2012 Recap: Peyton Manning was an iron man by NFL standards until multiple neck surgeries cost him the entire 2011 season. He was then let go by the team he loved and John Elway (not to be confused with yours truly) swooped him up and brought him to the Mile High City. Manning’s arm strength wasn’t what it was in his prime, but he could still make all the throws needed and was still the cerebral master we have always know he could be. Manning posted 400/583 passing (68.6%) for 4667 yards with 37 TDs and 11 INTs as he ranked 7th among all QBs. His completion percentage, TD totals, and FPG were the second-highest of his career, his yardage was third-highest, which amazing considering his hall of fame career. Manning threw at least 1 TD in every game, multiple TDs in 12 of 16 games, and 3 TDs in nine of those 12 performances. He was as consistent as could be and at his 2012 ADP, probably took many teams to their fantasy championships.
What’s Changed: OC Mike McCoy is gone, but let’s be real, Peyton has always been an OC playing QB. New OC Adam Gase will have an easy transition with 18 calling the shots. Of course the Broncos have one of the best duos in the league at WR, with DeMaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, but added slot master flex Wes Welker to the mix. Not only has Wes already acclimated himself to Peyton, but he is a clear upgrade over Brandon Stokely. This could be the best trio that Peyton has ever had. The Broncos are trying to lock up LT Ryan Clady to keep their line strong as they were a better unit than Peyton had in Indy. Peyton makes any line look better with his quick reads and near perfect execution. The backfield will look different this season with the drafting of Montee Ball and second year RB Ronnie Hillman getting more looks as well. It all comes down to pass protection. Thus, we could see Knowshon Moreno again, although he pass pro ranking as PFF was not very good. All indications are that we will see a more dynamic rush attack with Ball and Hillman to take more pressure off the already scary pass attack.
Outlook: I love Peyton this season for multiple reasons. His health will be even better this year as his arm has already shown improvement over last season. It’s another year with DT and Decker to work with PM and adding Welker is just the cherry on top. I think he can finish as a top 3 guy without a doubt, despite the fact that he won’t run at all (6 yards last season). Last year I called him a big time risk (whoops) and he paid off big time for his owners, this season he will be one of the safest options for your fantasy team.
Juan – has written 5290 posts on this site.
Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.