When Peyton Manning went down clutching his leg Sunday night the Fantasy implications went well beyond the quarterback.
As of this writing the extent of his injury is not known – he was taking an MRI while this column was being written. But make no mistake about it, if Manning misses any games it will impact a lot of team owners, not just the ones that have Manning.
Manning is throwing touchdowns at a record-breaking clip. He is so good that all three of his primary receivers are among the upper echelon of Fantasy performers – Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. They will take a huge hit in value if Manning isn't able to play.
Julius Thomas is one of the league's top-ranked Fantasy tight ends – he, too, would see his production plummet should Manning have to take a seat. There's more: Knowshon Moreno, the running back, is having a breakout season. Yes, he's good, but he gets a lot of yards on the ground because defenses have to guard against Manning's passes. The going will get a lot tougher for Moreno without his star quarterback.
The placekicker suffers as well. Matt Strater leads the league with 47 extra points – 33 of them have come after touchdown passed by Manning. He's done that in nine games; no other quarterback has had as many at this juncture if the season.
Manning's back-up quarterbacks don't inspire confidence. Neither Brock Osweiler nor Zac Dysert figure to put up big numbers. That means you must go to the waiver wire for a replacement. Big Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flacco and Carson Palmer head up the usual list of suspects.
Ryan Tannehill, Alex Smith, and Mike Glennon are other possibilities. But you'll never be able to adequately replace Manning, and you're not going to get any receivers that help you at this juncture in the season.
It's all part of the game. We learn, each week of each season that there are many, many variables that go into running a Fantasy team, and unfortunately, a lot of what goes on is beyond our control.
All you can do is put your best team out there and hope the gods are kind.
Skippy Brown recently won the Draft King Spring Fling contest, besting over 1000 other professional fantasy baseball players. For comments, tips, advice, rants, or just to annoy him you can now contact the Skipper via email: firstname.lastname@example.org