds )

RB Cyrus Gray: ( 4 yds rush; 1 catch for 4 yds )

RB De'Anthony Thomas: Akin to other versatile players in the mold of Dexter McCluster or Marcel Reece, the rookie affords fantasy owners some value in PPR leagues but seldom gets carries. ( 1 yd rush; 1 catch for 10 yds )

WR Dwayne Bowe: The fact that his usage has increased bodes well for the veteran receiver, who faces the injury-riddled Jets secondary this week. ( 5 catches for 59 yds )

WR A.J. Jenkins: The fantasy outlook for K.C. receivers not named Dwayne Bowe remains unclear, although we prefer Jenkins slightly more -- his one-target performance last week notwithstanding. ( 2 catches for 30 yds )

WR Junior Hemingway: Barely involved in this team's offensive plans, Junior should be nowhere near your fantasy team. ( 1 catch for 14 yds )

WR Frankie Hammond: ( 1 catch for 5 yds )

WR Albert Wilson: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

TE Travis Kelce: No touchdowns of late, but with the ability to turn a few touches into decent fantasy production at the TE position. Especially in a week with 6 teams on a bye. ( 4 catches for 44 yds )

TE Anthony Fasano: He's good for a few catches here and there, but there's no fantasy upside to rolling with Fasano. ( 3 catches for 26 yds )

TE Demetrius Harris: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

PK Cairo Santos: Not a lot of field goal opportunities here but for whatever reason, Santos is posting fantasy production superior to what we saw from Ryan Succop. ( 3 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def Kansas City Chiefs: Incredibly good start this week, as not only are the Chiefs a starting caliber fantasy defense seven games in, but the visiting Jets are among the better matchups going. Michael Vick isn't known to protect the football all that well, by the way. ( 4 sacks, 1 INT )



Oakland Raiders (vs Seattle Seahawks)

QB Derek Carr: Fared well in two of Oakland's three games since the bye, boding well for his fantasy outlook while Tony Sparano remains interim coach. Don't get overly excited about this week's road game in Seattle though. ( 196 yds pass with 1 TD and 1 Int; 15 yds rush )

QB Matt Schaub: ( 42 yds pass and 1 Int; 2 yds rush )

QB Matt McGloin: ( 13 yds pass )

RB Darren McFadden: Earning his keep as the lead back for this team, but faces the formidable Seahawks defense in Week 9. ( 52 yds rush; 3 catches for 18 yds )

RB Maurice Jones-Drew: Not looking as spry these days, posting statlines such as three carries for six yards and six carries for eight yards, in recent weeks. ( 23 yds rush; 2 catches for 14 yds )

RB Latavius Murray: ( 2 yds rush; 1 catch for 3 yds )

RB Marcel Reece: Has fluctuating PPR value but only in deeper fantasy leagues. ( 3 yds rush; 2 catches for 16 yds )

WR James Jones: Not exactly a yardage machine but he steadily catches five or so passes each week, which has added value in this case. ( 6 catches for 63 yds )

WR Andre Holmes: This is who you turn to if taking your shot at a potential touchdown among the receivers on this team, seeing as he has scored four in the span of four games. Tough matchup this weekend, unfortunately. ( 3 catches for 46 yds )

WR Kenbrell Thompkins: Got plenty of action last week although it only translated to 41 combined yards. ( 1 yd rush; 3 catches for 25 yds )

WR Denarius Moore: With three catches over the past four games, Denarius is not the remedy for what ails you. ( 3 catches for 28 yds )

WR Vincent Brown: ( 1 catch for 9 yds )

WR Brice Butler: No big gainers and just two targets last week, do in part to Kenbrell Thompkins' increased snaps. ( 1 catch for 14 yds )

TE Mychal Rivera: Things picked up for Rivera last week, to the tune of seven receptions for 83 yards. Is it too optimistic to anticipate numbers approaching those, against a Seahawks defense that has struggled to cover opposing tight ends? ( 3 catches for 31 yds )

TE David Ausberry: ( 1 catch for 2 yds )

TE Brian Leonhardt: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

PK Sebastian Janikowski: Terrible week to bank on this team coming into many scoring opportunities. ( 2 XPs, 1 FG )

Def Oakland Raiders: Worst fantasy defense in the land, and they're having to play this one in Seattle. No thanks. ( 1 sack )



San Diego Chargers (vs Miami Dolphins)

QB Philip Rivers: Tough matchup and he's been turning the ball over more frequently, then you factor in the trip across country. Don't overthink it though. Rivers is good for two and oftentimes three touchdowns each week. ( 248 yds pass with 2 TDs and 1 Int; 7 yds rush )

QB Kellen Clemens: ( 23 yds pass; 1 yd rush )

RB Ryan Mathews: Check back closer to game time, as Mathews is nearing a return from the knee injury suffered in Week 2.

RB Branden Oliver: Starting running back Ryan Mathews will be back in the lineup soon enough, meanwhile Oliver has played well enough that he figures to continue to get a lot of touches. The Dolphins defense has been mediocre versus the run, for what it's worth. ( 64 yds rush; 4 catches for 34 yds )

RB Donald Brown: ( 23 yds rush; 2 catches for 16 yds )

RB Ronnie Brown: Brings more to the table as a pass blocker then does Branden Oliver, but he gets so few touches that he's essentially irrelevant for fantasy. ( 17 yds rush; 2 catches for 13 yds )

RB Shaun Draughn: ( 1 yd rush )

WR Keenan Allen: The Dolphins defense runs hot and cold versus opposing wideouts, making Allen a risky play -- which of course fantasy owners have grown accustomed to. He's coming off a nine catches with a touchdown game against Denver, however, earning him the benefit of the doubt. ( 6 catches for 66 yds )

WR Malcom Floyd: Seeing as he has compiled 50+ yards in all but two games and has a few touchdowns to his credit, Floyd is there for you as a high upside play in a week when many of the elite receivers are on a bye. ( 4 catches for 60 yds )

WR Eddie Royal: Basically a non-factor the last couple weeks. We like Royal to see more targets against Miami. ( 1 yd rush; 4 catches for 47 yds and 1 TD )

WR Seyi Ajirotutu: ( 1 catch for 3 yds )

TE Antonio Gates: Having an immense year, including six touchdowns in his last four games. Gates is a mainstay in your fantasy lineup, regardless of opponent, even in leagues that lump wide receivers and tight ends together. ( 5 catches for 53 yds and 1 TD )

TE Ladarius Green: Just one target over the past two weeks and Gates is healthy right now, making it hard to get excited about Ladarius' fantasy outlook. ( 2 catches for 25 yds )

TE John Phillips: ( 1 catch for 4 yds )

PK Nick Novak: Hasn't been a lucrative fantasy kicker, of late. ( 2 XPs, 2 FGs )

Def San Diego Chargers: Fantasy production by this unit has dropped off lately, and that isn't just taking into account last week's Denver game. Traveling east and showing well against the Dolphins offense will be easier said than done, even with the additional days of recuperation. ( 2 sacks, 1 Fumble )



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