There was huge shocking news over the weekend about the Manning family -- yep, I finally drafted a fantasy team that does not have Eli Manning. Shocker, I know. But yeah, I guess his brother was making bigger news.
Peyton Manning could miss four games -- according to some reports -- and it has the fantasy world spinning. And it also is a good illustration as to why it is important to hold drafts up until the last possible moment. (My two biggest leagues held drafts over Labor Day weekend.)
So what do you do about Manning? Manning was the tenth quarterback selected (in a ten-team league) and expect that trend to continue in leagues that are drafting through the week. Manning could still be a steal for fantasy enthusiasts who grab him in the later rounds because if he can hit his stride in the second half of the season as the Colts fight for a playoff spot, you could have a top-five quarterback on your hands.
So what about Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark? - Reader Matt P. (via text message)
Your initial reaction might be to downgrade Wayne and Clark because of Manning's absence, but Kerry Collins is at least a credible backup. And Collins will be looking for Wayne and Clark, but probably not Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie or the other anonymous receivers the Colts trot out there.
Hey Adam, I was wondering who to start at running back for Week 1. I have Michael Turner and Maurice Jones-Drew which are both no brainers but I also I have Beanie Wells who is playing Carolina. Should I start Wells instead of either of the other RB's? Thanks -- Dustin Uphoff (via Facebook)
Wells is a perfect flex starter, or in this case, a great backup. Love the Cardinals matchup with the Panthers, but until we see some consistency from Wells, it would be prudent to keep him on the bench.
Hey Adam, I am in a 14-team fantasy league and my starting lineup is... QB- Peyton Manning (IND), RB1- Steven Jackson (STL) RB2- Maurice Jones-Drew (JAX), WR1- Marques Colston (NO) WR2- Brandon Marshall (MIA), TE- Jason Witten (DAL), DEF- New Orleans and on my bench I have Cam Newton (CAR), Steve Smith (CAR), and another RB that I dont know off hand. Do I need to make any changes especially PEYTON MANNING? I'm worried about him. PLZ help season starts in 4 days. Thank You; -- Michael Allen (via Facebook)
You do have something to worry about with Manning. Don't you read the introductions to these columns? (Kidding.)
You might have to start the season with Newton if there is nobody available on the waiver wire (especially in a 14-team league). You need to pick up Collins immediately, and I favor him over Newton right now. At least until we see what Newton can do. And if you are looking for an out-of-the-box candidate, take a run at Rex Grossman who has a favorable schedule against the Giants, Cardinals, Cowboys and St. Louis to open the season.
Hey Adam, my starting running backs are Felix Jones and Peyton Hillis and my back ups are Fred Jackson and LaDainian Tomlinon. Should I be starting Hillis or Jackson? - Travis Jackson (via Facebook)
Hillis is going to be a great start for you this season, and you should start him with Felix Jones. Jackson is a very capable back and expect good things from him this season. But you will not need him unless your two starters disappoint (which I do not anticipate).
Mr. Rank! Fantasy season starts again soon, and I cant wait to hear what you have to say this year. I put all my rocks on Sam Bradford this year, hoping if [Josh] McDaniels can make [Kyle] Orton that good last year, he can do wonders for someone with the immense skills as Bradford. what does the Rank Tank think? - Adam Smith (via Facebook)
You are a riverboat gambler, and I love your spirit. I also love Bradford this year, too. Not sure I would have gone with Bradford as a starter, but you could do worse -- like Eli Manning. I picked up Bradford to backup Matt Schaub in my most important fantasy league, so I am rolling the dice with him, too. But it is hard to argue with Josh McDaniels' history of grooming quarterbacks. Starting back in 2006, every Josh McDaniels' quarterback has had at least 20 touchdowns, and expect Bradford to reach that total by Week 12.
Why is everybody loving Felix Jones this season? What is his value in a fantasy draft over Steven Jackson? -- Luis E Correa (via Twitter)
Everybody is loving up on Jones, for sure. The common theory is that Jones will now assert himself more into a leadership role with Marion Barber being in Chicago. Still, he is a wait-and-see guy for me. I have seen some fantasy enthusiasts taking him as a No. 1, and I just do not see that, especially when there are a lot of options out there. Jones goes into that group with Beanie Wells and Shonn Greene who have been hyped, but have failed to deliver completely. That said, I would put that list as Jones, Wells and Greene.
For the record, you can submit your fantasy questions to NFL.com Fantasy Live, Michael Fabiano or me on Twitter. But realize, NFL.com Fantasy has 15,000 followers, Fabiano has 25,000, me, I only have 1,200. So your odds are better that I will answer a question, just based on the numbers. So hit me up on both via Twitter or via Facebook. Be sure to catch the latest on the Dave Dameshek Football Program.