What is Peyton Manning’s Fantasy Value in 2012

So with Peyton Manning finally settling down with Denver, the question becomes what is Peyton Manning’s fantasy value in 2012? There are a number of opinions on this, with a lot of moving parts. Considering the wide receivers he has to work with, the cold he will be playing in and the uncertainty of how close to 100% he is, this is a discussion to keep tabs on. We’ve taken a look at a couple expert opinions.

Adam McGill thinks that Manning is poised for a great year with plenty of upside:

Manning is a great second round pick heading into this fantasy season, especially with the current fantasy slide that he is on. Many fantasy owners think that he is coming back just to have another average campaign, but they will be quickly lamenting their decision to pass on him once the season begins. Manning is still a top five option at the position and has moved past Drew Brees as a result of the Saints’ recent coaching staff quandaries. Fantasy owners should make sure Manning does not fall too far because he will easily eclipse the 4,000-yard and 25-touchdown plateau. (read the rest of the article here)

Christopher Harris has a similar outlook, but with a little more downside concern:

We’ll get this out of the way first. Manning is about to turn 36 and has had four surgical procedures on the right side of his neck over the past year and a half. I believe the experts who’ve seen Manning throw, and who say his old ability looks like it’s gradually returning. And I know that when he’s clicking, Manning tends not to take that many direct shots. (He’s routinely averaged less than one sack per game over the past decade.) But he will be hit. And until he is, we simply won’t know. We won’t know whether he’s one harsh blow away from retirement. We won’t know whether his arm will instantly regress again. This risk just has to be figured into any assessment of Manning’s fantasy value, and the values of his potential weapons. For this reason, I don’t think we can instantly return him to his customary top-five QB status. If he plays 16 games, I have confidence that he’ll produce a 4,000-yard season with 25-plus TDs, because that’s what he does. But I don’t know that he’ll play 16 games. Nobody does. (read the rest of the story here)

I’m somewhere in the middle here. He is Peyton Manning, but he is coming into a new offense, with new receivers he has no history with. Even if you take away the injury potential for Peyton Manning, I don’t know that I could pull the trigger on him in the second round. There is a lot of talent at the QB position, and the question marks surrounding Manning make him a risky pick in the early rounds.

At some point he becomes a bargain, and if he plays like the Manning of old with no let down, he could be a great pick, but do you really want to anchor your team around a 36 year old quarterback who didn’t play a down last year and is stepping into a new offense with new receivers? I don’t.

So what is Peyton Manning’s fantasy value for 2012? It’s hard to say. There are a number of quarterbacks with less uncertainty surrounding them that I would rather have. I’d prefer Brady, Rogers, Brees (even with the head coaching issues), Rivers, Stafford, Romo and even Cam Newton. Should Manning slip past these guys, he may be on my radar. Otherwise I will let others gamble while I stock up with sure things in the first few rounds.

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