Peyton Manning: Realistic Fantasy Expectations for Star QB for Rest of Season

Ryan DavenportContributor INovember 5, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 04:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos throws a pass before the NFL game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on November 4, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Being among the top fantasy football performers in the NFL is nothing new for Peyton Manning.

The only thing different about this season in comparison to his previous 13 is that he's not putting points on the board for the Indianapolis Colts, but the results have been predictably spectacular.

And that won't change anytime soon.

In fact, Manning's consistency may be the most remarkable aspect of his fantasy production, as the four-time league MVP has never passed for less than 26 touchdowns in a season and only once has he thrown more picks than scores, which was during his rookie season in 1998.

The scary thing is, not only has Manning adjusted to life as a Denver Bronco, but at 36, he's well on his way to having one of the finest seasons of his career.

With 17 touchdowns in his first seven games, Manning has been everything the Broncos could've possibly hoped for, and coming off a run in which he strung together five straight games with at least 300 yards passing, he's only going to get better from here on out.

Is a 35-touchdown season possible? Yes, and at this point it seems like it's a near certainty, given how quickly he's gelled with Eric Decker, Demaryius Thomas and the rest of Denver's quietly improving receiving corps.

That's why the Broncos rank fourth in the NFL in passing yards per game, and it's also why Manning has lead the team to a 5-3 start, despite facing perennial powerhouses New England, Pittsburgh, Houston and New Orleans.

Now, with the Broncos heading into the second half of the season, Manning has a much easier schedule down the home stretch, and he should pile up the fantasy points with ease in comparison to the first nine weeks of his career in Denver.

He may not lead the league in touchdowns or passing yards, but he very well could, which is why he's continued to be among the most valuable fantasy commodities in the game.