In this week’s dynasty fantasy football show Bryan Fontaine and Scott Spratt continue their team by team dynasty previews with the Broncos and Raiders this week.
As it was rumored by many, Tim Tebow was in fact a first round draft pick in the 2010 NFL Draft by the end of the night. Even more shocking is that Tebow found a spot in the first round and Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen did not.
After trading up for Demaryius Thomas several picks earlier, the Broncos traded three picks to Baltimore for the Ravens’ first-round pick. They gave up choices in the second (No. 43), third (No. 70) and fourth (No. 114) rounds to move back into the first round to select Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
We have been warming to the idea that Tebow could become a viable starting quarterback in the NFL. Tebow has intangibles in spades with his leadership and work ethic. His throwing motion has improved dramatically after being closely scrutinized this offseason. Tebow will benefit from sitting several seasons and as he continues to refine his game.
Denver will allow Kyle Orton and Brady Quinn to take the reins in 2010. Tebow is not a fantasy football option this season, but he makes an intriguing dynasty option for the future.
In a surprising move, the Denver Broncos traded up with the New England Patriots to select Demaryius Thomas 22nd overall. Thomas was the first wide receiver taken in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Dez Bryant was widely regarded as the top wide receiver prospect available. Bryant fell because of character and maturity concerns and had been linked to the Denver Broncos in many industry mock drafts.
Thomas is an intriguing player and has several qualities that will get him on the field early in his rookie season. Thomas has impressive size (6’3” 230 lbs), attacks the football in the air, and is a devastating blocker from his days in the Georgia Tech triple-option offense.
Thomas broke his foot while training in February and was not able to run a forty-yard dash for scouts before the NFL Draft. Thomas stated that he had run his forty-yard dash in 4.38 seconds before injury. If Thomas is correct, that size and speed combination will be an asset at the next level.
Concerns will remain about Thomas’s ability to learn the NFL route tree after playing in the Georgia Tech’s run heavy offense. Many times Thomas was able to break off big plays on busted coverage or beat single coverage on a go-route. Thomas has great build-up speed, but he will need to show suddenness and quickness to get in and out of his breaks to get open at the next level.
Now that Brandon Marshall is a member of the Miami Dolphins, Demaryius Thomas has a golden opportunity to assume Marshall’s role in the Broncos passing attack.
The AFC West had a tough schedule dealt to them in 2009. The Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs, and Raiders each had to face the hard-hitting defensive squads of the AFC North and the NFC East. While the Chiefs and Raiders each endured another losing season, the Chargers were able to secure the second seed in the AFC Playoffs and the Broncos nearly claimed one of the final wild card spots.
There is good news on the horizon for the teams in the AFC West. The division draws the AFC South and NFC West in 2010. The Rams, Seahawks, Titans, and Jaguars should continue to be some of the worst defenses in the NFL next season.
What we’ve done with the help of the great folks over at Football Outsiders is compile a ranking list of the easiest schedules for the 2010 fantasy football season. Each team was assigned a defensive ranking using DVOA. Each NFL team was then ranked on the combined defensive strength of their 2010 opponents.
The Cleveland Browns finished the 2009 season strong with four straight victories. They will have to contend with the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals for six games in their own division, and then face off against the AFC East and NFC South. It could be another long season in Cleveland, because they come in dead-last with the toughest schedule in 2010.
Jamaal Charles finished 2009 with a flurry of big games, and he looks to continue his strong play with our second easiest schedule in 2010. If Knowshon Moreno can continue his development, he might be the next Ray Rice to emerge from the 4th round or later and have a top 10 season.
Team defensive performance can vary from season to season, but the biggest variable in change is the loss of a key contributor through free agency or injury. This ranking list should be used a guide in beginning your preparation for the 2010 fantasy football season. This list will be continually updated until the season starts.
Here is a closer look at our entire list, ranked from easiest to toughest:
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