Yesterday we looked at three receivers with new QBs and today we stick with the same theme, albeit one with likely higher stakes in Eric Decker, Brandon Lloyd and Reggie Wayne. This one has another connection, sort of – Peyton Manning leaves Indy where he threw to Reggie Wayne and is in Denver now throwing to Eric Decker, where Brandon Lloyd used to play. Decker and Lloyd no doubt are on many sleeper lists while Reggie Wayne (33) provides a stiff bogey with an upgrade at QB from Curtis Painter / Dan Orlovsky to Andrew Luck. Lloyd finished with 195.60 fantasy points last year just nipping Reggie Wayne's 195 as the 24th and 25th best fantasy WRs, respectively, while Decker was the 42nd WR last year at 151.30 fantasy points.
You have to like the upside Eric Decker has with the great Peyton Manning coming to town and with a 3rd-year breakout perhaps in store. Seeing Manning in the Broncos' blue and orange is going to be one of the bigger storylines of the 2012 season. Decker's route-running would seem to be an absolutely perfect fit with Manning and reports are the two have hit it off both on and off-the-field. Manning is also going to like Decker's fantastic hands (he dropped just three of the 354 passes in college at Minnesota). With Kyle Orton under center to start last season Decker exploded out of the gate with 20 catches, 270 yards and 4 TDs in the first four weeks. Then, with Tim Tebow, Decker finished with just 12 catches in the final nine weeks. All told, Decker scored a stout 8 TDs last year.
You also have to like the upside Brandon Lloyd has playing with the great Tom Brady. Sure there are a lot of other great receivers on the team but the Patriots almost should have a 5,000 over/under for passing/receiving yards the season. The Lloyd signing looks like a perfect fit. He fills a need for speed at wideout for the Patriots and he has exceptional hands, plus Lloyd is reunited with OC Josh McDaniels. When Lloyd literally came out of nowhere to post an NFL-leading 1,448 receiving yards in 2010 season it was with McDaniels as the head coach in Denver. Lloyd showed 2010 was no fluke last year, traded mid-season to the Rams, and having to absorb QB struggles/injuries when he got there, Lloyd still collected a fairly studly 70 receptions with nearly 1,000 yards.
As we said yesterday, as it turned out, Pierre Garcon went to Washington, Reggie Wayne stayed in Indianapolis and neither of them joined Jacob Tamme with Peyton Manning in Denver. Given the QB play last year for Indianapolis, and constant turnover to boot, Wayne's 75-960-4 TD statline was a very solid season as a low-end #2 WR, especially as the oldest starting receiver to close out the season at 33. He'll be another year older of course this season turning 34 in November 2012. Still, Indianapolis knows what they have and they agreed to pay out $17.5M over three years when they could have let Wayne walk. Arguably, any loss of speed for Wayne is not that big of a deal as his game is more predicated on solid route-running. Wayne had back-to-back 100-catch seasons prior to last year and hasn't missed a single game since 2002. You certainly have to like his upgrade at QB from last season. Andrew Luck cracked 70% completion percentage in both 2010 and 2011 and left Stanford with an amazing 162.8 QB rating.
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