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2012 Fantasy Football: Peyton Manning Improves WR Eric Decker’s Value

Its time for the 2012 fantasy football season and all the draft talk is heating up. There are several Denver Broncos and fantasy owners that will benefit from Peyton Manning taking snaps in Denver rather than Tim Tebow. One player that will for sure benefit by Manning’s presence  WR Eric Decker.

Decker is another who I think will benefit greatly in 2012 fantasy football leagues since Manning will be throwing to him. Decker was drafted by the Broncos in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Last season with Tebow under center Decker recorded 44 receptions, 612 yards (13.9 yards per catch), and 8 touchdowns in a complete 16 game season.

Now I am going to try to predict what kind of season Decker could have had last year if Manning was throwing him the ball.

We will look at pass attempts, completion percentage, and yards per completion by the two passers.

Manning has averaged 555 attempts a season over his 13 years, completed  64.9% of his passes and each attempt has went for an average of 7.60 yards.

During Tebow’s 2011 season he threw 271 passes in 14 games, so were going to use 310 attempts to say he played 16 games. He completed 46.5% of his passes and each attempt went for 6.38 yards.

The difference in Manning’s typical season and Tebow’s 2011 season is 245 attempts. If Tebow had thrown the ball 245 more times and completed 46.5% of those passes like he did during 2011, then he would have completed 113 more passes.

Tebow completed 126 passes in 2011 and 44 of which went to Decker…which is real close to 35% of the completions.We have calculated that if Tebow would have attempted 555 passes like Manning would in an average Manning season that he would have completed 239 passes and Decker who caught 35% of Tebow’s completions would have been on the receiving end of 84 of those passes. If we use Decker’s average yards per catch and touchdowns per game we can calculate that on average if Tebow would have thrown as much as Manning, than Decker could have recorded numbers of 84 receptions, 1167 yards (13.9 yards per catch), and 15 touchdowns.

These numbers are based on if Tebow were still throwing the passes, but throwing as much as Manning in a typical Manning season. I would expect with Manning’s completion percentage being used that those numbers would increase a lot as shown below.

If Manning was to complete 35% of his completions to Decker as Tebow did, than Decker’s numbers could look something like this…

If Manning attempts 555 passes and completes his career percentage of 64.9% he would complete 360 passes and 35% of those could go to Decker which would make Decker’s numbers 126 receptions, 1751 yards (13.9 yards a catch), and 22 touchdowns. Remember these numbers are based on how often Tebow threw to Decker…I am going to predict that Manning will spread the ball around to more receivers much better than Tebow did. The numbers that I am going to project for Decker will be 88 receptions, 1300 yards, and 8 touchdowns. Thomas’ draft value should go from the late rounds with Tebow to around round 8 with Manning under center. If you can get him in round 8 I think you will have gotten a steal. I bet you are wondering who Manning is going to spread the ball around too…my next article will answer that question.

Stay tuned and I will predict some other Broncos fantasy seasons in the upcoming days. Players include, TE Jacob TammeWR Andre CaldwellTE Julius Thomas, RB Willis McGahee, and rookie RB Ronnie Hillman.


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