Peyton Manning: Broncos QB Should Be Considered Top 5 Fantasy Quarterback
Peyton Manning is back and believe it or not, enters the 2012 underrated for possibly the first time in his career.
Considering he’s learning a new offense in a new city with new teammates and coaches, fantasy owners don’t know what to expect from the 36-year-old future Hall of Famer.
Oh yeah, then there is the series of neck surgeries that kept him out for the entire 2011 season.
All things considered, the newest member of the Denver Broncos is going to be a fantasy risk…but it’s a risk worth taking.
In his debut last Thursday against the Chicago Bears, Manning was 4-of-7 for 44 yards and an interception. The interception was off a fluky deflection that hit Brandon Stokley in the shoulders in the pouring rain.
We all know you would be crazy to judge Manning on one drive in a meaningless preseason game, but it was encouraging to see him barking orders at the line of scrimmage and still possessing some serious zip on the ball. His neck didn’t appear to bother him one bit.
Looking at the Broncos roster, the two candidates to help Manning’s life easier right away will be Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. At 6’3’’ and 230 pounds, Thomas is the perfect red-zone target for Manning and also his best deep threat. He is a budding star that can fully blossom under the tutelage of Manning.
Remember, this is a guy that’s been stuck with Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow in his two seasons in the league. Collecting 1,000 yards and 10 TDs is certainly in the realm of possibilities.
Then there is Decker, my pick to end up as Manning’s go-to receiver.
The pair connected on a beautiful 19-yard gain Thursday when the Broncos were facing 3rd-and-17. Decker, who excels out of the slot, has the crisp route-running ability and sticky hands that have made plenty of Colt receivers millions of dollars in the past. Decker is a cerebral player who can handle the load Manning gives him.
Expect their chemistry to be spectacular as the season rolls on.
With a strong running game and above-average O-line, Manning has all of the tools to put up big numbers on a team with plenty of potential.
The incredible stat of Manning that gets swept under the rug is his 227-game streak of consecutive starts. This guy was the symbol of consistency before suffering the neck injury. In a league where one hit can end a career regardless of who the player is, his durability over the last 13 seasons of action can’t be overlooked.
Is Peyton Manning a Top-5 Fantasy QB in 2012?
Don’t let his neck injury be the only reason you skip Peyton.
Manning isn’t going to put up the same type of numbers that Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers will in 2012, but he will be a better pick than the injury-plagued Matthew Stafford, the consistent but not amazing Matt Ryan, the turnover prone Tony Romo, and Ben Roethlisberger, who is already dealing with a slew of injuries.
Manning has always been fantasy gold, and there is no reason to believe 2012 will be any different.
Peyton is back and ready to play a major part in winning you a fantasy football championship. Take advantage of the suckers who overlook him.
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