As you all plan and prepare your American Independence Day parties tomorrow, keep in mind that NFL training camps are right around the corner. Before you know it, the preseason and Week 1 of the 2012 season will be here.
That means you need to start prepping for your fantasy football drafts. Who do you like heading into the season? Who are your busts? Start considering doing some mock drafts. It'll only help.
We know that the Denver Broncos success on offense will live and die with the health/production of Peyton Manning. From all reports, he appears to be completely healthy and throwing well. We'll see what happens when he takes his first hard hit, but a healthy and functioning Manning should make all of the weapons around him better.
The most likely fantasy football beneficiary will be Eric Decker. Decker had 44 catches for 612 yards and eight touchdowns with a combination of Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow last year. He proved valuable as a deep threat and red zone option, even with weak-armed Tebow at the helm.
Just imagine what he can do with Manning slinging him pigskin...
Decker is also healthy after straining his knee in the postseason last year, and he's quickly developing chemistry with his new quarterback. Manning is a stickler when it comes to perfecting routes and learning the offensive scheme, and Decker is putting in the time to get up to speed before training camp.
Demaryius Thomas, another imposing wideout that will benefit from a more talented passer coming to town, has worked with Manning as well and is another potent red zone target. While he may possess more athletic upside than Decker, he's still a work in progress in other aspects of the game.
Based on early offseason workouts, training activities and minicamps, Decker appears to be the most in sync with Manning, which could go a long way. We know from his days in Indianapolis that when Manning develops trust and chemistry with a receiver, he can do damage.
Decker came into last year as a deep sleeper. This year, he'll be on radars, but his average draft position is around the 10th round, meaning he can once again return major profit as a strong No. 3 receiver. Heck, he could pass for a No. 2 in point-per-reception affairs. Expect big things from both he and Thomas, but my money is on Decker to break out.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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