WR Wes Welker, Denver Broncos
HT: 5-9, WT: 190, Born: 5-1-1981, College: Texas Tech, Drafted: ---
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Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: R Bush (41), A Hernandez (42), Wes Welker (43), D Sproles (44), R Mathews (45)
Position: V Jackson (39-WR13), M Crabtree (40-WR14), Wes Welker (43 - WR15), J Nelson (46-WR16), M Colston (47-WR17)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: D Sproles (34), V Jackson (35), Wes Welker (36), M Crabtree (37), F Gore (38)
Position: L Fitzgerald (33-WR12), V Jackson (35-WR13), Wes Welker (36 - WR14), M Crabtree (37-WR15), J Nelson (46-WR16)
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This offseason Wes Welker moved on the from the Patriots to join the Denver Broncos. He goes from one future Hall of Fame quarterback (Tom Brady) to another (Peyton Manning) and should be the reliable veteran receiver fantasy owners know and love. Welker caught over 100 passes five of the six years he was with the Patriots. While he may not reach that plateau with the Broncos projecting him for 90 catches isn't outlandish. Welker will work as the Broncos slot receiver in the new offense led by Adam Gase. He should see plenty of targets on short yardage situations and will build strong chemistry with Manning.
Latest NewsBroncos | Tavarres King to stretch the field (Tue May 7, 01:53 PM) - Denver Broncos WR Tavarres King, their fifth-round draft choice, has speed as his biggest asset, and he figures to add field-stretching ability to a stable of wide receivers - Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker - that is best known for their short to intermediate passing contributions. King may see some playing time for this reason as another option for QB Peyton Manning. 'As a receiver I'm a guy that gets deep in a hurry, (I) led the FBS in yards per catch last year with 22. (I'm) somebody that you guys are going to be able to depend on, somebody who will do exactly as Peyton says,' King said. 'Peyton's going to put me in a position to succeed.' Our View: King has good straight line speed and can take the top off the defense in a hurry. He's quick in and out of his breaks and has the footwork to consistently create separation. King is fourth on the depth chart right now but could have a bigger role if the Broncos lose Eric Decker in free agency next year.
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|2||at New York Giants|
|5||at Dallas Cowboys|
|7||at Indianapolis Colts|
|10||at San Diego Chargers|
|11||Kansas City Chiefs|
|12||at New England Patriots|
|13||at Kansas City Chiefs|
|15||San Diego Chargers|
|16||at Houston Texans|
|17||at Oakland Raiders|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Welker owners everywhere will be worried sick after this game. Welker was simply an after-thought in this game. But the history of the Patriots suggests that you might want to wait a week or two before you throw in the towel. Welker went deep twice, and on both plays was bracketed by multiple defenders. Then in the 2nd half, when Brady tried a signature Welker dump-off, the Titans were immediately on Welker. It seems like Welker was a focus of Tennessee’s defense. But when defenses adjust and focus on Hernandez and Lloyd, Welker will see single coverage again. There simply are too many weapons on this team. If you are in a ppr league, I’d be looking to buy Welker. He probably won’t come close to his 2011 numbers, but I think his role in the gameplan will come around as defenses adjust.
Week 2 - Welker had no catches until the 2-minute drill of the first half, and showed nice concentration as he followed the ball toward the sideline. He started off the second half with a nice catch in stride; clearly he’s still got it, the first half absence was more of a blip on the radar. Hiowever, Welker did have a couple of drops, and with so many weapons in this offense, it’s also clear that he could continue to lose opportunities. Of note is Julian Edelman, who seemed to be counted on more and more as the game wore on.
Week 3 - The jitterbug receiver had a typical Wes Welker day. On the first New England possession of the game he slipped behind the defense unnoticed and took a 20 yard pass down field for a gain of 59. He was not touched until he scurried out of bounds. Despite facing tight coverage the rest of the half, Welker also caught a 28 yard pass over the middle near the end of the second quarter. He finished the half with three receptions for 96 yards. He caught five more balls during the second half and essentially acted as Brady’s safety valve. His longest gain of the second half was 11 yards.
