But I still have him as the starting quarterback on my fantasy football team.
Let me explain myself.
1) Why Manning is overrated
Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of his generation. He is certainly a future Hall of Fame-r. Moreover, he has played exceptionally well these past three weeks. I don’t think Peyton is always an overrated quarterback. In fact, I think he’s usually considered as good as he is. But let’s slow down with giving him a Super Bowl ring.
First of all, the elder Manning is a notorious choke artist. Maybe that’s too harsh a term…but it would not be an exaggeration to say that in the 16 seasons Peyton has played in the NFL (minus the year he was injured), he has won one Super Bowl. That wasn’t a misprint. Manning has won a Super Bowl once. His little brother, a far less talented quarterback, has won two in just 10 seasons. Peyton has all the crazy awesome stats but he doesn’t have much to show for it. Look at Tom Brady and you see how fleeting three Super Bowl wins are, let alone one.
Even though lists are putting Manning’s Broncos as the number one or number two team this year, I will not be fooled. They may end up being the number one seed in the AFC but I still don’t think they’ll make it to the Super Bowl. I mean, they were number one last year and they got beat by Joe Flacco, a self-proclaimed Elite Quarterback who had lost 4 of the last five games of the regular season.
Secondly, Peyton and the Broncos have arguably the easiest strength of schedule this season. What that means is based on last year’s wins/losses, the teams Peyton will be playing aren’t that good. Look at the first three games of his season. The Ravens are the defending champs so people expected this to be a tougher match up than it was but Baltimore really disappointed. Every accolade Peyton received for that performance was deserved. With that said, the Ravens were the most formidable opponent Peyton has faced so far.
The younger Manning once again lost the Manning Bowl after a horrible performance by the Giants. Last season, when they were the defending champs, they didn’t even make it into the playoffs. Moreover, they lost a week one game to Dallas that Dallas was basically trying to let them win. Let’s not talk about the blowout by the Panthers. The Giants have played horribly in these first few weeks. If they don’t win next week (which is very possible against Kansas City) they should just consider giving up this season so that they can have a high draft pick.
And then there are the Raiders. No one really expects the Raiders to be that great considering the fact that they benched their starting QB for Terrelle Pryor. I’m not saying Pryor is bad, he’s playing really well, much better than most analysts thought he would, but he’s no match for Mr. Manning. The game was just a formality.
Essentially, Manning hasn’t faced many tough teams and he won’t face many as the season goes on. He won’t have to deal with Seattle ever, I can’t recall if he’ll be facing Chicago, and he only has to deal with Kansas City twice, a decent Indy team and a (hopefully, by that time) pretty good New England team. Worst case: they’ll split the games against the Chiefs (I find it hard to believe Alex Smith will beat Manning at home although I do think Smith is an extremely underrated QB), lose to Peyton’s former team (which could totes happen) and they lose against the Pats at home. That puts them at 13-3, the same record they had last season. Otherwise, the Broncos go 16-0 but unlike the Patriots of a few years ago, they don’t make it to the Super Bowl because, let’s face it, Manning probably won’t make it to the Super Bowl.
2) Why Manning is my starting QB
I don’t think this really needs explanation, at least not as much as the previous section. Peyton Manning is breaking all kinds of records and week three just ended. In terms of fantasy points for a QB, he’s the guy to beat. Brees and Rodgers are great choices but Manning is just on another level, partially because he’s playing against pretty bad teams but also because he has a lot of good players at his disposal. Welker is no longer a Patriot (I don’t really miss him but I know some other Pats fans do. I just started Kenbrell Thompkins on my fantasy team instead), Julius Thomas is a keeper and Eric Decker is pretty legit. The Broncos D isn’t that great (they’ve allowed an average of almost 24 points in the last three games) but it’s not a problem as long as Peyton is scoring (~42 points/game). It will be interesting to see what happens when they meet up with the Chiefs’ and New England’s D which have both been really good these few weeks*. Maybe on those days I’ll start Alex Smith instead.
So basically, Peyton Manning is a great record-breaking/stat-making QB who may win another Super Bowl before he retires but probably won’t. If he does though, that’ll just be even better for my fantasy team :).
*The Chiefs have only allowed 35 points this season while the Pats have allowed just 34. That’s ~11 points per game. WOW.