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Broncos' fantasy questions for the offseason

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Recent posts by William Del Pilar

Around Fantasyland: Tight ends

Posted June 02, 2012 @ 10 a.m.

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Posted Feb. 05, 2012 @ 12:44 a.m. ET
By William Del Pilar

Ninth in a series                                                                    

Most of the Broncos' questions surround QB Tim Tebow and his ability to become a better passer. They also need another body to help at the RB position, making it a committee approach, which fantasy owners hate but will help keep a veteran like Willis McGahee fresh all season. The TE position has talent with Julius Thomas, but if history is any sign, this position will not see much use in a John Fox offense. However, let's wait and see how this specific offense jells under an improving Tebow.

Is Tim Tebow good enough to be an NFL starting QB?

We know Tebow can be a fantasy star with his rushing ability, but if he's not a given as a starter for the Broncos, it doesn't matter how much fantasy talent he has. According to John Elway, the Broncos' VP of football operations, Tebow will enter training camp as the starter with the intent of doing heavy work during the offseason to improve his mechanics and ability to become a stronger passer.

The team will look for a veteran as second-year pro Adam Weber is the only other quarterback on roster. Once the Broncos have signed another quarterback, that will determine whether Tebow is worth drafting, but most will wait and see how he looks in the preseason before deciding his value. Right now, dynasty league owners should hold on to him. He ended the season with an average of 123.5 passing yards and 0.86 TDs with 0.43 interceptions in 14 games, but he also averaged 8.7 rush attempts for 47.1 yards and 0.4 TDs. He has potential and upside.

Does RB Willis McGahee have enough left in the tank?

McGahee enters 2012 as the starter, but he proved he can't carry the load on his own without suffering injury. He's about to enter his 10th season, but this was his first since 2007 in which he carried the load. A committee approach is needed for most RBs to remain healthy all season, but he averaged just 126 attempts a season between 2008 and 2010. He doesn't have as many miles on his wheels as many think despite the fact that he'll turn 31 in October. He signed a four-year contract this year, and the team is committed to him. They will bring in another RB to pair with McGahee, who ended the season with a per-game average of 16.6 attempts for 79.9 yards and 0.27 TDs. He did rush for greater than 100 yards seven times, including a Week 17 performance of 28-145-0.

Knowshon Moreno will try to come back from a torn ACL but isn't a good fit in this system. He also has yet to prove he can play at an NFL level. Lance Ball is simply there for depth right now and will have to prove himself in training camp for the team to believe he's the backup they need. Right now he has minimal fantasy value, if any.

The team will probably look to find someone through the draft or free agency. Remember, head coach John Fox ran a successful two-man system in Carolina with Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams. Look for McGahee to be a middle-round pick with No. 2 value right now.

How much faith should we have in this WR corps?

The wide receivers are not the issue; rather Tebow is. Tebow threw an average of 19.36 times in 14 games with a horrid completion percentage of 46.5 percent. Starting with Eric Decker, Tebow eventually wound up with Demaryius Thomas as his favorite receiver.

Thomas is the only WR whom fantasy owners will focus on. From Weeks 13 through 16, he averaged 5.5 catches for 103.5 yards but just 0.75 TDs on 10.25 targets. Those are No. 1 fantasy WR numbers. He does have a history of injuries since entering the NFL in 2010, and there's also the Tebow factor. Despite that strong run, he ended the season with a per-game average of 2.9 catches for 50.1 yards and 0.36 TDs on 6.4 targets. In one game he didn't even see a target.

Decker lost his No. 1 position from Week 13 on, and from Weeks 13 through 16 he averaged 1.5 catches for 20 yards and zero TDs on 4.25 targets. Before that week he reigned supreme as the No. 1 target from Weeks Seven through 12. He ended with a per-game average of 2.75 catches for 38.25 yards and 0.5 TDs on six targets.

The team will try to re-sign Eddie Royal, but he's no longer a fantasy factor based on his role and Tebow. The future is now for Decker and Thomas, with Decker entering as a late-round flier while Thomas is a No. 2 fantasy WR with middle-round value. Thomas' talent was not a fluke, and his play toward the end of the season simply began to fulfill team expectations.

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