2012 Fantasy Football: Peyton Manning, Mike Tolbert, Mario Manningham and More

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Peyton Manning (QB, DEN?)

Peyton Manning looks all set to join the Denver Broncos.  From recent reports his workouts have looked good, but there will be some concern to how his neck surgeries and resulting layoff will effect his production.  Had he remained healthy and in Indy, he would remain a tier 1 quarterback, but with all the variables it’s hard for me to put him up there.  To me he is near the top of Tier 2, because it’s easy to imagine him putting up the same numbers as before, but the injury concerns will scare fantasy owners off of him. 

His arrival to Denver should give a major boost to his targets.  I think Eric Decker gains the most value as Peyton already loves him, but Demaryius Thomas’ value should increase as well.  Willis McGahee probably won’t be having many games with 20 rushes, but on the bright side he no longer has a QB who will vulture the goal-line carries.  It will be interesting to see where Tim Tebow ends up as a result of this, because he has proven that being able to throw isn’t a prerequisite to being a fantasy quarterback to covet.

Mike Tolbert (RB, CAR)

Mike Tolbert left money on the table in order to be reunited with Ron Rivera in Carolina.  It will be interesting to see what Carolina does with their incumbent running backs.  While I doubt Carolina signed Tolbert to leave him on the sidelines, I’d be much more comfortable drafting him if they trade one of Deangelo Williams or Jonathan Stewart.  It’s possible Tolbert ends up with more carries than he did in San Diego, but even if he’s on the field he will only be scoring touchdowns when Cam Newton doesn’t feel like being Superman.

Mario Manningham (WR, SF)

The Niners continue to upgrade their receiving corps with the signing of Manningham.  I could imagine a scenario where Manningham becomes their top fantasy option at wideout, but without an established quarterback in place(Alex Smith is a free agent) I’m not sure what that means.  It’s always tough to predict how a new WR/QB pairing will gel, and for that reason I wouldn’t draft Mario, as I think he will be overrated come draft day.

Brandon Lloyd (WR, NE)

Brandon Lloyd has reunited with Josh McDaniels who helped him be fantasy’s #1 WR in 2010.  In years past fantasy owners drooled over any receiver heading to New England.  Lloyd has the talent to be a WR1, but I’m not sure I can put him there given the surrounding cast he’ll have to compete with for targets.  While Lloyd is an upgrade to Branch and Ochocinco, I can’t imagine Tom Terrific favoring him over Welker or either of his stud tight ends.  I have no doubt that Lloyd will have a few huge games this upcoming season, but the consistency question marks have me lowering my expectations.

Written by Ilyn Yeh exclusively for

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