Spotlight: Peyton Manning
posted by Jason Wood on Jul 31st
Jason Wood's thoughts
Peyton Manning isn't exactly someone people have many question marks about, so I'm guessing you don't need this spotlight to make the case he's worth owning. The simple fact is Manning has long since established himself as one of the best ever at his position. The only real debate at this juncture is where Manning ranks in that pantheon of all-time greats.
Through 12 seasons, no one has ever been as productive in NFL history:
The simple truth is Manning need only stay healthy to re-write the record books. As fantasy owners, what those phenomenal 12-year totals tell us is that Manning has been -- year in, year out -- a fantasy star.
One of the reasons the Colts are successful is the way they've fostered a sense of continuity throughout Manning's career. Even last year, as Tony Dungy called it a career, assistant-turned-head coach Jim Caldwell maintained what came before. The result? A 14-2 record and a trip to the Super Bowl. This year there's another change to the coaching ranks, as long-time coordinator Tom Moore has retired. When a QB loses the only OC they've ever had, it might usually be cause for concern. But not this time. Clyde Christensen has been an assistant on the staff for a long time and has been actively groomed for the role. Wisely, Christensen won't tweak much. He understands that things are just fine the way they are.
The receiving corps is daunting...for opposing defenses. You've got Reggie Wayne still at his peak, Dallas Clark is one of the league's top tight ends, and then there are a cadre of younger receivers battling for time. Last season the Colts shrugged off Anthony Gonzalez's injury and Pierre Garcon and rookie Austin Collie stepped in without a bump in the road. This year, Gonzalez has designs on reclaiming his role and obviously Garcon and Collie are a year older, with experience under their wings, and ready to contribute.
As if you needed any more reason to draft Manning, consider that this year, he's got one of the according to Clayton Gray's Ultimate Strength of Schedule.
- Manning is shattering the record books, and is unquestionably one of the very best to ever play the position
- Manning is as close to a lock to not miss a game as anyone other than Brett Favre. In 12 seasons Manning has yet to miss a game, which is part a testament to his quick release and smart decision-making, and also a tribute to the consistent excellence of his offensive line
- His cadre of receiving threats is deeper than at any point in his career
- The Colts are transitioning to a new offensive coordinator, Clyde Christensen. While we don't expect that to be a hurdle, you can never completely discount the loss of the only play-caller Manning has had in his illustrious career
- Manning will cost you a 2nd round pick in most leagues, so you have to make sure you're comfortable with a draft strategy that allows for a QB early
- The offensive line has undergone is greater than the sum of its parts. LT Charlie Johnson, for example, doesn't grade out as an above average player at his position and the fact he's starting argues that Colts might be in trouble if they ever suffer a streak of injury issues on the front five; because the depth isn't there
There's really no case to be made for not drafting Peyton Manning other than if you don't usually want to grab a starting QB early and prefer to find your QBs in the mid rounds. But in terms of true value-based drafting, Manning deserves early consideration yet again this year. I always laugh when people discount someone like Manning because there's no "upside." When your baseline is Top 3 production at your position, you don't NEED upside. Meanwhile, if you really think about it, he has tremendous upside. While you pencil in 4,000 yards and 28+ TDs every year, he could (and already has) push into the 40-50 TD range if things break right.
Quotations from the message board threadTo view the entire Player Spotlight thread (there's a ton of fantastic commentary in there), click here.
Easiest guy in the world to project: 4,200 yards and 30 TDs.Iwannabeacowboybaby! said:
One of the top 2 greatest regular season QBs in NFL history between him and Dan Marino. He plays 16 games, manages the game like no other and plays big with under 2 mins in a game. His game shows cracks in the playoffs that can't be argued but fortunately for all fantasy owners, the money is already paid out in fantasy leagues before those games even happen.Raiderfan32904 said:
Yes, it's true that Peyton will give you stellar stats. But I always hated having to plan to make a deal for a lesser QB or draft a good one, knowing what it cost to get Peyton, so I could compete in the FF playoffs. Taking Peyton at his ADP is a risk/reward. Not saying that he won't lead you to the championship. But the heartburn of relying on him when the division is wrapped up by Week 13 is what I'd like to avoid.
I try to avoid him at his ADP, but obviously if he slips, I am all over him and then I try to snag a decent complementary QB in the later rounds.Routilla said:
If Garcon starts opposite Wayne I like PM for about 5 TDs more than if anyone else starts opposite Wayne. That being said, 37 TDs and 4200 yds.
Peyton Manning projections
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