Aug 11, 2012
If you had your 2011 fantasy football draft at any point before late August last season, it it likely that you or someone in your league (like I did) got burned by drafting Peyton Manning. Manning sat out the entire 2011 season, under going 2 neck surgeries, while running himself out of town in the process. The Colts, without their franchise player, fell from contenders to the team with the worst record in the NFL, leading to them drafting Stanford stand out Andrew Luck and leading to Manning joining the Denver Broncos.
The main question for fantasy owners is when to draft Peyton Manning. According to FantasyFootballCalculator.com Manning has an ADP (average draft position) of 61, which is the first pick in the 6th round of 12 team leagues. Manning is being drafted as the 8th overall QB behind Tony Romo and just before brother Eli Manning. But is Peyton the safest option at this point?
It is no surprise that when healthy, putting up over 4,000 passing yards in the last 5 season that he has played, to go along with 27+ touchdowns in each of those seasons. Before getting injured Manning was an elite QB option in all formats, and you would have likely had to spend a 1st round pick in order to get him. Now with a late 5th or early 6th round pick he may seem like a steal, but he is no guarantee.
While Peyton continues to state that he is healthy and his neck is not an issue, if you draft him you will definitely worry every time he takes a hit. Besides the health concerns, Manning is in a new system for the first time in his career. He will no longer be passing to established threats such as Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and Dallas Clark, now he has wide outs with potential in Eric Decker and Demarious Thomas. Last season the Broncos won with a ground and pound style, and some late game heroics from former QB Tim Tebow. But now with one of the best QB’s to ever step foot on the field things are sure to change and the Broncos will become a pass first team.
As a Bronco, expect Manning to put up around 3,800 yards, and 30 touchdowns, which would make him a very reliable starting QB, and at a discounted price in the 6th round. It may take Manning some time to get in sync with new teammates, and get back into the flow of the game. That fact, along with the health issues is why Peyton should be drafted after brother Eli in the 6th round, as the 9th QB off the board.