Peyton Manning is Exhibit A of the difference between a great player in real life and a great player in fantasy football. On the real football field, Manning is one of the all-time greats. Watching him figure out and pick apart a defense as the game progresses is like seeing a masterpiece take shape at the hands of its artist. The fantasy world is a different story.
In many years over the past decade, the Colts have run away with their division and given it their best efforts to go on a 6 week Christmas vacation. Over the last several weeks of the season, during the fantasy playoffs, Manning is often in meaningless
situations, taking only token snaps. Given the sorry state of the Titans, Houston’s history of flopping down the stretch, a Jacksonville team that will be distracted by a QB controversy every time David Garrard sneezes, and the hopeful return to health of half of the Colts’ roster, they could put the division away early again this year. This is only compounded by Manning’s propensity to look like a mere mortal outdoors in cold weather (which admittedly should not be much of a factor this year outside of the December 4th game at New England).
While never an issue in the past, a thirty-five-year-old with two neck surgeries in the past two years, playing behind a dicey offensive line is always an injury risk as the season progresses…. even if that quarterback has one of the longest starting streaks in history. If Manning could be grabbed in the mid-rounds, perhaps the sting of a sub-par December would not be quite so bad, but he is likely not a value at the high pick you will likely have to spend to nab him.