Week 4 - The Bills had no answer for Wes Welker. Justin Rogers was asked to cover him in the slot, but Welker never had a problem losing him in the open field. His first reception came on a screen pass before he followed it up with an easy out route. Welker's only black mark came in the second quarter when he lost a fumble deep in his own territory. Welker caught an underneath route going across the field, but when trying to make a move on defender to get first down, he was hit from behind and the ball came free. Welker was trying to do too much on the play. It was third and long and Welker was well short of the first down marker. Welker rebounded however. He repeatedly caught out routes for success, including one for over 20 yards when he shook the tackle attempt of Rogers. Welker ran a variety of routes and caught the ball at different positions on the field. No matter where he was, he looked comfortable and made clean catches. He and his quarterback were on the same page all day long.
Week 5 - With Aaron Hernandez out of the lineup, Welker had a field day against the Broncos. He got separation with ease on his staple short routes. Brady and Welker exhibited their great chemistry with option routes where Brady would simply wait for Welker to make his move for the reception. Welker controlled most of a drive early in the game with five catches. He made defenders miss with ease when operating in space and was wide open on his touchdown, a red zone target that bordered on blown coverage. Welker was the only Patriots player with more than four receptions, once again serving as Tom Brady’s dynamic safety blanket over the middle.
Week 6 - Arguably the hottest WR in the league coming into the game, Wes Welker continued his hot play with 10 catches for 138 yards and a touchdown against the Seahawks. Seemingly the only thing working consistently for Brady, he torched CB Marcus Trufant and got open almost at will. His 46 yard touchdown was made on a great over-the-shoulder catch where he slipped away from both Trufant and Earl Thomas for the score. Welker’s role appears to be locked in and he is again a focal point of the offense. Welker did take a few massive hits at the hands of CB Brandon Browner and S Kam Chancellor on dangerous passes from Brady but bounced right back up.
Week 7 - The Jets did an excellent job defending Wes Welker. Jets’ corner, Isiah Trufant, matched up against Welker in nickel packages and did a great job at taking him away. Trufant and Welker spent the majority of the afternoon battling at the line of scrimmage and Welker never got a clean release. Welker only caught one pass during the first half, a quick 16-yard screen pass where Welker caught the ball behind the line of scrimmage and created additional yardage after the catch.
During the second half, Brady made a conscious effort to attack the soft underbelly of the Jet defense. Brady’s first second half completion went to Welker on a five-yard out. Six plays later, Brady came back to Welker on a short screen for a 21-yard gain.
Welker was a fixture during the Patriots’ overtime drive. Welker grabbed two quick passes and generated 27 yards after the catch. Welker thrives at catching quick passes and generating yards after the catch, but the Jets made sure that Welker did not catch many passes beyond the line of scrimmage.
Week 8 - Welker looked as unstoppable as ever, except when he was dropping passes. The Rams could not stop him from picking up 8 yard chunks on slants, crosses or hitches, but Welker dropped two deeper posts that would have turned a mediocre day into a good day. What’s worse is he left the game in the 4th quarter with what looked like an aggravation of his ankle injury. Early indications are that it shouldn't be a problem coming out of next week's bye, but check back to make sure before you play Welker in week 10.
Week 10 - Just as Bills’ head coach Chan Gailey stated in the post game presser in week four, Buffalo again had no answer for Welker. Welker led the team in targets with 11, catches with six and yards with 74. However, Welker was his own worst enemy on Sunday, with two drops, including one which would have been a TD had Welker not dropped it. After killing Buffalo early underneath, Welker burst up the seam, easily getting behind the coverage, but had the perfect throw clang off his hands and fall incomplete. Welker could have crawled into the end zone had he been able to make the catch. Imbedded deep in their own territory, Brady again looked to an uncovered Welker over the middle on the short crosser. The pass was on target, but Welker again bumbled the toss, leaving New England in 3rd and long. Welker’s best play came on a bubble screen that the Buffalo defense had done a nice job of snuffing out. Welker was forced back all the way across the field, behind the line of scrimmage and was able to get the edge and turn up field for the 23-yard gain. Buffalo did their best to collapse on Welker underneath, but he spent the majority of the game running free, giving Brady a release whenever he wanted it.
