This offseason has been one of high hopes for the Denver Broncos after clinching home-field advantage with the top seed in the AFC last year. John Elway, Vice President of Football Operations, continued the momentum by recruiting and signing Wes Welker.
Minutes after Welker signed the contract, speculation ran rampant amongst Fantasy fans and Denver hopefuls alike. With the 2013 pantry well stocked with weapons for Peyton Manning, just how will he use them?
Demaryius Thomas handles more of the deep routes of the passing game and is a tier or two higher, playing the role of a Number 1 Receiver on Fantasy teams. Eric Decker and Welker will be working the short routes and passes over the middle, they will most likely play the role of a Number 2 Receiver on Fantasy Teams.
So what if you’re sitting in the late third or early fourth round with both of them available to you, which one is the better choice?
Both are smart receivers with soft hands and crisp route running skills. Welker tends to play the slot while Decker plays the X receiver on the outside so they will both be on the field at the same time.
What I think it comes down to is chemistry in the offense. Manning loves to run the no-huddle offense. This calls for a lot of audibles at the line of scrimmage as well as the receivers being able to read the defense and understand where Manning wants them to be.
With an extra year of experience in the system, I think this gives the early nod to Decker. Through the first half of the season, when defenses try to disguise their scheme, I think Decker will already be on the same page with Manning. Whereas Welker may have more miscues. As the season goes on game tape will give opposing defenses a better idea of how to line up against Decker, by midseason the chemistry between Welker and Manning should start to bloom.
I think Decker comes out of the gate strong but Welker finishes hot.
There is another factor to consider here in that both Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas have a checkered injury history. If one of them misses time, it opens even more opportunities in the offense for Welker.
If I’m sitting there in the early fourth round waiting to pick between Decker or Welker as my No. 2 Receiver, I’d rather have the guy who is going to become hot late, over the guy who helps me shame my Week 3 opponent even harder. I’ll live with a little bit of a slow start to hedge my bets for the Fantasy Playoffs by taking Welker.
Eric Beuning is a Fantasy Football writer for RantSports.com.