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WR Julian Edelman
Edelman signed a new four-year deal after notching his first 1,000 yard season--an astounding 821 yard increase over his 2012 totals. While Edelman has had some injury issues, he was healthy for the entirety of 2013 and we expect the same this year. However, whereas Edelman was almost the last man standing last season, he has more healthy--and more experienced-- receivers around him now. As the team moves towards more three-wide sets (per ESPN Boston), Edelman will see some of his targets fall. We don't expect the 105 catch season of 2013 to replicate itself. That will limit his impact a little, though we still see him as productive enough to warrant consideration as a WR3.
WR Torrey Smith
Torrey Smith took a statistical leap in 2013, going from 50 and 49 catches his first two years to 65 last year and increasing his yardage total from the 850 yard range to 1,151 yards. However, that improvement should come with a slight asterisk. First, his quarterback threw a career-high 614 pass attempts, exceeding his previous career high by 72. This was in part due to an uncharacteristically anemic run game. Smith also wasn't sharing the field with a duo who caught 126 passes in 2012 (Anquan Boldin and Dennis Pitta). This season, Pitta will return. Smith is also joined by the surname-sharing Steve Smith. The elder Smith isn't a volume pass-catcher like Boldin, but Pitta's return plus desires to revamp the run game could lower Torrey Smith's ceiling.
WR Kendall Wright
Kendall Wright broke out last season, but his fantasy impact was hampered by a lack of touchdowns. That was primarily a result of his usage in the end zone, Wright had just one end zone target on his first 121 targets last season. That target resulted in a touchdown against the Houston Texans. While his usage in the redzone moving forward is unclear, it appears that Wright will feature heavily in Ken Whisenhunt's offense. Whisenhunt's offenses consistently throw a lot to the slot receiver. What Wright did last season, 94 receptions for 1,079 yards and two touchdowns, should be the floor of his expectations entering next season.
WR Jeremy Maclin
Maclin's career has been a test of patience. The former Missouri Tiger enters his sixth season still in search of his first 1,000-yard campaign, thanks to a life-threatening illness followed by a torn ACL last preseason. Maclin has yet to play for Chip Kelly in a game that matters, but there is reason to optimism. Maclin is healthy and is slated to be a full participant in the preseason. DeSean Jackson signed with Washington, and the Eagles made it a priority to re-sign Maclin in free agency in spite of his up-and-down career. When healthy, Maclin has the ability to break defensive backs' ankles and has an ability to high point the ball and come down with contested throws. Nick Foles has shown a willingness to trust his receivers and let them win head-to-head matchups; this plays to Maclin's strengths. If healthy, Maclin could be in line for a 70+ catch, 900-1,000 yard season.
WR Emmanuel Sanders
Talk about an upgrade! Emmanuel Sanders was one of the splashiest moves the Broncos made in free agency this offseason. He'll take the place of departed free agent Eric Decker as the team's number two receiver starting opposite Demaryius Thomas.
Sanders has speed that Decker did not. His run-after-the-catch ability is also an improvement over what Decker offered. Simply put, Sanders is more naturally talented than Decker even though his career numbers are inferior. The Broncos get an upgrade in talent with Sanders in and Decker out.
Sanders gets an upgrade in situation. Going from a boring, predictable Todd Haley offense to the wide open offense that Adam Gase runs is like going from driving a broken down soapbox car to a Lamborghini. No offense to Ben Roethlisberger, but catching passes from Peyton Manning is an upgrade as well.
This season is setting up to be a career year for Sanders, and fantasy owners need to take note. Sanders has always had the talent, and he's stayed healthy for the last two years after foot problems plagued him in 2010 and 2011. Now it's time to put it all together for his new team.
Amazingly, Sanders has never had a 100-yard receiving game in his four-year career. That could change in Week 1 for the Broncos. Sanders has 11 career receiving touchdowns while the guy he replaced (Decker) had a total of 11 in one season last year.
With the speed to take the top off the defense, the Broncos can get creative with the way they use Sanders. With so many weapons on this offense, Sanders should regularly draw one-on-one coverage. Expect Gase and Manning to exploit this time and time again. Sanders has the upside to be a great WR3 for your fantasy team. When all is said and done, he could put up top-25 numbers in 2014.
David Dodds's projections
Chris Smith's projections
Bob Henry's projections
Jason Wood's projections
Maurile Tremblay's projections