Three and out: The impact of Peyton’s return

Irsay open to Manning returning: In an effort to bring you the most relevant fantasy football news, we’ve avoided the almost daily tit-for-tat that is the Peyton Manning/Jim Irsay saga. But given Irsay’s announcement that Manning would be welcomed back to the Colts with a restructured contract, the fantasy DEFCON levels have been ratcheted up. The Colts are expected to draft a quarterback, which immediately leads to questions about how much a rookie would play if Manning returns. With very real questions about Manning’s ability to sustain any serious punishment during a 16-game NFL season, the potential of two QBs getting snaps isn’t unimaginable — and simultaneously unthinkable for fantasy owners. Remember, fantasy enthusiasts, two QBs sharing snaps is akin to having none.

Best, Leshoure progressing well: A three-back rotation in Detroit is more conceivable after reports that Jahvid Best and Mikel Leshoure should be ready to take part in offseason workouts. Added to Kevin Smith‘s desire to return to the Motor City in 2012, and there might not be enough touches to go around. Then again, there might be a reason the Lions have stockpiled running backs in recent seasons. LeShoure has yet to take a regular season NFL snap, while Best has been frighteningly injury prone in two seasons in the league. Given their combined injury histories, we’d prefer to see Best, Leshoure and Smith lace it up regularly during the season before we get too excited.

Cotchery wants to finish in Pittsburgh: He didn’t have a spectacular season, but Steelers WR Jerricho Cotchery was pleased enough with 2011 that he decided he wants to finish his career in Pittsburgh. The Steelers have plenty of roster decisions to make, including the futures of Mike Wallace and Hines Ward. With the likelihood that Wallace stays and Ward goes, it could lead to an expanded role for Cotchery. Before you start moving the veteran up your draft board, keep in mind that Wallace, Antonio Brown and likely Emmanuel Sanders still sit above Cotchery on the depth chart. Cotchery should see some looks as a reliable receiver, but he still won’t rate better than a waiver wire fill-in next season.

– Marcas Grant

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