One week after becoming the all-time leader in career passing yards, Denver’s Peyton Manning will be active but start the game on the bench.
With Manning’s season-long inability to put any force behind his throws this could be a very good, or equally bad, thing for the Broncos.
Not only does the Brock Osweiler create questions at the quarterback position, it will change the way the receiving corps and running backs are viewed in fantasy. And, perhaps, the defense as well.
That being said, there are an abundance of options even if you ignore the Broncos-Chicago Bears game altogether.
With the New Orleans Saints getting a much-needed bye week, the Baltimore Ravens will head into Sunday allowing the most fantasy points per week to fantasy quarterbacks among active teams.
They host the St. Louis Rams, who have decided to give signal caller Case Keenum the start in place of Nick Foles. A starting quarterback, facing the worst active fantasy defenses against the pass, at a salary of $4,800 is impossible to pass up. Especially with the weapons he will have around him.
The New England Patriots will host the Buffalo Bills, who allowed Tom Brady’s second highest fantasy point output of the season when they first met in Week 2.
Brady, coming off back-to-back sub-20 fantasy point performances may very well break the 30-point barrier.
As the Indianapolis Colts struggle to find consistency they continue to feed Frank Gore, who has had double-digit point output in five consecutive games. Facing an Atlanta Falcons defense allowing nearly 19 fantasy points per game to running backs (seventh most in the league) Gore’s salary of $6,600 places him among the top value plays for the week.
Rams running back Todd Gurley is among the league’s top rushers. He is also a valuable weapon in the passing game, and thus will serve as a safety valve for Keenum.
The Ravens have shown all season that tackling is a weakness for their defense. That won’t get any easier this week.
When Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman left last week’s game with a broken foot, Danny Amendola became a go-to target for Brady. With that likely to continue this week, expect Amendola to produce far beyond his $6,100 salary.
Dallas Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant proved last week that his health is at, or very near, 100 percent. This week he will have his normal signal caller back, and Tony Romo will be looking for number 88 early and often.
The Oakland Raiders are allowing the most fantasy points in the league to opponents’ tight ends. The Detroit Lions have an effective and physical tight end, and are searching for some momentum. Eric Ebron, at a salary of $5,400, is the top value pick at the position.
A complete surprise to absolutely no one, Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski is still the best bet at tight end, especially with a quarterback poised for a monster game and the absence of Edelman.
The Arizona Cardinals will be able to move the ball but struggle to get into the painted turf, so kicker Chandler Catanzaro is a safe bet to get opportunities in bunches.
It’s only a bonus that he will be kicking indoors in Arizona as many others will be in the cold air of late November.
As previously stated, the Broncos defense may be forced to take on an additional burden with questions surrounding the offense, so steer clear.
The Houston Texans continue to scuffle on the offensive end (save for DeAndre Hopkins) and the New York Jets are looking to rebound from a mediocre performance a week ago.
With Aqib Talib ready to return to the starting lineup, it may be the absence of his quarterback that hurts the Bronco’s staring defense the most. And it will likely be his former team, the Patriots, who reap the most prosperous fantasy week.