Peter King believes that Broncos QB Peyton Manning may not throw deep as often as he has in the past:
Suppose this is what Manning is -- his same accurate self, without the penchant for throwing deep very much, but only to keep the defense honest and to keep Demaryius Thomas happy. Will it work, as the former coach said? Eric Decker's a potential star trolling the middle, sure to be among the league leaders in receptions if healthy for 16 games.
Theoretically, if Manning throws fewer balls downfield, his completion percentage will rise slightly, and his yards per attempt will fall, perhaps significantly. Before sitting last season, he'd had nine straight seasons of completing 65 percent of his throws or better. And only twice has he had seasons below 7.0 yards per attempt; last year, 17 passers were under 7.0, including three who made the playoffs. So if Manning completes 69 percent with seven yards per attempt, would that suit Denver? In a heartbeat. It'd suit most any team in the league, except perhaps for the explosive Saints or Packers.
Point is, I think if Manning has to become a chain-mover (which he's always been to a degree), he can do it. And he won't fight it, he'll adapt.
Our very own Scot Berggren was at practice on Saturday and noticed that Manning was favoring Decker, so while Demaryius Thomas continues to go ahead of Decker in fantasy drafts, Decker may very well be the better value, especially in PPR formats. Owners who draft Manning should keep their expectations in check -- he looks like his old self on the short to intermediate stuff but the zip on the long ball apparently isn't there...at least not yet.