Denver Broncos: Vance Joseph Is Here To Make Your Fantasy Football Dreams a Reality

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After the abrupt departure from the Denver Broncos last season because of health concerns,  Paxton Lynch, or family time, Gary Kubiak decided it was time to step away. General manager John Elway didn’t waste much time acquiring a new head coach.  His name is Vance Joseph.  Don’t worry about his lack of experience.  I have two words for you…Mike McCoy.  Your fantasy football uneasiness should be quieted now.

Sure the Broncos offense was less than optimal last season.  They ranked 22nd in the NFL in passing yards; 27th in the NFL in rushing yards; 22nd in the NFL in total points averaged; and 27th in the NFL in total yards.

Their starting quarterback, Trevor Siemian passed for 18 touchdowns with 10 interceptions.  He was sacked 31 times. And if that isn’t disturbing enough, back-up rookie quarterback Lynch played in two games and was sacked nine times. He also passed for two touchdowns and one interception.

The Broncos leading rusher C.J. Anderson rushed 110 times for 437 yards and four touchdowns.  He averaged 4.0 yards a carry.  In the first seven games with Anderson they averaged 111.6 rushing yards a game and 4.1 yards per carry.  And then he was sidelined with injury.  In those final nine games, without Anderson, the Broncos averaged 78.1 rushing yards and 3.1 yards per carry.  Anderson was then replaced by Devontae Booker who rushed 174 times for 612 yards and four touchdowns.  Booker averaged 3.5 yards a carry.

And what can only be described as a wasted dynamic duo, wide receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders managed only 10 touchdowns for the entire season.  Thomas was on the receiving end of 90 receptions and five touchdowns.  While Sanders caught 79 passes for five touchdowns.

Many a fantasy dreams were stampeded by the offense of the Broncos.  That was under Kubiak, who it is now lamented for forcing an offense onto his players.

Now it is McCoy‘s offense.  He was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator from 2009-12 making Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton relevant.  He will be assisted by quarterback coach Bill Musgrave, who until recently was employed by the Oakland Raiders and helped Derek Carr ascend into fantasy relevance.  Now the Broncos will attempt to go through the season with either Siemian or Lynch.  McCoy has coached Tebow in the read-option in 2011.  He also managed the first season of Peyton Manning‘s season in the Denver’s offense in 2012.

When he moved on to San Diego Chargers and worked with Philip Rivers, in four years Rivers averaged 4,486 passing yards, with 31 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.  That is what it appears head coach Joseph is looking for, ” …if an offense can be attacking multiple personnel groups, multiple formations, that’s what I want it to look like.  I want to score points, I want offense with swagger, with tempo.”

So there is hope, regardless of who is under center.  McCoy will adjust a system that fits his players’ skill set.  He started the 2011 season with Orton at quarterback, then transitioned that offense into a run-heavy, read option attack led by Tebow.  The Broncos finished that season as the NFL’s leader in rushing and won the AFC West.  The next season, McCoy with Tebow under center, had the Broncos finish as the number two scoring offense and the number four unit in total yards.  There is hope.

The Defense was never in question.  The Broncos’ defense is that magical place where fantasy and reality meet.  There were some rumblings when Wade Phillips left.  Philips twice led the Broncos to the number one pass defense.  But the Broncos promoted defensive back coach Joe Woods to defensive coordinator.  Woods has been with the Broncos since 2015, as the defensive backs coach.

Last season the Broncos defense ranked: fourth in total defense; fourth in scoring defense; first in passing defense; third in sacks; seventh in turnovers; third in defensive touchdowns; and 28th in rushing defense.

Okay, so one of these things isn’t like the other.  But the Broncos’ defense is legit.  The ‘No Fly Zone’ is legit.  But the Broncos went from the third ranked run defense giving up only 83.6 yards rushing per game to giving up 130.3 rushing yards per game.  So maybe the front line isn’t so legit.  But the ‘No Fly Zone’ and now the man who orchestrated that is now the defensive coordinator.  He may make the run defense more legit.

So maybe Joseph won’t make your fantasy dreams a reality.  But he has assigned coordinators who just might make your fantasy a reality.




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