Week 11 - Welker's first target came deep down the field against single coverage with a linebacker in good position. Brady overthrew Welker so he never had an opportunity to make a play on the ball. Welker caught his first pass on third and two when he ran a crossing pattern to find space in the middle of the field. Welker then found space against man coverage on second and 12 to go for eight yards. The linebacker had no chance covering him in space. Welker dropped a potential third down conversion on his next target when he was in much less space against the linebacker who hit him immediately. Welker caught an easy 18 yards on a slant route against off coverage. Welker couldn't catch a short out route with space ahead, as the ball was slightly out of his reach. Brady went straight back to Welker as he caught a quick pass in the flat before turning upfield for 11 yards and a first down. Welker caught a quick pass in the flat close to the goalline. He ran forward, but was met by two defenders and was lucky that his fumble bounced out of bounds. As Brady hung in the pocket, Welker kept working the coverage deep and caught a comeback route on the sidelines for a 15 yard gain. The Colts couldn't defend the middle of the field all day long and Welker duly added another reception for a first down late in the game against single coverage over the middle.
Week 12 - Wes Welker continues to terrorize the New York Jets. During the Patriots first scoring drive, Welker caught all three of Brady’s completions on intermediate drag routes. Welker finished off the scoring drive by running a quick out-route to secure a three-yard touchdown. Given the short field, the depth of Welker’s route was precise as he secured the touchdown.
During the second half, Welker caught four additional passes for 60 yards. Welker’s longest reception of the day, a 28-yard deep drag route over the middle of the field, was a thing of beauty as he got behind Eric Smith. The Jets opted to utilize their nickel personnel throughout the game, but Welker had no issues finding soft spots for ten yard gains.
Week 13 - With Rob Gronkowski out of the lineup and Aaron Hernandez dropping multiple passes, Welker was by far the most reliable weapon in the New England passing game against the Dolphins. Most of his targets were signature plays for Welker as he reads underneath coverage and gains quick separation over the middle. Over a short span from late in the first quarter to early in the second, Welker seemed to get every target from Brady. Welker scored easily on a well-blocked receiver screen inside the 10-yard line. Later in the game, Welker missed an easy opportunity for a second score. Again in the red zone, Welker came wide open on a crossing route, but dropped one of his easiest targets of the game. With Gronkowski possibly out though the remained of the fantasy season, Welker is a high floor and high ceiling fantasy play every single week. His 18 targets this week marked a season-high and has 10+ targets in 9-of-12 games.
Week 14 - Welker only had three receptions against the Texans despite Tom Brady completing 21 passes against the Texans. That said, he caused quite a bit of havoc by jetting across the middle and to the outside resulting in the Texans having to pull a safety away from the deep field to cover Welker when a linebacker had been beaten in the route. Welker's speed and shiftiness make him a tough matchup for linebackers and nearly impossible to catch on the run.
Week 15 - Welker was held without a catch in the 1st half, thanks mostly to excellent defense by Carlos Rogers. The wide receiver was unable to separate from the corner, and the one time Brady forced the ball to Welker, the play resulted in an interception as Welker ran a seam route and was double covered. Welker pulled up, gesturing that he had been interfered with and Rogers ran past him to eventually catch the deep ball. Welker became more involved in the 2nd half, as Brady began to throw non-stop and targeted the receiver on various slants. Welker did a great job of catching and running when hit in stride by his quarterback, often beating coverage off the line of scrimmage with a quick move inside. That was what the receiver was limited to however, as he was unable to get behind the coverage for any long gains.
