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It has been speculation all week, but now the bad news is a reality. Broncos WR Brandon Marshall will miss the team’s season finale this Sunday against Kansas City after tweaking his hamstring in practice earlier in the week. Head coach Josh McDaniels made the decision today to bench Marshall before causing further harm to his star receiver.
No just kidding…could you imagine? Although this is a big blow to people in a championship matchup this weekend, there is still hope. In fact, this is the time for you to run to free agency and pick up other Broncos receivers.
Gaffney was the team’s leading receiver last Sunday with 69 yds and his first two scores of the season. He is 2nd on the team in both receptions (40) and yds (519).
The forgotten son of the Broncos has been the epitome of a disappointment this season. Failing to live up to his stellar rookie season of 91 receptions and 980 yds, Royal has been used primarily as a kick returner. With Marshall out, Royal could have his most productive game of the season.
So you don’t need a replacement receiver for Marshall. But still, you won’t be able to replace his production with another receiver. Then again, you could have two elite receivers on your team, but most of us don’t.
The great part about this Sunday game is that Denver gets to face one of the worst teams in football: The Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chiefs’ defense is ranked 3rd in the league, allowing a whopping 379 total yds per game. This includes giving up 161 rush yds every week (2nd worst in NFL). On paper, the pass defense doesn’t look horrible with 218 pass yds allowed. However, they are in the bottom 10 in the league with 7.5 yds allowed per pass play.
This basically means that Kansas City’s pass defense is among the worst, but teams choose to run the ball against them rather than throwing it.
Judging by opposing teams’ desire to pound the ball against the Chiefs, my advice to you is to start Denver running backs against the Chiefs. This is of course for Marshall owners who also need a boost to their own running game.
Rookie Knowshon Moreno should be unavailable in your league, and if he isn’t, then you need a more competitive league. However, teammate Correll Buckhalter should be ready to pickup.
Buckhalter has done a great job as the #2 back in Denver. Unless Denver falls behind for some unknown reason, then they should be running, running, running the ball. In a game where Denver should be leading, Buckhalter should get 10-12 carries. When the teams last met in Week 13, Buckhalter rushed 12 times for 113 yds. Considering the Chiefs have given up 940 rushing yds (yes, I said 940!) over the past 4 weeks, I’d say the chances of Buckhalter having a big game are looking very good.
Marshall owners need not worry this weekend. With the Chiefs defense having more holes than some kind of cheese from Switzerland, picking up the recently hot Jabar Gaffney should partially replace Marshall’s numbers.
If Marshall owners need running back help, then look to Correll Buckhalter to do some damage.