Peyton Manning's fantasy football implications

      March 19, 2012 @ 02:50:26 PDT

Peyton Manning will be a Denver Bronco, and I'm still baffled as to why he chose to sign with them. As I wrote last week, Manning's best chance of success would be with the San Francisco 49ers.

From a fantasy perspective, it is an interesting signing. I can't help but believe that Denver will address his weapons, possibly bringing in Dallas Clark or Jacob Tamme at tight end. The wide receiving corps could use a boost, too, and the Broncos should trade their first-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers as compensation for signing restricted free agent Mike Wallace to an offer sheet the Steelers cannot match.

Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker now have a bona fide passer slinging the ball their direction. If healthy, Thomas could emerge as a legitimate force in fantasy football. Decker's skill set is somewhat limited, but we saw last year before Tim Tebow's ineptitude as a passer derailed a promising start to the season, the Minnesota product has what it takes to succeed in the pros.

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver Broncos
The long road ahead

Thomas is a No. 2 fantasy receiver if all goes well, but you should draft him as nothing more than a third. In fact, he may wind up being overvalued. Decker is a fourth receiver that should post inconsistently productive fantasy numbers, mainly because of his big-play nature.

It sounds like the offense will be Manning's to mold; the possible addition of center Jeff Saturday would be a great step in assisting the quarterback's transition to the Mile High City. Familiarity should breed success for the 36-year-old star.

Denver still needs to add another running back to complement Willis McGahee. Expect this to happen through the draft, as there is a fairly deep stable of second- and third-tier rushers available.

The Broncos' schedule is difficult, but playing in a wide-open AFC West offers hope. San Diego, Oakland and Kansas City all have their own respective troubles against the pass, which obviously bodes well for Manning.

As for Peyton, he is a midrange No. 1 fantasy quarterback that comes with a lot of risk. We all know what he is capable of, but you have to address the backup position earlier than normal if you don't want to see your season go down in flames if he indeed succumbs to injury.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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