2012 Fantasy Football Debate: DeMaryius Thomas vs. Eric Decker

By Adam McGill

The fantasy football season is almost upon us, and like every year, there are several topics that can get heated in some fantasy circles. Even here at Rant Sports, writers have disagreements, and we thought with the looming elections, this would be the perfect time to host our own fantasy football debates. Below is our fourth 2012 fantasy football debate between the Denver Broncos two star receivers, DeMaryius Thomas and Eric Decker:

Candidate Adam McGill – DeMaryius Thomas

The arrival of four-time MVP quarterback, Peyton Manning, in Denver this off-season has immensely helped the fantasy value of everyone around; with receivers DeMaryius Thomas and Eric Decker being no exception.

This summer there have been some very heated discussions about which Broncos’ receiver will have a  bigger fantasy performance in 2012, Decker or Thomas.  However, looking at the pure stature of the two receivers, the decision could not be more apparent.

Thomas has ideal size for a receiver on the outside; as he stands at an imposing six-foot-three and weighs 229 pounds.  He ironically is almost the exact same size as Decker’s six-foot-three, 218 pounds.

However, Thomas is much faster and much more athletic than the relatively unknown Decker.  Thomas has a much larger catch-radius and proved that he can catch anything by hauling 312 yards and 2 touchdowns in the playoffs from the obviously erratic passes of former Broncos’ quarterback, Tim Tebow.

Decker remains more of a slot receiver, as opposed to Thomas, who is obviously a starting split end receiver.  Thomas is the still the number one receiver on the depth chart, making Decker, Manning’s second progression on every play.  In fantasy situations, it is always better to have the quarterback’s go-to guy.  I do not know about you, but I would much rather have the guy the quarterback looks for first.

Also, Manning loves to throw fades in the corner of the end-zone, so Thomas’s athletic skill set will make him the perfect target inside the twenties.  Manning loves to look for physical receivers in the red-zone, so there is no reason to think that Thomas will not be able to haul in at least 8 touchdowns in the upcoming season.

Thomas will be a great second fantasy receiver this year; which will be a lot more than Decker owners can say.


Candidate Ben Grimaldi – Eric Decker

Since the moment that Peyton Manning became a member of the Broncos, every serious fantasy football player immediately began to think about which Denver receiver they would rather own, Demaryius Thomas or Eric Decker.  If you look at my fantasy teams the answer is clear, Eric Decker.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like Thomas and his big play ability, but I love the sure hands and every down consistency that Decker brings.  Manning is a quarterback who likes to control everything on the offensive side of the ball; in short he wants to know that he can trust his receivers to be in the right place on each play. Decker fits that mold perfectly.

A quarterback must trust his receivers and if the preseason is any indicator, Manning and Decker have already built that trust.  Through the preseason so far, it seems obvious that Decker is Manning’s favorite target.  Decker has 8 catches for 101 yards and 2 touchdowns, compared to Thomas’s 5 catches for 53 yards.   The majority of those stats have come with Manning at quarterback.

Thomas is also still learning to be a better route runner, while Decker is already very polished at that skill.  Let us also not forget that Decker can be just as big a deep threat as Thomas, as he had five touchdowns of over 25 yards last year.

I think of Decker as a bigger, stronger and faster version of Austin Collie; who has posted very good stats with Manning in the past.

There are also rumors about how Manning lobbied for the Indianapolis Colts to draft Decker out of the University of Minnesota a few years back.  It is just like dating, sometimes you know which one is right for you, and it appears to me that Manning and Decker make the perfect match.

None of this is to say that both players won’t be successful, because Manning always seems to have two stud receivers to throw the ball to.  It was that way in Indianapolis and I do not see any reason it would be any different in Denver.

Come Sunday I would want a guy who can get open on a consistent basis, and someone that can work well with his quarterback.  Right now, that is Eric Decker.

If you drafted him, you can rest easy, your choice will be rewarded with a big season.

Who do you think won the fantasy football debate?  To vote, leave a comment below.  

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