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AFC West Fantasy Breakdown



Denver

Broncos

QB: Kyle Orton

Orton is not to be trusted. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of needing to rely on him, pray to whatever god will listen. He probably gets replaced at some point by Brady Quinn or, let’s hope not,  Tim Tebow.

RB: Knowshon Moreno, Correll Buckhalter

Before these guys both went down with injuries, I expected big things from them. With
Denver’s lack of offensive playmakers,

Moreno
will figure prominently into the offense, running the ball and catching balls out of the backfield. He is a guy to keep your eye on. Buckhalter is a capable backup, but really is more of a handcuff for

Moreno
owners.

WR: Eddie Royal, Demaryius Thomas

Not that this crew of receivers are all that great to begin with, but with Orton and possibly Quinn throwing balls to them, there really isn’t much to be excited about. Royal had a surprise season two years ago, but that was with Brandon Marshall taking up double teams. Thomas is raw, but freakishly athletic. If he can stay healthy, he could be a decent sleeper.

TE: Daniel Graham

The only reason Graham gets mentioned here is because the Broncos don’t have much offensive firepower. Maybe, he can get you some cheap touchdowns?



Kansas City

Chiefs

QB: Matt Cassel


Cassel

has the skill set to be a top 15 fantasy quarterback. His problem has usually been a lack of weapons. Another issue facing him is that

Kansas City
’s defense has been so bad that opposing defenses can really focus on him and come after him. With an improved running attack, he might have some extra time back there and might surprise you. He shouldn’t be your starter Week 1, but he’s a very capable backup or matchups play.

RB: Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones

Charles is fast. Like really fast. He’s Chris Johnson-lite. Once he took over for Larry Johnson, who had been seriously overworked, he took off. In the final eight weeks of the season, he rushed for a total of 968 yards, averaging 5.8 yards per carry, and scored seven rushing touchdowns. Imagine what he can do with a full year. Jones put up a career year in

New York
, but was let go to make room for Shonn Greene. He’s still a tough runner and should be snagged as well.

WR: Dwayne Bowe, Chris Chambers

Reports from Chiefs camp have Bowe making solid strides this year. He’s bigger, faster and is making all sorts of plays. He’s going later than he should be in drafts, so grab him for a great value. Chambers meshed well with
Cassel last year, and I see no reason why he can’t continue that good relationship.

TE: Leonard Pope

Pope underperformed in

Arizona
, but has the skills to be a dangerous downfield threat. He’s a tight end sleeper for deeper leagues, but not one to get too excited about.



Oakland

Raiders

QB: Jason Campbell


Campbell

was traded to make room for Donovan McNabb in

Washington
.

Campbell
has more skills and leadership than any Raider signal-caller since Rich Gannon. Last year, the Raiders actually weren’t that bad. He makes them an interesting team, and with their ground game and tough defense, he could show up big. He’s definitely someone to consider as a QB2.

RB: Michael Bush, Darren McFadden

McFadden is going before Bush, but I think Bush is more valuable. He’s a tough runner, which the Raiders will use to slow down games and beat up opponents. McFadden still has value as a home run threat, but his running style does not mesh well with the

Oakland
offensive scheme.

WR: Darrius Heyward-Bey, Louis Murphy

Heyward-Bey has been impressive in camp, and Murphy took a solid step forward last year. But, the Raiders are an enigma, always showing immense promise and upside, and then usually tripping over their shoelaces. They’re really a running team, but these receivers do have some talent that Campbell should be able to use.

TE: Zach Miller

Miller is always a solid tight end, but I think he could be a top eight guy this year. He’s very good at finding holes in the defense and posting up, but what really works for him this year is the change in quarterback. Campbell helped to make Chris Cooley a household name in Washington, and now he’ll have Miller doing those same things. I really like Miller this year.

San Diego Chargers

QB: Philip Rivers

Rivers is a franchise quarterback. He’s easily in the top 10, and will make a push at top five this year, even with Vincent Jackson missing time. He’s got a lot of weapons, all the tools and can make all the throws.

RB: Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles

Mathews is going to be a horse. He is big, strong and fast. He’ll make Charger fans forget about LaDainian Tomlinson real fast. His schedule shapes up quite nicely. Sproles is a nice backup and an obvious handcuff for Mathews owners.

WR: Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, Legedu Naanee

Vincent Jackson will serve a three-game suspension, but that’s about all we know about him. He’s still holding out and wants a big contract. While the Chargers face that situation, Floyd and Naanee are big and fast, just like Jackson, and Rivers is comfortable with them. They should be upgraded a little on your board until the Jackson issue is resolved.

TE: Antonio Gates

Gates is still awesome. Not much more needs to be said. The only thing that can stop him is an injury.

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