Players hurt by scheme changes

Decker among players whose fantasy production could decrease in 2014

Updated: June 24, 2014, 10:34 AM ET
By Field Yates | ESPN Insider

Eric DeckerAP Photo/Julio CortezEric Decker's fantasy scoring is expected to dip in his first season as a Jet.

We recently profiled players who will benefit in 2014 from a change of team or a change of scheme. The fantasy football risers, if you will.

Not all players are so fortunate, however, as we've seen year in and year out. Think about the recent production arc of Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Dwayne Bowe. After averaging 8.6 targets per game from 2010 to 2012, Bowe saw 105 targets in a total of 15 games this past season (7.0 per game). Moreover, his yards per catch diminished to a career-low 11.8 in 2013, as the Chiefs turned to a run-based offense that relied on the short to intermediate passing game.

It's hard to blame them, as they won 11 games after finishing with the worst record in football the year before. But that did little to appease Bowe owners in fantasy football, who saw him dwindle into borderline flex territory.

So before you invest in players with a given level of expectation -- more specifically, expectations of a repeat of 2013 production -- let's examine 10 players of whom you should be cautious, given their change of team or scheme.


1. Eric Decker | WR | New York Jets

Even if Decker stayed in Denver catching passes from Peyton Manning alongside Demaryius Thomas, Julius Thomas and Wes Welker, it would've been exceedingly difficult for him to match his tremendous 2013 season, when he ranked eighth among receivers in standard scoring.

But now he's in New York. Whether he's catching passes from Geno Smith or Michael Vick, Decker is option A in the passing game -- not the third or fourth target, which drew him inferior coverage players. That means six games per season facing off against the likes of Darrelle Revis, Brent Grimes and Stephon Gilmore and doing so with uncertainty at quarterback and the rest of the offense around him. He'll be fortunate to reach 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season. Double-digit touchdowns are nearly impossible to imagine.

Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.