Week Fourteen Analysis:
Wes Welker will be counted on to win the one-on-one battle with Titans' slot cornerback Coty Sensabaugh as Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are set to tangle with Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty on the outside. Welker will have his work cut out for him as well because Coty Sensabaugh hasn't allowed a touchdown in coverage since Week 1. And not one player has amassed more than 38 yards against him this season. That's shutdown territory. Peyton Manning got Decker off the schneid last week, and Welker is similarly due for a big game. But the matchup is downright imposing.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Wes Welker was targeted 10 times when these teams met three weeks ago and finished with eight receptions for 72 yards. Brandon Flowers shadowed Welker out of the slot for the majority of the game, and Welker abused the cornerback ranked 97th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus. Kansas City could also be without their elite pass-rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston, who have combined for 20 sacks and would allow even more time in the pocket for Peyton Manning if they were to miss this game.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Move along, nothing to see here. Just another epic showdown between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, and this time with a helping of revenge for Wes Welker. Motivation sourced from personal history will surely be a factor on both sides, as Welker will want to succeed as much as Bill Belichick will want to shut him down. According to Pro Football Focus, the Patriots haven't done a great job in slot coverage, allowing seven touchdowns from the seam. Coupled with his 20 red-zone targets, the second-most among all players this season, Welker is a sure-fire start in this homecoming of sorts.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Wes Welker was due to deliver a dud, and unfortunately that happened last week, but he'll look to bounce back in a huge divisional matchup at home against Kansas City. The Chiefs have the NFL's top-ranked defense, but they have surrendered a mediocre 170 yards and a touchdown per game to receivers over the last five weeks. They've also had a very soft schedule, and the Broncos pose a threat unlike any other they've seen to this point. Welker trails only Calvin Johnson in red zone targets as a whole, and he has the most looks among receivers inside the 10 and five-yard lines.
Week Ten Analysis:
The next touchdown that Wes Welker scores will set a new career high, and he leads the league in targets inside the 20, 10, and five-yard line. Welker also has the most targets and receptions among Denver wideouts in their last two games. So, odds are decent he hits pay dirt this week against the Chargers, who surrender nearly a touchdown per game to receivers and have also allowed nearly 500 yards to the position in the last two weeks alone. San Diego hasn't faced a true threat from the seam like Welker this season and somehow managed to surrender 10 catches and 173 yards to the slot against the Jaguars.
Week Eight Analysis:
Something weird happened last week. Wes Welker didn't score a touchdown. That was to be expected eventually, but he did snare seven receptions and set season highs with 12 targets and 96 receiving yards. The Broncos host the Redskins this Sunday, and Washington has been a revolving door for points against quality opponents. Welker has run 85% of his routes from the slot this season, and according to Pro Football Focus, Washington's primary slot corner Josh Wilson has allowed the eighth-most receptions and fifth-most yards after the catch. The Skins are also in trouble at strong safety with Brandon Meriweather suspended and Reed Doughty questionable to play.
Week Seven Analysis:
It's only Week 7 and Wes Welker is just one touchdown away from tying his single season high! He has seen the same amount of red zone looks as Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker combined. And Welker's eight receiving touchdowns are greater than or equal to the respectable total of 18 different NFL teams. Indianapolis has defended the pass well this year, but they've allowed three touchdowns to receivers in their last two games. Besides, Welker and his cohorts are virtually matchup-proof, and the Colts, who should still be without strong safety LaRon Landry, haven't faced anyone that's on par with Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Week Six Analysis:
According to Pro Football Focus, Wes Welker leads all receivers in points per opportunity, meaning that every pass route he has run this season has been good for roughly 0.6 fantasy points. That's sick. It's a match made in heaven this week for Welker with Jacksonville paying a visit to Mile High. The Jags, and their struggling pair of starting rookie safeties, have allowed a touchdown out of the slot in three straight contests. Meanwhile, Welker has scored in every game this season and leads all skill-position players with seven touchdowns.
Week Five Analysis:
I'm not sure how many people pegged Wes Welker for 24 touchdowns this season, but that's exactly the pace he's on…incredible. Denver next travels to Jerry World to take on the Cowboys, who recently shook up their secondary by replacing Morris Claiborne with Orlando Scandrick at starting right cornerback. That means that either Claiborne or rookie B.W. Webb would most likely cover Welker in the slot. Claiborne is ranked the fourth-worst corner by Pro Football Focus and Webb has 29 career snaps to his name. Welker's four targets inside the five-yard line are twice as many as any other receiver in the league, and he has found painted grass at least once in each week he's happily been a Bronco.
Week Four Analysis:
Wes Welker has now scored in each of his first three games as a Bronco and chances are good that his streak will continue at home against the Eagles. Philly has been getting picked apart through the air and have now allowed the second-most receptions to wideouts. That's great news for this PPR monster, who saw another target inside the five-yard line last week and now leads all receivers in that regard. The Eagles could also be without starting strong safety, Patrick Chung, who hurt his shoulder last week and is highly questionable to suit up.
Week Three Analysis:
Wes Welker received a little less work last week, but he's now scored in consecutive games, and faces a Raiders team that's fresh-off facing a junior varsity Jacksonville squad. Peyton Manning and the Broncos pose a slightly larger threat to Oakland, a team was already susceptible to the pass when they had starting strong safety Tyvon Branch. Manning's two-game average against them last year was 324 yards and two touchdowns, and Raiders fans are cringing when they think about what he might do next. Welker is Denver's most-targeted receiver inside the twenty and should continue to be heavily involved out of the slot.
Week Two Analysis:
You'd never know Wes Welker wasn't in New England. In his Denver debut, Welker weaved his way through Baltimore's defense and waltzed to the tune of nine catches, 67 yards, and two touchdowns. Peyton was looking his way often, and Welker finished the day with 11 targets – three coming in the red zone. Even though Manning has many mouths to feed, the Broncos look like NFL's best offense, and you have to trot out all four of his wideouts. Wes has solidified his stud status and the Meadowlands should be a great track to run against a weak New York secondary.
Week One Analysis:
There's a fear Peyton Manning has too many mouths to feed with Wes Welker now on board. But remember that Manning captained a similar ship in 2004 when Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, and Brandon Stokley all had seasons of 1,000 plus yards and double-digit touchdowns. No one really anticipates Welker catching over 100 passes like he did in his Patriots days. But he's been drafted as a solid "wide receiver two" and that production is to be expected in Denver. With New England last year he burned the Ravens on the road for eight catches and 142 yards. And in the AFC Championship, he caught another eight for 117 yards and a touchdown. And, Peyton Manning is fully capable of playing the role of Tom Brady. It's worth noting that Welker has recovered fully from his mild ankle sprain. He's been back at practice for over a week.
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Here are a few things you may not know about new Denver Bronco, Wes Welker. Last year he led the NFL in yards after catch last season, with an impressive 673 yards. That's all the more impressive considering that he caught most of his passes across the middle of the field. Did you know that Welker also led the league in dropped passes with 15? The Broncos plan to use Welker in the slot, much like he was used in New England (he lined up in the slot for 82 percent of his snaps last season), meaning he should see several mismatches against linebackers and safeties, while the opposing corners have their hands full with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. I don't expect him to have a career scoring year, and just the sheer depth at wide receiver in Denver leads us to believe that he will have difficulty reaching the 100-catch mark again, but he's still a solid second or third wide receiver on most fantasy teams.