Defensive Coordinator: Jack Del Rio
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Fantasy Football Outlook: We knew Denver had a solid defense coming into last season as they had a big hand in leading the team to a playoff birth in 2011. Enter Peyton Manning and it was no surprise this group finished the season tied for first place in team sacks with 52 on the year.
While they lost Elvis Dumervil to a controversial “fax machine error” they should still be one of the top three fantasy defenses off the board in summer fantasy drafts. While I like Seattle as the most talented defense in the league they have the hardest divisional schedule in football.
Denver on the other hand, have the Chiefs, Raiders and Chargers and that probably makes them the most attractive defense on many fantasy owners draft boards, as it should.
While I think the Broncos have enough on the front line with additions like tackles Terrance Knighton, Sylvester Williams and edge rushers Shaun Phillips and rookie Quanterus Smith (has to recover from a knee injury suffered in college though) I am a little concerned about the secondary.
We saw this backfield fall apart against the Ravens and I believe we should expect more of the same when they face quarterbacks like Tom Brady. Still, they will have some quality fantasy performances and are one of the safer defenses to draft and start most weeks.
Summer of 2012: Fantasy Projections
Just days after the Broncos GM moved on from the team, long time defensive line coach Wayne Nunnely retired. Could just be a coincidence, but I find it interesting that Nunnely would choose to leave so late in the offseason.
Hopefully it’s not health issues, but this doesn’t give me anymore confidence in the Broncos front line. I was surprised that Pro Football Focus had this team rated 4th best in the league against the run, although they finished 22nd against the run?
With all due respect to PFF, I’m not as high on this group and while second-round pick Derek Wolfe will help inside, this should be another bad run defensive year. Stay away from the Broncos defense, but if they should gel up front and in the backfield, this could be a waiver wire addition at some point.
Summer of 2011: Fantasy Projections
With John Fox coming over from Carolina to be the teams new Head Coach, he is ditching the old 3-4 defensive scheme and going back to a 4-3 as he ran with the Panthers. While his old teams had success on defense, they always seemed to fail a acquiring a high sack total even when they had Julius Peppersand other quality veterans around him.The Broncos will probably struggle on defense this season as they will be looking to add talent youth into the starting lineup for future success. The Broncos may find their moments of success, but they are in no way a draft-able option this summer at fantasy football drafts.