Peyton Manning has been one of the greatest quarterbacks in fantasy football for the better part of the last 13 years. But with his current status for Week 1 — and possibly beyond — in significant doubt, it’s time to start dropping him down draft boards at his position.
The Colts are unsure when their star signal-caller will be back on the field, as he’s been slow to recover from offseason neck surgery. While the team did activate Manning from the physically unable to perform list last week, he’s still unable to take part in full practices — and recent reports on his status are bleak at best.
In his absence, veteran Kerry Collins looks more and more likely to be under center on Sept. 11 against the Houston Texans. Sure, he’s an upgrade over the now infamous Curtis Painter, but Collins’ presence under center is bad news for the value of every member of the offense not named Joseph Addai or Dallas Clark.
As for Manning, I’d now draft Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo and Ben Roethlisberger ahead of him at the quarterback position — I can also see Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub being taken ahead of him. Yes, things have become that dire with Manning it seems.
There will be a point in the draft — somewhere in the middle rounds — where it will be hard to pass on Manning despite the concerns about his neck. But if you do roll the dice on him, it’s imperative to grab a solid No. 2 in case Manning’s timetable worsens in the upcoming days. Matthew Stafford or Sam Bradford would be nice options.