Take back the night: The rise of Eric Decker

 

eric-decker-five-four

courtesy of: http://larrybrownsports.com

 

I’ve put off writing this article for a few weeks now, ever since Decker signed with the Jets back in March. Perhaps, it was the heat I knew I would take for unceremoniously proclaiming Decker a lock for at top 10 wr finish in 2014, or maybe it had more to do with the fact that I some how wanted to work my man crush on Justin Timberlake’s new album “the 20/20 experience” into the fabric of these following paragraphs (wow, that was a lot easier than I originally thought, and notice I said “music” not the artist himself). What? It’s okay to crush on music right?

You know what? I don’t really care what anyone says about me after this publishes. I am an unashamed fan of one Eric Decker, as well as Mr. Timberlake. I’m willing to go out on a limb with Decker, as I believe he lets his play prove his worth, and if you’ve heard any of Timberlake’s latest album… you know the music speaks for itself.

The similarities between JT and Decker are too eery not to note. First the obvious… and if you thought I was going to say they’re both white, succeeding in genres not typical of caucasian’s… well you’re wrong… I didn’t have to, you already thought it. (see what I did there). Moving swiftly on, both were part of extremely successful groups if you will. Decker as a member of a record setting Denver Broncos squad, and Timberlake as a member of billboard topping N’Sync. Who for the record, I am not, nor have ever been a fan of.

Both are athletic, attractive, highly publicized celebrities. They each decided to take their acts solo at a time when doing so meant much greater risk than remaining where they were. Since that defining moment, Timberlake’s career has blossomed, and again, if you are skeptical, I urge you to at least listen to “take back the night“. If you don’t enjoy that track, I will personally join a fantasy league you play in this year. Don’t everyone tweet me all at once now.

Decker’s story has yet to be written. However, much like JT, I think we can expect a surprising meteoric rise out of Eric. He finished last year as the WR 9, totaling 87 receptions, 1,288 yards, and 11 touchdowns. While most will credit that success to Peyton Manning, and a record setting offense, I think the true value of Decker goes much deeper.

Most do not know that Decker was a Biletnikoff  finalist in 2008, or that prior to his senior season in 2009 being cut short by injury, he was widely considered the third best WR in the country behind Dez Bryant, and AJ Green. Allow me to repeat myself… Decker was ranked behind one, Dez Bryant, and Adriel Jeremiah Green. Shocked… you really shouldn’t be.

Once thought to easily be a first or second round NFL pick , Decker saw his draft stock plummet. The Broncos snagged him in the 3rd round to pair with 1st round pick, Demaryius Thomas. Together they have gone on to form one of the current deadliest WR tandems in the NFL . While Thomas rightfully garnishes most of the praise, Decker is typically cast to the shadows, relegated as the third wheel, and a product of the system. Yet, he is no slouch, standing at 6’3 and 218 pounds, he gives the Jets the red zone target they have sorely lacked. Denver threw to him 120 times alone in the red zone over the last four years. While he hasn’t faced the number one corner week to week in the NFL, he certainly did in college. The result… school records both for single game and season receptions. Let me spell this out plainly for you… Eric Decker is a WR1 both for the New York Jets, and your fantasy squad.

If you don’t believe me now, riddle me this. Did any of you see Antonio Brown’s top 5 WR season coming? Probably not. No one really did. I hammered on Twitter last summer that I thought Brown would be just fine without Mike Wallace, and that he was in fact a NFL and fantasy WR1. I took a lot of heat for that.

If you don’t believe me, please go check my time line. (It’s @realABC just in case you actually want to look). However I couldn’t have predicted exactly to what extent Brown would succeed. I hedged my bets, and reigned in my expectations. Not this year, not ever again. You read it first here, as the artist formerly known as Antonio Brown proved cynics wrong last year, so will Eric Decker in 2014. I predict another top 10 year for him, and would not be surprised to see him challenge for top 5. The talent is there, and if you ask me, he signed with the Jets to prove he is an elite WR. Call me crazy, but I love guys with chips on their shoulders on my fantasy squads.

My advice… go get Decker on your dynasty team while he is still cheap. And for all that is good in this world, buy “the 20/20 experience“. Take it from me, they will both help you score this year!

 

 

Thanks for reading. As always, you can find me @realABC on Twitter. I hope to hear from you soon. I’ll keep you abreast of my dynasty opinions, and musical interests as the year progresses.

 

 

 

 

4 Comments

  1. TheMarcusLabradors

    April 7, 2014 at 7:31 am

    You almost actually got me to like decker! Stop it right now!

    • Asher Curzon

      April 7, 2014 at 7:54 am

      Thanks for commenting. And yes, that was the point. Glad to at least stimulate thought.

  2. @FFKilroy76

    April 9, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    I tend to like Decker more than most as well. People fear how he’ll perform in New York with Vick/Geno Smith at QB, but it may be wise to remember Decker posted 44/612/8 in just his second year in the league with the likes of Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow throwing him the ball throughout that season.

    If nothing else he should still post his fair share of TDs. But I tend to think he’ll have solid reception and yardage totals to go along with it once again.

  3. WorldWideWes

    April 16, 2014 at 12:57 am

    Love the article Asher. I suspect the Decker owner in my dynasty league is very aware of how valuable he is and won’t trade him. I would be interested in other articles like this one identifying other undervalued assets.
    Btw I would also love to hear what you think of second year receivers like Tavon Awesome or Deandre Hopkins

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