Week 16 - Without Rob Gronkowski in the lineup, it was the Welker and Brandon Lloyd show in the passing game. Welker caught 10-of-12 targets, his highest rate since Week 5 (13-of-15). He was efficient with his traditional route tree of short hooks, hitches, and crossing patterns. He dominated the Patriots final drive in the first half as Brady finally started to get in a groove. Welker scored in the second half on a goal line out route, which was cleared out well by his teammate on an in-cutting combination route. Despite 10+ targets in five of the last seven games, this was just Welker’s second time over 80 receiving yards over that stretch.
Week 17 - With Rob Gronkowski on the field for limited snaps and Brandon Lloyd lacking chemistry with Brady, Welker was the receiver of choice against Miami. With 12 targets, Welker had a third of the team’s total. Miami struggled, like most teams, to cover Welker over the middle in crucial situations. Welker came wide open down the seam for the first touchdown of the game. On multiple third downs, Welker gained 15+ yards to continue drives. After 12/103/1 in Week 13 against his former team, Welker surpassed 20 PPR points again this week versus Miami. For the fifth time in the last six seasons, Welker has 110+ receptions on 150+ targets in New England. With free agency looming this offseason for the older receiver, Welker is playing some of his best football of the season.
Week 19 - The only receiver with more than 10 targets, Welker led the team in every receiving category with eight catches, 13 targets and 131 yards receiving. Welker dominated the Texans underneath, as Houston had no answer for the WR. Three of Welker’s eight catches came on 3rd down, all resulted in 1st downs and all came while the game was still in question (the 1st half). Welker’s first such catch came on the Pats’ 2nd drive and resulted in a crushing blow from DB Kareem Jackson. Welker showed his “bad” side on the same drive; however, as he dropped what would have been another 3rd down conversion three plays later. Welker easily beat the coverage over the middle, and Brady delivered a perfect toss, but Welker just flat out dropped it. He had plenty of space in front of him had he made the catch, perhaps leading to wandering eyes and the subsequent drop. Two drives later, Welker again ran free over the middle on 3rd down, but this time was able to complete the catch and turn the short toss into 30 yards. The following drive Welker again came through on 3rd, picking up 12 yards when the team needed 11. Three plays later Welker had his longest play of the game, a pretty one handed grab for 47 yards down the sideline. Having killed the underneath routes, Welker finally went vertical and was able to beat the coverage. Another perfect touch pass from Brady, Welker was only able to extend his left arm to make the catch before finally getting shoved out at the Houston eight-yard line. Welker only had one more catch, but he also drew a penalty on 3rd down on the Pats’ final drive, allowing New England to burn an extra three minutes off the clock. The anti-garbage man, seven of Welker’s eight (and 125 of his receiving yards) came when the Texans were within one score.
Week 20 - Welker beat the coverage on a deep crossing route when he escaped from press man coverage. Brady tried to hit him but they couldn't connect as the ball was just out of his reach. Welker's first reception was a quick out route for seven yards on first and 10. Three plays later, Welker caught a well designed screen pass in the flat with blockers leading the way downfield. Welker cut behind them and ran ahead for a 24 yard gain. A few plays later, on third down at the goalline, Welker stacked behind Brandon Lloyd to get a free release for a simple touchdown at the goalline. The Ravens defensive backs blew the coverage so Welker was wide open. In the third quarter, Welker's first target came deep down the field on a seam route. He caught the ball before absorbing a personal foul hit from Bernard Pollard, and held onto it falling to the ground. Welker came free on a deep out on third and seven that would have went for a first down, but he dropped a perfectly thrown pass. Welker beat Darnellle Ellerbe in single coverage over the middle for an eight yard gain on first and 10. His next screen pass didn't come until the fourth quarter, when he was stopped after a five yard gain by the pursuing Haloti Ngata. Against Corey Graham and a single high safety, Welker shook free to find a massive gap between the coverage for a 30+ yard gain. Welker caught a 12 yard pass over the middle within the last two minutes as the Ravens played prevent coverage.