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Wes Welker ban opens door for Sanders, Caldwell

The NFL has suspended another star receiver. This time it's Broncos receiver Wes Welker, who will miss the first four games of the season for a violation of the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.

The ban leaves Denver without one of its most consistent wideouts. Last season, Welker caught 73 passes for 778 yards -- which were significant dropoffs from his previous seasons in New England -- but he set a career-high with 10 touchdowns.

Now with Peyton Manning missing one of his favorite targets, it moves Emmanuel Sanders up the pecking order when it comes to targets. Sanders was slotting as a WR3 in most formats heading into Week 1, but without Welker in the lineup that moves the former Steeler up to the range of a low-end No. 2. It also gives Andre Caldwell a boost in value as the veteran receiver could find his way onto the field when Denver lines up with three wide receivers.

As for Welker's fantasy value in leagues that have yet to draft, the diminutive receiver's sixth-round ADP is likely to fall a few rounds. Adding the suspension to the ever-present concerns over Welker's concussion issues, it's hard to envision a scenario where the veteran is going to come off the board before the 10th round.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG.

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