Now that all the biggest free agents have signed and the free agency period is winding down, it's time to delve into the impact these moves will have on Fantasy Football owners. Therefore, All The Right Moves Fantasy Sports is going to examine all the major offseason moves to determine their fantasy impact.
Our first analysis is going to focus on Peyton Manning signing with the Denver Broncos. It's obviously a great move for Denver and we have speculated Peyton will make a tremendous impact on the Broncos franchise. Yet, what kind of impact will he have as a fantasy quarterback?
What kind of production can be expected from a player, who did not play a single snap last season and hasn't played in an NFL game since the New York Jets ousted his Indianapolis Colts from the Wild Card Round of the 2010 playoffs.
He will not only be coming off a major injury but will be playing on a new team, throwing to new receivers and working with an entirely new coaching staff.
There is no question that when healthy, Manning is among the elite quarterbacks of all-time and is still one of the best in the league. He has never disappointed as a fantasy player either, except last season when some people drafted him fairly early, only to get nothing out of him. Yet before last season, he never missed a game and never threw for less than 26 touchdowns. Six times, he has thrown for over 30 touchdowns.
Manning has often had the benefit of playing with some pretty good receivers over the course of his career, players like Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. However, he has also proven he can turn pretty much anyone into a productive player, remember Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon and Blair White, no one had ever of those guys before Peyton started throwing to them.
Denver, actually has two pretty decent receivers for Manning to work with in Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas. In my opinion, Decker and Thomas each have 1,000 yard potential and complement each other very well. Decker is a polished route runner with good hands, while Thomas is explosive and excels on deep routes.
Denver also brought in former Colts tight end Jacob Tamme as well as former Texans tight end Joel Dressen, giving their new quarterback two versatile pass-catchers, along with veteran receiver Andre Caldwell of Cincinnati, who can compete for playing time as a slot receiver.
So there should be enough weapons in the passing attack to be successful and running back Willis McGahee will provide balance to the offense, with a solid running game, setting up the play-action pass, a Peyton specialty.
Manning will also be protected by one of the top offensive lines in the league, headlined by left tackle Ryan Clady, meaning all the pieces are in place, the question that remains is his health?
I believe Peyton will be nearly a hundred percent by time the season starts and close to the same player he was before the injury. He may have lost some arm strength but not enough to cause his level of play to drop dramatically. This guy works as hard as anyone in the game and wouldn't come back if he could no longer play at the level he's accustomed too.
However, there will be risk involved when drafting Manning this year, so the key is accurately determining his value. To me, he is definitely worth drafting as a no.1 quarterback and would have no problem drafting him around the fourth or fifth round.
Some owners will certainly look to pass on him because they will not want to take a risk on a guy coming off an injury, but to me, if you can get him at the right price, he will be worth it. Drafting Manning could give you a chance to load up at running back and receiver, while still allowing you to get a legitimate no.1 quarterback in the process. That is what smart drafting and team building is all about.
As for Manning, I believe he will be a top-ten quarterback and could represent one of the best values in the draft at his position,because some will be scared to pick him due to his injury. Every owner has to make a risk-reward analysis when making these kinds of selections, but in my mind, if the value is there and the time is right, Manning will definitely be worth it and I'll have no problem making him the starting quarterback of my fantasy team.