Emmanuel Sanders, the newest option in Peyton Manning's arsenal, appeared on "NFL AM" Wednesday morning raving about his experiences with the Denver Broncos thus far and saying how happy he is to be there. "I'm finally entering a season where I'm in an offense that's going to sling it around," Sanders said. He added that he meant no disrespect to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but to him, the Denver offense "is football."
Fantasy owners don't quite know what to make of the fifth-year wideout from SMU, as last year was his finest fantasy season when he finished 33rd among wide receivers. The opportunity will never be better than it is for Sanders now to burst onto the scene with a monster statistical campaign, as there will be plenty of touches and touchdowns to go around with Manning under center. After all, the Broncos became the first team in NFL history to have five skill position players score 10 or more touchdowns in 2013.
A quick sift through Sanders' tape shows him frequently lining up on the outside, which would lead one to believe he'll assume Eric Decker's role for the Broncos. However, throughout the interview Sanders mentioned how he was excited to be in a system that fits his style of "wanting to catch balls, wanting to make guys miss and wanting to get yards after the catch." A deeper look at Sanders' skill set and the Broncos offense might be in order, but for now fantasy owners will have to keep an eye on how Sanders is deployed throughout training camp and the preseason. If he's lining up purely on the outside, and working the sidelines as he did far too often in Pittsburgh, his value is limited. However, if Sanders is hinting at what his role might look like in 2014, with him stretching the field and using his speed and elusiveness to make plays, then his stock could quickly be on the rise.
Stay tuned. Any target of Peyton Manning is a target worth fantasy consideration, but in the case of Sanders just how much consideration remains to be seen. The Broncos open training camp on July 23, and will play the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 7 to open the preseason.