Thursday night fantasy preview: Trust Manning again?

The official Thursday Night Football slate kicks off with a big one tonight, as Peyton Manning and the Broncos travel to Arrowhead Stadium to take on Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs. It's an AFC West tilt with a lot on the line, and plenty of fantasy football questions. Is Peyton's arm strength really shot? Can the Chiefs revitalized offense make an impact against Denver's vaunted defense? Is Travis Kelce Gronk 2.0? Will a Chiefs wide receiver EVER catch a touchdown pass?!? We take a look at most of these storylines in our Week 2 TNF preview below.

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Denver Broncos:

Peyton Manning, QB: Over Manning's last seven games, he's posted averages of 6.45 yards per attempt (4.38 in Week 1), 59.8 completion rate and just six touchdowns to seven interceptions. His biggest weakness (aside from diminished arm strength) has been his mobility. And he'll have to face a ferocious front seven on the road in a notoriously difficult stadium to play in. If you have a different option at QB other than Manning it's not crazy to consider using them and benching Manning on a short week.

C.J. Anderson, RB: Anderson has been a limited participant the last two days in practice, and is officially questionable for this TNF contest. If he plays, he's probably best served as a flex option. Don't be surprised to see the team deploy Ronnie Hillman even more to keep Anderson fresher as he recovers from a toe injury.

Ronnie Hillman, RB: Hillman has looked like a better fit for Gary Kubiak's zone running scheme in recent weeks, and saw 12 rush attempts but zero targets in the passing game. If Anderson sits, Hillman will be in the RB2 discussion. If Anderson plays, Hillman's a frisky flex play in deeper leagues.

Demaryius Thomas, WR: Thomas turned his 11 targets last week into seven catches for 60 yards. The Ravens took away the short area of the field, which is where Thomas tends to thrive on run-after-catch type passes. The Chiefs secondary is solid, but DeAndre Hopkins and Nate Washington found all kinds of space to run in last week. Give Thomas a go again as a WR1.

Emmanuel Sanders, WR: Sanders was the team's most productive receiver in Week 1 with eight catches for 65 yards, including a team-long reception of 18 yards. Like with Thomas, Sanders should be able to find some space against the Chiefs secondary, provided Manning can stay upright long enough to get it to him. He's worth a flex play for sure on TNF, especially in PPR formats.

Owen Daniels, TE: Daniels was barely targeted last week, and that doesn't figure to change this week. There are far better tight end options available, all with more upside than Daniels. Go find one.

Kansas City Chiefs:

Alex Smith, QB: Smith had a great game in Week 1 (243 yards, 3 TD) but gets a significantly tougher matchup in Week 2. He has to face another tough front, that's backed up by one of the league's best cornerback tandems. If you won Smith off of waivers or were hoping to stream him this week, look elsewhere for quarterback help.

Jamaal Charles, RB: The Denver defensive front squashed the likes of Justin Forsett and Javorius Allen in Week 1 (they only allowed one run over 10 yards), meaning Charles could be in for a long night. He has also struggled against Denver in recent history, too. If you throw out Week 17 in 2009 (where he had 259 yards and 2 TD), Charles has averaged a paltry 64.8 yards per game and only scored four total touchdowns -- in nine contests. The reassurance for his fantasy owners is that Charles could do some damage in the passing game in this one, but be sure to temper expectations.

Jeremy Maclin, WR: Maclin will either draw Aqib Talib or Chris Harris Jr. on Thursday night, and neither is a particularly attractive matchup. Maclin merits flex consideration, as his speed and ability could create opportunities deep (especially against Talib) with the Broncos keying in on Charles. However, considering this is lining up to be a low-scoring affair, if you have depth at wide receiver, you might be wise to look elsewhere.

Travis Kelce, TE: If there's one player to trust in this game, it's Kelce. His size, speed, strength, and overall matchup-proofness make him worthy of a confident start this week. If Week 1 was any indication, the team finally realized what an asset they had with Kelce. Don't expect him to repeat his 106-yard, two-touchdown performance. But don't expect him to leave this game without making some noise, either.

-- Follow Alex on Twitter @AlexGelhar

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