August 24, 2011
Early on Wednesday, the Colts lured octogenarian Kerry Collins(notes) out of retirement, presumably with a Mercury Grand Marquis and a bottle of Centrum Silver, signing the well-traveled 38-year-old to a one-year deal.
For weeks, No. 18's Week 1 availability has been shrouded in mystery. Via Twitter and on the Colts' Week 2 preseason broadcast, team owner Jim Irsay hinted Manning, who is slowly recovering from offseason neck surgery, would not be ready. Earlier that same day, the four-time MVP said he was "hopeful" about suiting up in Houston. According to Adam Schefter, however, Indy's "braintrust" may be right. The Ironman's streak of consecutive starts may soon end at 208.
The move to sign Collins sent strong ripples through the fantasy community. After hearing the news, Mr. Commercial's large pool of supporters immediately expressed concern about the situation via Twitter, bombarding the Noise's account with questions: How far will he drop in drafts? Should I avoid him altogether? What about the values of the players around him?
Because fanatics, in general, walk on eggshells, Manning, already being drafted at a reduced price, may wind up on the clearance rack. His current ADP according to Mock Draft Central sits at 28.30, down over five-percent from two weeks ago. Expect it to drop further, possibly into the 40s in standard drafts. In Tuesday's Friends and Family draft, Chet Gresham of Razzball fame grabbed Manning with the fourth pick in Round 4 of a 14-team PPR league (No. 46 overall).
Subsequently, those directly associated with him (e.g. Reggie Wayne(notes), Austin Collie(notes), Dallas Clark(notes), Joseph Addai(notes), etc.) have seen a similar drop-off. Yours truly snagged Wayne with the last pick in Round 2 (No. 28) of F&F, a tremendous value considering the format. However, since Collins only has 18 days to absorb the offense, the Colts' vertical attack may struggle initially in the event their rock is on the sidelines wearing Wranglers.
For those that have yet to draft, the panic over Peyton presents an opportunity. Undoubtedly, it's a buyers market. Yes, he may miss a game or two, but in the grand scheme of things, it's a tiny fraction of the season. Due to the incredible depth at QB this year, savvy owners who do choose to buy on the bear have numerous stopgap options with favorable early season schedules. Who are they? Here are four late-round insurance policies Peyton purchasers should keep in mind in the later rounds:
Kevin Kolb(notes), Ari (170.8 ADP) — Carolina, at Washington
Kyle Orton(notes), Den (194.2 ADP) — Oakland, Cincinnati
Matt Cassel(notes), KC (145.8 ADP) — Buffalo, at Detroit
Colt McCoy(notes), Cle (204.9 ADP) — Cincinnati, at Indianapolis
With just over two weeks until the start of the regular season, Peyton's prognosis could easily change. But for those willing to roll the dice in Rounds 3-4, installing a contingency plan is a wise move.
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Image courtesy of the AP
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