It’s that time of year again when fantasy managers are scouring all the magazine racks and fantasy football websites looking to get any kind of competitive advantage against their leaguemates.
Every year, it seems, I read a lot about why I should avoid players of advanced age — the big, bright flashing sign reading “Age 30 or Over: BEWARE!” I always imagine that sign posted firmly just feet from the proverbial “cliff” that all of these players inevitably fall off.
Truthfully, I’ve never really had issues with older players dashing my championship hopes due to injury or losing a step or less usage.
Last season, it was, in fact, injuries to
younger players like LeSean McCoy, Maurice Jones-Drew and Pierre Garcon that derailed my season.
So this year, I’m doing an experiment. I’m going to draft an entire team of veteran players from this list and see how they fare against their contemporaries drafted by my opponents.
Keep in mind, this article is intended for those who play in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues.
Indulge me for a few minutes by reading on. I think I may change your mind on a few “players of a certain age.”
(Age 37), Denver
Fears about Manning’s
four neck surgeries and a full season away from the field proved largely unfounded, as the former Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback racked up more than 4,600 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions on his way to taking the Broncos to the AFC Divisional Playoffs, where a few late-game lame duck throws kept them from the AFC Championship Game, and possibly a Super Bowl berth.
In 2013, not only does Manning have a full season under his belt with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker, but now he gets to toss the pigskin to some guy named Wes Welker. He’s the guy that caught 118 passes in New England last season and nabbed 100-plus receptions in five of the last six years (he had 86 catches in 2010 before he tore his ACL and MCL in the final game of the regular season — see my write-up of Welker below).
This is the best trio of wide receivers Manning has ever played with, and this offense should cut through AFC West defenses like a hot knife through butter. The Broncos also have a soft schedule, a trio of good running backs to keep defenses honest, and have improved their offensive line to protect Manning. The Broncos can expect big returns on their investments in Manning and Welker with a trip to the Super Bowl in February, 2014. Even if he doesn’t lead them to a Super Bowl, as he has a history of falling apart in the playoffs (like last season), Manning is always great in the regular season, and that’s all that matters for your fantasy needs.
2013 Projection: 4,750 yards, 39 TD, 14 INT