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Here's Why Mark Sanchez is a Must Start Against the Broncos

Through byes and injuries, New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez is left as the ninth-best starting QB playing this week (if Michael Vick missed Week 11 with his broken ribs). Sanchez averages 16.08 fantasy points per game.

Sanchez is coming off a game in which he was sacked five times against New England. Prior the Week 10 sack fest, the Jets had only allowed 18 sacks all season. Now they face a Broncos team, on a short week, which has recorded the ninth-most sacks in the league (24).

But there is a fantasy silver lining. The Broncos may sack, but outside of that they still let fantasy QBs have plenty of success against them week to week. Denver has recorded just six interceptions, are allowing QBs to complete 64.8 percent of their passes and have surrendered the second-most touchdowns (18).

This should be a welcome remedy for Sanchez, who is a 56.9-percent passer and has thrown at least one interception in all but two games.

The Broncos did just limit two Chiefs QBs (Matt Cassel and Tyler Palko) to throw for a combined 140 yards and one TD in a 17-10 Week 10 victory a week after giving up 332 yards, three scores and three picks to Carson Palmer and the Raiders.

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Overall, Denver is the third-worst team in the league when it comes to defending fantasy QBs. Denver has allowed six quarterbacks to throw for at least 250 passing yards and have given up at least one passing touchdown in every game. Only two teams have failed to score at least 16 points from their fantasy QBs against the Broncos this season (Miami’s Matt Moore in Week 7 and Kansas City’s duo in Week 10)

It’s hard to say which Denver we will see on a short week, and it’s always hard to say which Sanchez we will see.

Sanchez has five 200-plus yard games this season, three of them being 300-plus and he has thrown at least two TDs in five games and at least one all but one game. He still has WRs Santonio Holmes, Plaxico Burress and TE Dustin Keller at his disposal. And the Jets may have to lean on Sanchez a little more if RB LaDainian Tomlinson (MCL sprain) is not able to play this week.

However, outside of Michael Bush (19-96) in Week 9, Ryan Mathews (24-125) in Week 5 and Darren McFadden (22-150) in Week 1, no back has rushed for more than 63 yards against the Broncos. Jets RB Shonn Greene has carried 15-plus times in six games this season, but has eclipsed 112 yards just once and has just four TDs.

You never feel like starting Sanchez with confidence, but in a week where injuries and byes have taken out some of the big names and other options and the matchup seems friendly, this may be the week you can feel good about starting the Sanchize.

By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter