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Player Spotlight: Peyton Manning

A detailed look at Peyton Manning's fantasy prospects for 2013

Setting the Stage

Peyton Manning was a three-year starter at quarterback at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up around sports as his father, Archie Manning was the quarterback of the home town New Orleans Saints. He performed very well in high school and had an abundance of scholarship offers. Most expected for him to follow his father and older brother, Cooper to Ole Miss. However, Cooper had suffered an injury that would force him to forego football and Ole Miss was facing almost certain sanctions and Peyton Manning opted to attend Tennessee.

He began his freshman season third on the depth chart, but first played against Mississippi State after injuries to both quarterbacks gave him his shot. He never relinquished his starting spot. He played extremely well for the Volunteers and graduated in three years, with a 3.61 GPA. Even though projected to be the top pick in the 1997 NFL Draft, Manning returned to play his senior season. That year was another successful season for Manning and Tennessee, but they again failed to win a National Championship. Manning won a slew of awards his senior year, but came in second to Charles Woodson for the Heisman Trophy. Manning had a 39-6 record as a starter and held 42 NCAA, SEC, and Tennessee records. He passed for 11,201 yards and 89 TDs for his collegiate career. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa Society in 1997.

Preparing for the 1998 NFL Draft, Manning was regarded as the most prepared college quarterback to enter the NFL in several years, but some questioned whether he could improve on the next level. He and Ryan Leaf were the two top candidates for first overall pick.

Manning was selected at #1 overall by the Indianapolis Colts and started every game his rookie season. He passed for 3,739 yards as a rookie and threw 26 TDs. He has always thrown for more yards, the same or more TDs, and less interceptions than his rookie season and is entering his 15th season in 2013.

He set out the entire 2011 season with his neck surgeries and many thought that his illustrious career was over. However, he resurfaced in Denver and although he struggled during the pre-season with arm strength, picked up right where he left off throwing for 4,667 yards and 37 TDs.  

His career statistics are provided below.

Year Team Gms Comp Att Pass Yds ypa TDs Ints Rushes Yds ypc TDs
1998 Ind 16 326 575 3,739 6.5 26 28 15 62 4.1 0
1999 Ind 16 331 533 4,135 7.8 26 15 35 73 2.1 2
2000 Ind 16 357 571 4,413 7.7 33 15 37 116 3.1 1
2001 Ind 16 343 547 4,131 7.6 26 23 35 157 4.5 4
2002 Ind 16 392 591 4,200 7.1 27 19 38 148 3.9 2
2003 Ind 16 379 566 4,267 7.5 29 10 28 26 0.9 0
2004 Ind 16 336 497 4,557 9.2 49 10 25 38 1.5 0
2005 Ind 16 305 453 3,747 8.3 28 10

33

45 1.4 0
2006 Ind 16 362 557 4,397 7.9 31 9 23 36 1.6 4
2007 Ind 16 337 515 4,040 7.8 31 14 23 -5 -0.2 3
2008 Ind 16 371 555 4,002 7.2 27 12 20 21 1.1 1
2009 Ind 16 393 571 4,500 7.9 33 16 19 -13 -0.7 0
2010 Ind 16 450 680 4,700 6.9 33 17 18 18 1 0
2012 Den 16 400 583 4,667 8.0 37 11 23 7 0.3 0
Totals   224 5,082 7,794 59,495 7.6 436 209 369 729 2.0 17

Looking Forward to 2013

Denver has replaced Mike McCoy with Adam Gase, who moves up from quarterback coach a year ago. Early discussions are that the Broncos are planning to run a faster paced offense, allowing Manning to take advantage better of mismatches that he sees. The biggest change on the Bronco’s roster is the addition of Wes Welker to the wide receiver mix. The team already had Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, who had 94 and 85 receptions respectively a year ago. The addition of Wes Welker should provide Manning with frequent advantages against opposing defenses, particularly with the no-huddle fast paced offensive attack.

