Eric Decker Stands Out In Camp – 7/31
Photo By: Icon SMI
Welcome to the first post of our FF Brainwave section for the 2012 season. Here you will find tweets I found around twitter after sifting through various beat-writer news. Our feature player in this article is Eric Decker from the Denver Broncos.
Other names include Browns linebacker James Michael-Johnson, Buccaneers running back Doug Martin, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis and so on.
Moving Decker Around, Key To Success
Eric Decker enjoyed a breakout second year in the league, despite poor play from Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow’s major deficiencies as a throwing quarterback in 2011. With the signing of Peyton Manning in March, optimism of increased production followed suit for Decker and his counterpart Demaryus Thomas.
As you would expect Manning has made a point of putting in extra time with his new starting receivers and it appears Decker may have an advantage over Thomas as the WR1 in this offense. A lack of shots down the field in practice from Manning should lead us to have some reservations about his odds of cutting it lose, regularly.
Thomas should be viewed as the big-play option, while Decker is a better short to intermediate receiver that has the ability to turn up the field and use his former return skills to his advantage for big plays.
While scrolling through my twitter feed for the Broncos I noticed Denver Sports Stations own Cecil Lammey had some positive words out about what he saw from Decker in recent practices, found below.
While it’s always nice to hear positive feedback from a reliable source, I wanted to dig a little deeper to see if we could get a read as to how the Broncos were using him at this point in camp.
Early in the off-season, the Broncos plan was to transition Decker from a regular slot receiver to playing more on the outside. This is the same adjustment Victor Cruz is going through in New York, who by the way just happens to have another Manning throwing to him.
Below you will see the question I asked Lammey and his response.
A great reply from Lammey as this nugget tells us the Broncos are indeed moving him around, looking to move him in motion as Manning is a master of pre-snap reads.
This is the type of stuff we want to see from a receiver that a team plans (and Manning) to be an active option in the passing game and he should lead the team in receptions, maybe going as high as 100 if he continues to flash sure hands in camp.
Throughout most of the summer I’ve had Thomas listed over Decker but both are top 20 receivers. While I still like Thomas, I may move Decker over him in PPR leagues because of his reception upside and the trust he is establishing with Manning already.
For More Of Cecil Lammey’s Work Go To These Links Below
Colin Kaepernick Tops In Accuracy Drill
Much has been made about the 49ers backup quarterback position, some even going as far as to wonder if Kaepernick is possibly a bust. While I find those thoughts to be immature for this stage in one’s career, you do like to hear of signs of improvement now into his first full off-season.
While I didn’t hear back from Matt Barrow’s on my question about Kaepernick’s footwork, he does have an interesting writeup on the young receivers accuracy.
There are a few important attributes to a quarterbacks game, and while this young talent has some things to prove we know he has the character under pressure to perform as we watched him thrive at Nevada in big games. He’s also a quarterback that can buy time and make things happen on the run.
Kaepernick has a strong arm and while I still need to see if he can show accuracy in the short, intermediate and vertical game, he has the arm-strength and raw skills (in my opinion) to be a darn good quarterback in this league.
If your in dynasty leagues and can hold him cheap, this is a good time to pick him up or see if you can snag him from an owner that may have other needs, or isn’t sure he will workout.
Assuming Kaepernick continues to develop his footwork thus accuracy and other parts of his game, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s challenging for the starting job next year. Furthermore, he might actually have a few good games if called upon if Smith should fall to an injury.
Randy Moss Helps Vernon Davis With Hands
As a long time 49ers fan I can attest to the poor hands of Vernon Davis. Since his turn around after Mike Singletary kicked him off the field, Davis has been a rock-solid player and a leader. That said, he’s had problems with drops and thank God he didn’t have those problems in the playoffs!
Randy Moss is motivated to prove his doubters wrong (doubters he created because of his lack of effort when not playing hard) and seems to be mister helpful, for now.
The sad part is I really what to like Moss, but one thing I will give him credit for is he’s always seemed to have sure hands and can make the dazzling play look routine. If he can give Davis any new pointers in there after practice workouts that help, it can only increase Davis’s fantasy value.
Matt Barrow’s Tweet – https://twitter.com/mattbarrows/status/229955776104501248
Keep Your Eye On WR Armon Binns
The Bengals have a very talented young receiving corps. So talented in fact, they had no problem letting veterans like Jerome Simpson (was a starter last year) and Bubba Caldwell go this off-season. Both are having successful off-seasons with their new teams Simpson (Vikings), Caldwell (Broncos) but options like slot man Jordan Shipley, rookies Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones.
There is one more name we need to keep in mind and that is Armon Binns. A talented young receiver, Binns has had a good off-season and according to Bengals beat-writer Joe Reedy, he’s continuing to show up in early going of training camp.
Dynasty owners looking to stash another potential breakout youngster would be wise to consider Binns. Whoever wins the starting job opposite A.J. Green will have an advantage as defenses will not only put there top corner on Green but maybe more important, he will command help over the top from the safety.
Corner Stephon Gilmore Making An Impression Already
The Bills are one of the undervalued team defenses we need to have on our radar. They have some tasty matchups throughout the season, and if rookie corner Stephon Gilmore continues to impress, it will only make this defense more attractive. The first-round pick can run with the fastest receivers and play physical at the line to re-route and jam.
What Gilmore also brings to the table is good run support help on the edge and he can be an affective blitzer. This will be a very good all around talent and he should be a regular name at the Pro Bowl.
For IDP leagues, Gilmore is worth picking up as a late round addition, and he is probably going to be worthy CB2 value right away. Teams will test the rookie as no one is going to give him respect until he earns it.
With a now fierce pass rush, Gilmore should have some fun as the season moves along, but he will probably have some things to iron out early. Still, he will get his and makes some plays along the way.
LB James Michael-Johnson Looking Good
The Browns are counting on James Michael-Johnson early as Scott Fujita will serve a suspension to begin the season because of Bounty Gate. Michael-Johnson has the skill set and leadership ability to be a middle linebacker in the future, but for now he will play on the outside, either strong side or likely weak side.
Not sure if he will command a three down role, but he can be an affective LB4 if things fall right, and if D’Qwell Jackson should fall to injury; we’ve already seen the Browns use Michael-Johnson in the middle during OTA’s.
Doug Martin Impressive
I tailed Martin’s draft stock down from the ninth overall running back to around the 20th after the positive news came out about LeGarrette Blount in June. I think we can safely move Martin back into the top fifteen after his very impressive work thus far in camp.
Martin is a stud and I think, like Trent Richardson, he will buck the trend of traditional rookies and be an option for close to 300 overall touches. Martin has it all and is probably the top prospect at his position to come out of this years draft when it comes to solid pass protection skills.
This is key for any running back to get on the field, and with Martin already flashing, to go with a top-notch offensive blocking line, he could have some monster games. We should view Martin as a safe RB2 selection and if Blount falls out of favor, or we hear the coaching staff say Martin is a feature back, then he’s a top ten RB1 option.