Peyton Manning could have gone to the 49ers and been surrounded by championship-caliber talent. He could have gone to the Titans and relived his glory days from college. But no. Manning has decided to sign with the Broncos and mess up the fantasy dream that is Tim Tebow.
Here's the fantasy fallout of Manning's decision.
1. Peyton Manning will go higher than he should: First of all, we have the neck issue. The Broncos and others clearly think he's healthy, but we can't be certain. Perhaps his velocity will wane over the course of the year, or maybe he's one more whiplash hit away from retirement. There's always risk with someone that's entering their age-36 season.
On top of that, Manning has always fared better in domes and warm weather. It gets nasty in Denver. He'll be integrating the team into his system, which could be an adjustment. The bottom line is we should let someone else bet that Manning will live up to his name.
2. Upgrade Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker: The Broncos wideouts are going from one of the worst pure passers in the league to Peyton Manning. Both are big, physical wideouts with plenty of after-the-catch ability. When healthy, Thomas has been compared to a baby Calvin Johnson. There's a lot of upside here.
3. Tim Tebow is on the block: The Jaguars and Dolphins now figure to have interest in Tebow. Both would give him a chance to compete for the starting job, but we can't be certain he'll win it. Regardless, Tebow doesn't need skill players around him to be a fantasy beast. His legs are the meal ticket for owners, so watch this situation closely.
4. Forget about Willis McGahee: McGahee was part of the Tebow-led run-first attack last season and excelled. That offense will be scrapped. Peyton Manning needs backs that excel in the passing game and that's exactly where McGahee struggles.
5. Jake Locker is a sleeper: By not choosing to sign with the Titans, Manning has set up Locker for success. He'll have to fight off Matt Hasselbeck for the starting gig, but that shouldn't be a problem. Locker has an incredibly strong are and legs that can be compared to a poor man's Tebow. Big-time upside, especially if Kenny Britt (knee) can get healthy.