Fantasy Football: Is Dallas Clark's Stock Down After Peyton Manning's Injury?

Cian FaheyFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 19:  Dallas Clark #44 of the Indianapolis Colts watches the action during the game against the Washington Redskins at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Dallas Clark's stock as a fantasy tight end took a hit entering this season coming off his own injury last year.

However, while the injury to Peyton Manning severely hurts the Colts' passing attack, it doesn't really affect Dallas Clark's stock.

Clark didn't enter this season as an elite tight end option in fantasy because of other quality players ahead of him without the injury question marks.

The fact that he has lost his signal-caller for what appears to be significant time should hurt his stock, but as a tight end, he will likely see a lot more targets with Curtis Painter or Kerry Collins under center.

There are two safety blankets for young inexperienced NFL quarterbacks or quarterbacks that are simply out of their comfort zone. One is a strong running game while the other is a good tight end.

Running the ball in Indianapolis hasn't been a strength really since Edgerrin James was in town. Therefore, either Collins or Painter will make extensive use of Dallas Clark's ability to catch the football.

With Austin Collie's health in question once again, Clark will be the team's best possession receiver presuming that Reggie Wayne is the focal point of the opposition's coverage.

His average may come down as he doesn't get the benefit of Peyton Manning's machine-like accuracy down the field, but the number of receptions and his threat in the red zone should allow him to sustain his status as a good fantasy option for the coming year.

Whether Manning misses one game or the whole season, Dallas Clark's consistency should not waver.