The Denver Broncos have a litany of weapons at wide receiver and just the man to deliver in Peyton Manning. Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Wes Welker, Ronnie Hillman, Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen provide plenty enough direction to go with passing the football, so the question remains for fantasy owners: How will Welker maintain anywhere close to the 192 targets he had averaged for the past two seasons with the New England Patriots?
Welker must now answer that question in Denver alongside Thomas, who actually achieved the highest WR rating from the slot among NFL receivers in 2012 (via Pro Football Focus), on 138 targets from the slot. Welker ranked eighth in that regard last season.
Do not automatically assume there will be a ton of relative production to go around just because of the Manning presence. Manning’s 583 attempts ranked just seventh in the league last season while his 4,659 yards ranked sixth. This is all good, but not Matthew Stafford or Drew Brees ridiculous. Can he really spread the production between these three 1,000-yard receivers that satisfies the fantasy owners of each?
The Broncos did an incredible job of putting teams away early in games last season, sand that’s likely to happen again. Denver has the easiest strength of schedule in 2013 based on 2012 win percentage, which comes out to .430. We’re likely to see Broncos chasing leads with passes fewer than most teams yet again next season.