Thursday Preview: Week 15

peyton-manning-broncosIf you’ve followed this blog during the course of this fantasy season, you’ll know that I’ve been high on Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos every single week. This week Manning is without one of his primary weapons, even though he’s been a little overlooked lately anyway, Wes Welker. Will it make a difference in the Thursday game against San Diego? It’s definitely a possibility, but I wouldn’t look too closely into it. Of course if you have Welker on your fantasy team, he’s riding the bench, but I’ll talk about other options in this matchup that might work to your advantage. However, and I can’t stress this enough, if you have solid options in the Sunday or Monday night games, go with them instead of the receivers in this game. Stats don’t lie, and receivers don’t usually perform well on Thursday night. Exceptions go to the Denver receivers, but don’t expect any receivers from San Diego to light up the fantasy points board. You’ve been warned. Now it’s time for the Thursday Preview…

SAN DIEGO @ DENVER

Team Comparison:

San Diego needs this game to keep alive any realistic chances of making the playoffs as a wild card, but Denver is playing to maintain its grip on the number one playoff seed, both important goals and reasons for each team to want this game badly. But there are two huge deciding factors that will help determine this game. One is the location. You’ve heard how location is important, and Denver is at home for this one where the crowd is loud and focused. Now, you’re going to tell me how San Diego beat Kansas City in Kansas City, but that took last second heroics AND Denver beat Kansas City twice this season. That being said, the Denver defense is better than advertised and will show up for this one. Peyton Manning will do what he needs to do to get this one in the books in Denver’s favor. I predict a 14-point win. Denver 38, San Diego 24.

QB Breakdown:

Fantasy Ace Says… FA Projections
Peyton Manning (DEN) At home Manning is absolutely dominant, winning by record-setting percentages. Even without Welker he is money in the bank. Look for a big game. 400 YDS, 4 TDs,42 fantasy points
Philip Rivers (SD) Rivers has looked better of late, reverting to his early season form, but the Broncos will be opportunistic against him and cause some turnovers. He has a good, not great, game. 325 YDS, 2 TDs, 1 INT,24 fantasy points

RB Focus:

Fantasy Ace Says… FA Projections
Knowshon Moreno (DEN)  Moreno has lost a few more carries to Montee Ball of late, but he’s still the cash cow and he shows it here.  100 YDS, 2 TOT TD, 22 fantasy points
Montee Ball  (DEN)  He gets in on the action with a large lead and contributes. Just don’t count on him for a TD.  80 TOT YDS, 8 fantasy points
Ryan Mathews (SD)  The running game suffers a little in this one, with the Chargers having to play catch up. Mathews gets good yardage but no TD.  80 YDS, 8 fantasy points
Danny Woodhead (SD)  Woodhead contributes in the passing game, and he will shine in this matchup, scoring at least one TD.  80 TOT YDS, 1 TD, 14 fantasy points

WR Matchup:

Fantasy Ace Says… FA Projections
Damaryius Thomas (DEN)  Welker’s absence really won’t affect Thomas as he has been on top of his game regardless of who is in and who is out.  100 YDS, 1 TD, 16 fantasy points
Eric Decker (DEN)  Decker is hot right now, and Welker’s absence will help him keep up the pace. He will get a ton of targets in this one.  70 YDS, 2 TD, 19 fantasy points
Keenan Allen (SD)  Sadly, Allen is the only legitimate threat outside of Woodhead in the passing game for Rivers. He will post his numbers in this one.  100 YDS, 1 TD, 16 fantasy points
 Vincent Brown/ Eddie Royal (SD)  Even if Royal plays, neither of these guys are good fantasy options on Thursday. Maybe one scores a TD, but that will be the only thing that could salvage the day for them.  50 combined YDS, 5 fantasy points

TE Situation:

Fantasy Ace Says… FA Projections
Julius Thomas (DEN)  Thomas hasn’t been the healthiest lately, but he’s still posting numbers when he’s in. He is probable for this one, and if he plays he keeps posting his numbers.  80 YDS, 1 TD,14 fantasy points
Antonio Gates/ Ladarius Green (SD)  Who knows which guy will step up and help out Rivers this week? I think one will and the other will be fodder. I wouldn’t play either because it’s a crapshoot.  60 combined YDS, 1 TD,12 fantasy points

Avoid both defenses if you can, but if you absolutely have to play one of them go with the Denver defense as I’ve already stated I think they will have at least one turnover in this one. They will be good for 5 fantasy points while the San Diego defense might be in the negative. In one of my leagues I own both defenses, and it’s a no-brainer for me. As for kickers, Matt Prater and Nick Novak are both must-starts if you own either of them. Also remember what I said. If you have other solid options at wide receiver I would go with them over the San Diego receivers in this one.

FA

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