The Bronco’s offensive line has been solid, but they still need to get a long-term deal worked out with left tackle Ryan Clady. Even if the team’s offensive line play is less effective than a year ago, Manning is the type of quarterback that can get rid of the ball in a hurry, if he has to. The running back position remains unclear, but Ronnie Hillman, in his second year has gotten a lot of work during early work-outs and the team drafted Montee Ball in the second round and they still have Knowshon Moreno around for emergency action.

Positives

  • Peyton Manning is one of the hardest working and efficient quarterbacks in the NFL
  • He will be the focal point of the offense and should easily top 4,500 yards again this year
  • His trio of Thomas, Decker, and Welker give him multiple weapons

Negatives

  • Possible changes in offensive line could hinder effectiveness early
  • Manning enters the 2013 season at 37 years of age and his recent neck issues are a concern

Projections

  Gms Comp Att Pass Yds ypa TDs Ints Rushes Yds ypc TDs
David Dodds 16 380 559 4,500 8.1 36 11 20 28 1.4 0
Bob Henry 15 395 590 4,740 8.0 38 11 18 20 1.1 0
Jason Wood 16 410 605 4,835 8.0 40 9 20 35 1.8 0
Maurile Tremblay 16 413 636 4,858 7.6 32 16 26 39 1.5 1
Stephen Holloway 16 420 620 4,960 8.0 40 12 22 24 1.1 1

Final Thoughts

Peyton Manning had a lot of questions heading into the 2012 campaign with the Broncos after missing the entire 2011 season, but answered them all. He won’t come nearly as cheap this season as his current ADP is QB3 and 32 overall, but he seems to be a much safer play this year. There are many that expect that this year or 2014 will be his last season, but research for this article provided the below statistics. Entering the 2013 season, Manning is only 12,345 passing yards behind Brett Favre and could pass him with only three more solid seasons.  


Other Viewpoints

Jon Machota from SportsDayDFW on Jerry Jones’ comments about Peyton Manning’s time on the job http://cowboysblog.dallasnews.com/2013/05/peyton-manning-flattered-by-jerry-jones-comments-regarding-tony-romos-increased-time-on-the-job.html/

“I don’t think that I do any more than any quarterback should,” Manning said. “I get asked, ‘How much film do you watch?’ I’ve never logged hours. I’ve always watched enough to get myself ready to play. “The cerebral part of the game has always been something where I had to get my edge. I really study the opponent, study myself, study my own players, my own routes.” Jones has said on several occasions that Romo’s increased involvement doesn’t mean that Romo wasn’t around enough in the past. Jones envisions Romo’s current and future involvement as a bonus. “Anybody will tell you that Peyton Manning’s involvement in what they do is a bonus as opposed to what the general commitment is of top quarterbacks in the NFL,” Jones said. “That’s a bonus. Again, because I haven’t been in meetings with Peyton for a long time, but we’re committed and [Romo's] committed to that type of in-season and off-season approach for these years under his contract.”

Marc Sessler on NFL.com discussing Manning and Welker http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000215303/article/wes-welker-peyton-manning-everything-you-thought

"I'd be lying if I told you we have not studied what worked well for Wes in New England," Manning told the team's official website. "There's certain pass patterns and certain things that he's done so well for so long, you'd be crazy not to copy some of those and bring those to your offense." Welker -- shifting from one Hall of Fame-worthy passer to the next -- doesn't appear to regret his move west. "It's everything you thought," Welker said of Manning. "The balls are just so accurate and you come out of your break and the ball is just there. It's almost like a long handoff sometimes. He definitely makes it easy on you."

Matt Waldman on his player comments

Manning could easily have a record season this year if you project the capability of his receivers Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, and Eric Decker. There is room for three fantasy starters at receiver in this offense in the same way that Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne, and Pierre Garcon functioned in Indianapolis. I can see moving Manning higher, but looking forward to seeing how the running game takes shape. If it doesn’t, I’m moving Manning higher.


More from Steve Holloway:

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