NFL training camp battles: Three of a kind vie to be Denver's top target
Is there a bigger mystery than Denver's passing game? The team brought in
To borrow Jerry Lee Lewis' best line, that's a whole lotta shakin' goin' on.
The team would like to see better production from its ground game, but even if
Lloyd has received most of the first-team reps this summer as Thomas prepares himself for NFL life, and has looked good by most accounts. He played in just two games last season but recorded 95 yards in Denver's season finale loss to Kansas City. Of all the receivers in Denver, Stokley has the most experience. After back-to-back 40-plus-catch seasons in his first two years in Denver, Stokley caught just 19 balls last year (although he did average a healthy 17.2 yards per reception). Decker is the wild card. A prolific pass catcher at the University of Minnesota (201 receptions in his last three years combined), he was considered a bargain in round three and could see time on the field if he can overcome the foot/ankle injuries that have limited him in practice thus far.
Thomas is the future star of this organization, but like Decker his foot/ankle troubles have limited him in camp. There is a good chance the Broncos will begin this season with Gaffney and Lloyd ahead of Thomas on the depth chart. While that won't last for long, fantasy owners can't afford to invest so highly in a rookie who will be brought along slowly.
Royal will play an integral role in the offense in Week 1 and could offer fantasy owners in PPR leagues the kind of numbers they demand from a No. 2 fantasy receiver. He has been targeted more than 200 times in his first two NFL seasons and is a safe bet to see another 100-plus looks this year.