Peyton Manning: Why Broncos QB Will Be the Top Fantasy Scorer in Week 16

Mike Shiekman@TheRealShiekFeatured ColumnistDecember 19, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 16:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos warms up on the sidelines during the second half of the Broncos game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Peyton Manning has a real shot to win the Most Valuable Player trophy. He will need a big fantasy day against the Cleveland Browns to convince voters.

Manning and his team will deliver on that what-if, leading many fantasy owners to championships of their own.

Manning currently stands as the seventh-best fantasy player this season. Over his past five games he’s been solid but not spectacular, throwing 10 touchdowns and four interceptions. In addition, he’s averaged 261 yards per game in that sample size.

That’s all about to change in his next matchup against a vulnerable Cleveland pass defense. The Browns rank in the bottom 10 in passing yards allowed. 

Not to mention his team will look to pad his stats the next few games against Cleveland and Kansas City. He is the sentimental favorite to win the MVP for a record fifth time in his career, going up against Tom Brady and Adrian Peterson, among others.

While Peterson has an impressive case, unless he breaks Eric Dickerson’s rushing record and the Vikings make the playoffs, he’s a stronger candidate for Offensive Player of the Year.

Quarterbacks usually get preference for the MVP, especially ones who come back from neck surgery to get a first-round bye.

With Brady having a nonexistent first half in a Monday night loss to the Niners, the Broncos moved ahead of the Pats in the playoff picture and Manning assumed pole position for the MVP. 

So this all sets up for a Manning passing exhibition against Cleveland. The Broncos will not only be keying on an easy win but several touchdowns from their signal-caller.

For those who suggest the cautionary route with Manning, Broncos head coach John Fox has ruled that out, according to’s Mark Sessler via USA Today:

"That has not been an option, and not something that we'll talk about," coach John Fox told USA Today. "Right now, our main agenda is to get better and improve so we can be playing our best football in January."

With an MVP, a first-round bye and a ton of fantasy championships in sight, Manning is heading toward an embarrassment of riches.

If we know anything about Manning, he delivers in high-pressure situations at season’s end.