Another year, another season for the Boise State Broncos to wreak havoc on the Western Athletic Conference, and the flawed BCS Bowl Syndicate.
As usual, the Broncos, under head coach Chris Petersen, have another deep and talented team, led by sophomore QB Kellen Moore (photo, thanks CFN Scout) and a balanced attack that will fill up your fantasy depth charts…and pound opponents of all shapes and sizes into the legendary blue turf of Bronco Stadium.
As Yogi Berra once said: “It’s deja vu all over again“.
Yogi must have retired in Boise…
Numerous. Start with QB Moore, who in his first season as a starter threw for nearly 3500 yards and 25 TDs…while hitting close to 70% of his passes. His top target should be WR Austin Pettis, who had 567 yards receiving and 9 TDs. Plus, the return of WR Titus Young from suspension will help alleviate the loss of Jeremy Childs, since Young has the speed to spread defenses. Another WR, Tyler Shoemaker, should step up in 2009…after scoring 2 TDs on 7 catches in limited action as a freshman last season.
For those leagues who require TEs to start, Kyle Efaw is a consideration, as he averaged over 15 yards per catch on his 17 catches last year as a frosh.
Although BSU loses an icon at RB in Ian Johnson, the Bronco backfield may experience little, if any, dropoff in 2009. Juniors Jeremy Avery (614 yards, 4 TDs) and D.J. Harper (265, 4 TDs) have already seen a lot of action in their first two seasons. At FB, Richie Brockel is more of a blocker but will catch passes out of the backfield (2 TDs in 2008).
The Broncos OL was one of the youngest in the nation last season…at times starting many freshmen…and played quite well (only allowed 13 sacks in 2008). Now, those freshmen are a year older, and a year more experienced. In fact, on the projected three-deep OL, there is not a single senior.
On defense, look for the usual swarming, turnover-creating, slobber-knocking defense that at times, might have forced the United Nations to convene war-crimes trials on the Broncos (especially those last two meetings vs. New Mexico State). BSU has two legitimate All-American candidates on defense in DE Ryan Winterswyk and CB Kyle Wilson. Even with potential high-scoring shootouts on the Broncos schedule, their defense is worth drafting because of their propensity to get a lot of sacks, turnovers, and defensive scores.
CB Wilson also adds another threat on special teams, as he is arguably the best punt returner in the nation, taking 3 for TDs last season. RBs Avery and Doug Martin are steady kick0ff returners, and PK Kyle Brotzman is one of the top kickers in the nation, scoring 101 points last season. Noted college football prognosticator Phil Steele ranks Boise State’s special teams #1 nationally (of all 120 FBS schools) coming into 2009.
Well…if we have to be picky….the lack of upper-classmen on both sides of the ball could be an issue in some of their tougher games…but the Broncos routinely go deep into their roster every game they play, so many of the sophomores and juniors now starting already have a lot of real-time game experience. By the way, let us not forget BSU went 12-1 last season with these youngsters and the “1? in the loss column was a 1-point loss to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl.
For the fantasy coach/GM…the Broncos depth at the skill positions brings down their individual fantasy potential…but BSU players are great for late-round picks used for roster depth. Of course, QB Moore will be a good fantasy QB, and WR Pettis, RB Avery are steady performers who will get more plays directed to them this season. However, the Broncos do distribute the ball around to many players, which limits individual’s production. It definitely will not be the defenses the Broncos will face in 2009 limiting fantasy production.
PROJECTED SKILL-POSITION DEPTH CHART (Starter in CAPS)
QB: KELLEN MOORE, Michael Coughlin, Drew Hawkins
RB: JEREMY AVERY, D.J. Harper, Doug Martin
FB: RICHIE BROCKEL, Dan Paul
WR: AUSTIN PETTIS, TITUS YOUNG, TYLER SHOEMAKER, Mitch Burroughs, Chris Potter, Michael Choate
TE: KYLE EFAW, Tommy Gallarda
PK: KYLE BROTZMAN, Jimmy Pavel
Boise State will see some challenges on the field, but few teams who will pose a big defensive threat. Note that the Broncos will play 13 regular-season games in 2009, and 6 of those will be non-Saturday games (get your Bronco players in early).
HOME GAMES in CAPS
09/12 MIAMI, OHIO
09/18 @Fresno State
09/26 @Bowling Green
10/03 UC DAVIS
10/31 SAN JOSE STATE
11/06 @Louisiana Tech
11/20 @Utah State
12/05 NEW MEXICO STATE