Fantasy Football Quarterbacks to Own -
Peyton Manning is without a doubt the most reliable and consistent fantasy football quarterback in recent memory. John Elway won the free agent quarterback lottery when he signed Peyton Manning this past off season. Last year saw the Broncos start out with the great Kyle Orton at the helm only to lose his job as Tebow-mania took hold of Mile High stadium. Both quarterbacks are gone and Peyton Manning is in. While we may not know how Peyton’s neck has healed since off-season neck surgery, we do know we all want Manning on our team. I feel a little uneasy taking Manning as my number one fantasy football quarterback but we all know he is certainly worth the gamble. With the depth at quarterback this season, it is very possible to take Peyton Manning in the 5th or 6th round (which is where you need to grab him if you want him) while still picking up a high upside backup like Matt Ryan or Ben Roethlisberger. Peyton’s Track record speaks for itself. The potential alone may be too hard to pass up, just be sure to have a back up plan in place.
Fantasy Football Running Backs to Own -
For the time being there is only one running back worth drafting in standard leagues; Willis Mcgahee. Willis toted the ball 249 times for a very respectable 1199 yards and 4 touchdowns. Considering his draft day price tag, I see Mcgahee as an excellent draft day value. Running back is extremely thin this season so Mcgahee certainly needs to be on your radar in 2012. The only knocks against Willis are A) the fact that the addition of Peyton Manning could mean a pass heavy attack and Mcgahee is not a skilled pass catcher and B) the fact that he will be 31 this season. I see 800-900 yards this year with 6 or 7 touchdowns for the aging rusher in 2012. Productive plus flying under the radar means good fantasy football value. I currently project Mcgahee as a low end number two fantasy football running back or a high end number three running back. The only other running back from this team worth mentioning would be the rookie, Ronnie Hillman. Hillman has a reputation as a bit of scat back making him a nice addition should this become a pass heavy offense. Keep him on your radar but do not expect too much. If Willis goes down a platoon will most likely ensue.
Fantasy Football Wide Receivers to Own -
Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas should be all over every fantasy football owners draft sheet. Thomas is more the prototypical receiver while Decker is more the precise route running that Manning loves to look for. Both guys should produce if Manning stays healthy. If you had to choose one, I am picking Eric Decker. Demaryius Thomas will carry a much higher draft day price tag which means you stand to lose more on your investment if Peyton Manning isn’t the same top tier fantasy quarterback he has been in years past. Decker has been going a few rounds later than Thomas in mock drafts this preseason giving him excellent value if this offense pans out. If I land either player I will be happy, all I know is I want a piece of this passing game no matter what. The only other Wide receiver to have on your radar would be Andre Caldwell. Caldwell has a similar skill set to Austin Collie (remember him?) The slot receiver historically shines in a Peyton Manning operated offense. Do not draft him, but certainly keep an eye on Caldwell’s status this preseason.
Fantasy Football Tight Ends to Own -
Two names to know here; Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreesen. Tamme had decent chemistry with Peyton in Indianapolis. This connection alone makes him a sneaky pick at tight end in 2012. As of this writing, Tamme is the front runner to win the starting job in mile high. Historically Manning’s tight ends are amongst his favorite targets. Those who know the history of Dallas Clark’s NFL career know the name Jacob Tamme well. Clark was one of Peyton’s top targets in years past and Tamme was Clark’s backup. All signs point to sweet music between Tamme and Peyton, the best part about this is the fact that Tamme’s draft day price tag should be relatively low. I for one will be taking a shot at Tamme in the later rounds while I fill my roster with running backs and wide receivers. If Tamme doesn’t pan out for some odd reason expect Joel Dreesen to step into the starting tight end role. Dreesen has shown some promise while backing up Owen Daniels in Houston. The point here is both guys will be own-able as Peyton Manning’s tight end.
Defense / Special Teams -
As a unit this is a fantasy football defense to avoid using. They get scored on a lot and cannot stop anyone. They have the players in place to make some noise but until they do so let the Denver defense sit on the waiver wire. That said, There are definitely some reliable options when it comes to IDP leagues. Von Miller proved his point last season posting 51 tackles and 11.5 sacks last season. Look for Miller to improve on those numbers in 2012. Elvis Dumervil posted respectable number in half a season of play in 2011 finishing the season with 31 tackles and 9.5 sacks. Both should go off the board early in IDP fantasy football drafts.
Fantasy Football Kickers to Own -
Matt Prater has historically been a decent fantasy football kicker. As with all of the other players on the roster, Prater should see a boost in production due to the addition of Peyton Manning. He kicks in a high altitude stadium and should be a part of a high octane offense. Prater is a kicker that should be owned in all formats.
The Trade Expert
Long time fantasy football expert with league insider knowledge and a knack for making big deals happen! Each week I’ll be answering trade and roster option submissions, highlighting those that might help all of our subscribers! Bring any and all questions our way, our service is unlimited and 100% free!
In preparation for the 2012 Fantasy Football draft day our experts will be going though the entire league team by team highlighting players worthy of a roster spot on your fantasy football team! Check back each day for a new teams and info and as always feel free to write in anytime for free unlimited roster analysis!