Fantasy Football 2013 Preview: Eric Decker Will Still Be Effective
2012 was a breakout season for basically all Denver Broncos receivers, but the most surprising had to be Eric Decker, who set career highs in receptions, yards and touchdowns thanks to the signing of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning. His 13 receiving touchdowns were second-most in the league last year, and he and fellow receiver Demaryius Thomas were one of only three receiver duos to both have 1,000 yards receiving. Decker finished 2012 with the eighth most fantasy points for receivers ahead of guys like Julio Jones, Roddy White, Marques Colston and Victor Cruz.
After a busy offseason for the Broncos, the receiving corps is a bit more crowded heading into the 2013 season with the addition of Wes Welker. The word from most “experts” is that Decker is the one most likely to suffer by losing some of his 120-plus targets from last season. This is obviously affecting Decker in fantasy drafts this year as his average draft position has him going in the sixth round, but I have seen him fall even further than that in recent drafts. At this point in drafts, you’ll be deciding between Decker and guys like Antonio Brown, Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts. If you ask me, I take Decker over all of these guys, as they are all high-risk players (although you could argue Decker is somewhat of a risk).
Fantasy owners should not be scared of getting Decker despite the addition of Welker. The former-New England Patriot has never reached double-digit TDs in his career and only had six TDs last season. While Welker will clearly take away targets, he won’t be stealing that many TDs. Manning and Decker clearly have a good chemistry when inside the 20-yard line as Decker had the most red zone targets in the league last season. Its also important to note that Decker is in the last year of his rookie contract and is looking to hit a big payday.
Despite the arrival of Welker, I still see Decker having around eight TDs and about 800-900 yards receiving.