Peyton Manning to the Broncos: Fantasy Impact
From a football standpoint this was a questionable move for Manning who spurned two teams that are much better in San Francisco and Tennessee.
With that said Manning is heading to a winnable division and is joining a team that will allow him to essentially design his own offense and call most of the plays which must have been the major selling point for Manning aside from the presence of fellow quarterback legend John Elway.
Legitimate mutual respect played a big part in Manning’s decision as did the fact that Elway knows what kind of supporting cast it takes for a QB to successful this late in his career.
Peyton Manning – Peyton Manning will open the season as a QB1 with the potential to sniff the top-5. He has some interesting weapons in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker but we feel the offense needs one more playmaker to really put Manning in the best position to succeed. Willis McGahee had a fine season in 2011 which will force opposing teams to respect the run a little more than they did in Indianapolis which will open up the field for Manning. At worst we are looking at a top-12 QB who will threaten 4,000 passing yards and 30 TD’s, which lock Manning in as a QB1. As long as he stays healthy, Manning will be able to succeed in fantasy even without any additions to this offense.
Tim Tebow – Tim Tebow will likely be jettisoned via trade. Hopefully for him he lands somewhere he can compete to start.
Demaryius Thomas – Demaryius Thomas has the makings of a top-10 WR if both he and Manning can make it through the season unscathed. He will be drafted as a WR1 or WR2 and will perform at that level when healthy. The obvious caveat here is ‘if’ he stays healthy, as Thomas has proven injury prone throughout his NFL and college career. Thomas was the number two overall fantasy receiver over the last seven weeks of the season.
Eric Decker – Eric Decker should enjoy a career season with Peyton Manning at the helm and is pegged as a WR3 with WR2 upside and a flex floor. Decker should be on all fantasy cheat sheets as he will be a good value based on ADP with the fantasy community likely to go ga-ga over Thomas as opposed to Decker. Barring any wide receiver additions to the Broncos both Thomas and Decker have the potential to finish the season as top-25 WR’s which would put them in the WR2 category.
Willis McGahee/ Running backs – Willis McGahee had a career resurgence in 2011, rushing for 1,200 yards at the age of 30. McGahee will see open lanes ‘a plenty’ with Peyton Manning at the helm, but we still do not expect him to best his yardage total from last year with the Broncos intent on bringing in another back to share the load with him. McGahee will likely be drafted high based on his terrific performance last season but he has a flex floor and will probably be drafted as a RB2. We advise taking a pass unless you can get him as a RB3 price in 2012.
Julius Thomas – Thomas is brimming with potential and Peyton Manning might be just the man to help unlock it. Thomas is no more than a speculative TE2 for now but is someone to monitor during the season.
Written by Win My Fantasy League Senior Sports Writer/Fantasy Sports Analyst Raju Byfield (Rizzla).