Credit: AP Photo/Jack Dempsey
8. Denver Broncos
2020 Record 5–11
Key Additions: Kyle Fuller, Ronald Darby, Shamar Stephen
Fantasy Football Starters: Bradley Chubb, Von Miller, Justin Simmons, Kareem Jackson, Josey Jewell, Mike Purcell in deeper leagues
Best Position Group: DBs
Head Coach Vic Fangio is one the greatest defensive minds in the NFL. He is back against the wall with pressure to perform better than his previous 2 years. However, the Denver Broncos have one the best defenses to go along with one of the greatest defensive minds.
It begins with an excellent nose tackle in DT Mike Purcell. Although he may not fill the stat sheet, he is vital to the success of the Denver Broncos. Responsible for both A gaps and to keep lineman from reaching the second level… only a few athletes posses this skill. LBs Bradley Chubb and Von Miller provide excellent edge pressure. Some question Von as he is 33 years old, but the 2010 All-Decade member and Super Bowl 50 MVP declares he’s in excellent shape, and primed for a great year. Bradley Chubb had his 5th year option picked up and will be considered the better IDP option. Both are mid to late round IDP draft picks.
Vic Fangio is a defensive back ‘whisperer’, and he knows how to bring out the best of his secondary. They spent big money and used the 2021 9th overall pick to improve their secondary. DB Kyle Fuller is reunited with his former defensive coordinator and they paid premium price for what should be a seamless fit. DB Ronald Darby was paid more than Fuller and will likely be asked to lock down opposing teams #1 WR. Rookie DB Patrick Surtain II will be involved in several sub packages, and in a pass happy AFC West he could be in over 50% of the games defensive snaps.
Those were just the cornerbacks and non are the best member of the secondary. That honor belongs to the 2019 All-Pro safety DB Justin Simmons. The 2020 Pro Bowler is now the highest paid safety in the league. Ranked #1 safety in numerous formats, he is the focal point of Coach Fangio’s defense. He is worthy of an early draft pick in most IDP formats and is a plug and play starter. He is joined by strong safety DB Kareem Jackson to complete what will be one of the top 3 DB units in the league.
The Denver Broncos have the best defense in the AFC West. If they all remain healthy enough to play a complete season, it is likely there will be multiple members on the 2021 All-Pro team. On the flip side Coach Fangio, his staff, and several players will be shown the exit door if the team does not make the playoffs. The Denver Broncos defense is good enough to carry them to a playoff berth. Will they stay healthy and will the offense help them when needed? Only time knows the answer.
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