2013 Outlook: The man they call "Bebe" makes defensive backs cry. He's 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, runs a 4.38 40-yard dash and outmuscles cornerbacks in the end zone. Combining him with Peyton Manning last year just wasn't fair. Thomas finished as the No. 5 fantasy WR even as teammate Eric Decker finished No. 8, illustrating just what an efficient year the Broncos' passing offense had. But now there's yet another mouth to feed in Denver: Wes Welker. Thomas had 140 targets in 2012, Decker had 120 and slot man Brandon Stokley had 57. There's no way in the world Welker gets only 57 targets this season, which means the other guys will see a drop-off. We still love Bebe. But some of his ultra-high potential is curbed.
2013 Outlook: It was pretty easy when Welker was in New England. You just penciled him in for 110 catches and 1,200 yards every year. But now he's in Denver, sharing the receiving spotlight with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, and things feel less certain. For sure, Peyton Manning loves to throw it to the slot; heck, he gave fading Brandon Stokley 57 targets there last year. But the Broncos' outside weapons are so dangerous. Can we really assume Welker will approach the 160-plus targets per season he routinely saw from Tom Brady? We downgraded Welker a bit from his Patriots days, and we'd draft Thomas ahead of him. But he's still a fantasy starter, and should continue to be a PPR monster.
2013 Outlook: Sanders' self-esteem has to be at an all-time high. When the Patriots signed him to an offer sheet this spring, Ben Roethlisberger convinced Pittsburgh management to match the offer, and so Sanders returns to Steel Town coming off his best season. With Mike Wallace gone, Sanders joins Antonio Brown as a starter in two-WR sets, though neither man has Wallace's big-play potential. Quicker than he is fast, Sanders can thrive in Todd Haley's short-passing offense, and hopes to make major strides in his yards-after-catch average. Still, he's never topped 44 grabs in a season, so keep those expectations in check.