Saving the best for last, no single player has affected the landscape of both fantasy football and real football this season than Peyton Manning. In his sixteenth year as a pro, Manning is having his best season yet, throwing for a career high 5,211 yards, 51 touchdowns (a new league record), on just 10 interceptions. His previous bests were 4,700 yards (2010), 49 touchdowns (2004), and 9 interceptions (2006). Besides the 2011 season, Manning has yet to miss a single game.
One could write on and on about the promising career Manning was expected to have when he entered the league in 1998. Peyton was already advanced at reading defenses. He could hit his receivers at the right time. His touch and composure seemed to be there. At 6’ 5” tall, 230 lbs., Manning was already physically, a bit larger than life. Though, one might be shocked when reminded that he threw 3,739 yards, 26 touchdowns and 28 — yes, twenty-eight — interceptions his rookie season. That’s why when you fast forward to today, and look back on everything he’s accomplished, including winning the 2006 season Super Bowl, it’s clear he has traveled far.
What’s well known is Manning puts in a full day’s work. It involves the obvious prep time with film work, practice, and other prep time. He probably brings his work home too. He keeps the kind of schedule that only an accomplished doctor or a hard working attorney could appreciate. His dedication has helped him play his position better, as well as cause the improvement of those wide receivers whose careers have flourished around him. Manning has become a part of the fabric that makes pro football special to everyone, not just the fans of the teams he has played for.
That’s why after missing the 2011 season due to a neck issue which required surgery, teams and fans alike were not only concerned whether Manning could play like the Manning of 2010 and before, but whether he would make it back to football at all. The rehab process seemed long and arduous. It was unclear and uncertain. And until the Broncos signed Manning and we saw film of him practicing on the gridiron, no one was quite sure what Manning we were going to get.
Well, we got a Manning who arguably had the second-best season of his career in 2012. He was a player who many (like yours truly) drafted with a third round draft pick, or later, in fantasy football. He was a player who if you drafted with a first round draft pick in 2013, has been paying dividends all year round, and gotten you to a fantasy football championship. Manning has been a top five play most of the season. He’s had twelve 300-plus yard games, and of those, four 400-plus yard games.
This week, Manning should pass for a thirteenth 300 yard-plus game against a Raiders team that he torched for 374 yards and 3 TDs. Besides padding the single season TD record, Manning should at least get closer to the single season pass yardage record. Peyton Manning has been a top quarterback play all season long. Simply put, he’s unbenchable even this week as the Broncos play to lock up the top seed in the AFC Conference playoffs, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
It’s time to tell you about the elephant standing in the room. Peyton Manning is not just the The Fantasy Greek’s fantasy football player of the week, but of the year.
For more Top 5 starts at the quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, kicker, and defense/special team positions, visit TheFantasyGreek.com , “Your Second Opinion For Your Fantasy Football Instinct.”
Written By: Jim Saranteas – @TheFantasyGreek and @JimSaranteas on Twitter Founder of the fantasy football advice site TheFantasyGreek.com
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