The Denver Broncos remain undefeated despite the struggles of Peyton Manning and heading into Week 8, head coach Gary Kubiak said that he has not through about benching the quarterback for Brock Osweiler. The Broncos have Ronnie Hillman and CJ Anderson battling to start and this week Hillman might be the better fantasy option with how he has played this past month.
Manning is having one of the toughest seasons of his career, but so far it has not hurt the Broncos in the win column, as they remain undefeated into Week 8. Manning has been helped out by the Denver defense, as that unit has been performing well and has helped score points and win games for the Broncos. Manning had three interceptions last game against the Browns, but the defense was able to get things going to help the Broncos win, including with a TD from Aqib Talib on an interception return.
Manning is ranked second worst in the league among qualified passers in passer rating, according to Pro Football Talk, but head coach Gary Kubiak said that he is not considering benching the future Hall of Fame QB. There is always a chance that could change if Manning continues to struggle, but right now the Broncos are winning and Manning is ready to start against Aaron Rodgers in Week 8 of the season. Before the bye last week, Manning said that he is "committed" to getting things right on offense, according to the Associated Press.
The Broncos rushing attack has Ronnie Hillman coming in as the more consistent option for fantasy owners, as he has been outperforming CJ Anderson the past few weeks. Anderson has been getting the starts for the Broncos, but the numbers have Hillman playing better and this week he could be in line to be the lead back against the Packers. According to ESPN Broncos reporter Jeff Legwold, Hillman is likely going to work practice as the number one running back over Anderson.
Hillman is leading the team in rushing for 323 yards this season and he added 111 rushing yards last week in the win against the Browns. Hillman have over 100 yards, while Anderson had just 41 yards on the ground and he saw more snaps than Anderson in the game. Hillman has been hot and he now has two 100-yard games in his past three and while the Packers are a strong team, he could be a top performer in Week 8.
The Denver defense has been one of the best in football and the team is dealing with an injury to Shane Ray moving forward and he could be out for a long stretch. According to Ian Rapoport at NFL.com, Ray is dealing with a sprained MCL injury and he could be out for a month. The initial thoughts from the team were that Ray could miss up to six weeks, but an MRI revealed that Ray did not have any ACL damage. ESPN reports that Ray could be back in 3-to-4 weeks, but that it's likely that he will be out for the next month. Ray had four total tackles and two sacks in six games this season.