Fantasy Football Week 14 Matchup: Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals

Jeremy Alpert@@pyroman1acSenior Analyst IIDecember 12, 2010

Week 14 Match-up:  Denver Broncos (3-9) at Arizona Cardinals (3-9)

Rankings based on top 16 QBs, 32 RBs, 48 WRs and 16 TEs

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Denver Broncos (Broncos Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Arizona Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 24th - TDs Allowed T-12th

Arizona Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 30th – TDs Allowed T-30th


Denver Offensive Cast

Kyle Orton (QB Week 14 Ranking: No. 7)

2010 Season: 274/457, 3,487 yards, 20 TDs

WOW, that was a bad one, eh?  Maybe a touchdown or 10 yards rushing would have been nice, but Kyle couldn’t come up with anything even close last week.  Hell, since everything else in Denver is being blamed on him, I’ll go ahead and blame Josh McDaniels as well.  Don’t worry though, McD is gone, so Orton should be able to produce like a fantasy stud again this week… especially against defense like Arizona’s.

Knowshon Moreno (RB Week 14 Ranking: No. 6)

2010 Season: 146 carries for 633 yards, 4 TDs || 29 receptions, 315 yard, 3 TDs

Moreno set a career high in yards last week against a pretty good Chiefs rush D (23 carries, 161 yards) and has been a touchdown machine with seven TDs in just nine games played so far this season. 

In addition, with Josh McDaniels being fired and the Donkey’s former RBs coach taking over, Denver might actually move to more of a rushing attack from here on out.  Arizona’s rush D is among the worst three in the league, maybe even the worst, so if you’re looking to for a guy to either ride while in the playoffs this week or someone just to get you in, then Knowshon could be your guy.

Brandon Lloyd (WR Week 14 Ranking: No. 2)

2010 Season: 60 receptions, 1,153 yards, 9 TDs

Lloyd was held without a TD reception last week against the Chiefs for the first time in the last five games.  He continued to be Orton’s favorite receiver getting 11 targets in the game though, and against one of the worst defenses in the league in Arizona, you can expect the numbers to all return to normal this weekend.

Eddie Royal (WR Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 53 receptions, 559 yards, 3 TDs

Royal might be a decent PPR play this week, but that’s about it.

Jabar Gaffney (WR Week 14 Ranking: No. 45)

2010 Season: 56 receptions, 693 yards, 2 TDs

Arizona can be beat in any which way an offense wants to beat them, so if the Donkeys end up throwing the ball, you can expect some pretty good numbers out of Gaffney this weekend.  If they decide to run Knowshon all day, Gaffney will likely go scoreless.  Only in a bind is he worth a shot. 

Eric Decker (WR Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 3 receptions, 76 yards, 0 TDs

With Demaryius Thomas out, rookie Eric Decker is getting a little playing time, but not enough to consider a fantasy threat.

Daniel Graham (TE Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 15 receptions, 104 yards, 0 TDs

Graham isn’t involved enough to consider playable.

Arizona Cardinals (Cardinals Schedule)

Opponent Defensive Ranks

Denver Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 22nd - TDs Allowed T-29th

Denver Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 31st – TDs Allowed 32nd

Arizona Offensive Cast

Derek Anderson (QB Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 169/327, 2,065 yards, 7 TDs

Anderson won’t be playing this week due to the concussion he received last week.

John Skelton (QB Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 3/6,45 yards, 0 TDs

Skelton will get the first start of his career in this one, and he actually might be able to put up some decent numbers against this crap Arizona defense.

Beanie Wells (RB Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 86 carries, 307 yards, 2 TDs || 4 receptions, 68 yards, 0 TDs

Beanie’s pass protection problems have landed him in the doghouse again, so even though the Cards are facing a defense you’d normally love to play your guys against, we’re more likely to see a whole bunch of Hightower this game than Wells.

Tim Hightower (RB Week 14 Ranking: No. 25)

2010 Season: 111 carries, 519 yards, 3 TDs || 15 receptions, 116 yards, 0 TDs

Beanie Wells has pretty much bungled his way out of the Cardinals good graces so it looks like Hightower will continue to see time as a feature back.  If Denver wasn’t so awful on D, I probably wouldn’t be ranking Timmy here, but they are, so he is, and with the Cards rolling out a rookie QB—you can bet Hightower will be used often.

Larry Fitzgerald (WR Week 14 Ranking: No. 22)

2010 Season: 63 receptions, 789 yards, 5 TDs

The Cardinals turning to rookie John Skelton could go one of two ways for Fitz:  1) He could end up with about as much fantasy value as Steve Smith has on the Panthers right now (zero), or 2) Fitz will step up his game, catch every pass thrown his way, and continue to be a viable fantasy threat through the end of the season. 

I’m betting on Fitz and his superior talent to shine through in a couple of games, but maybe not so much in this one with Champ Bailey likely shadowing him all day long.

Steve Breaston (WR Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 39 receptions, 632 yards, 1 TD

With a rookie running the show, you just can’t depend on a team’s WR2 like Breaston is.

Early Doucet (WR Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 23 receptions, 259 yards, 1 TD

Doucet is too inconsistent to even think about playing, especially with Skelton starting.  Don’t bother now or for the rest of the season.

Ben Patrick (TE Week 14 Ranking: Not ranked)

2010 Season: 15 receptions, 123 yards, 0 TDs

Ben Patrick has gone missing again.  Maybe he’s down in Mexico with Bills TE Jonathan Stupar.