Best fantasy landing spots for Manning
Early in the week, I predicted the favorites to land Peyton Manning. Now let’s attack it from a different angle. What potential spots provide the most fantasy value?
1. Kansas City: Imagine Manning, Dwayne Bowe, Jonathan Baldwin, Steve Breaston, and Jamaal Charles.
2. Arizona: I trust Ken Whisenhunt, Larry Fitzgerald, Beanie Wells, and the nice weather.
3. Washington: I trust Mike Shanahan to create yards, even if the talent on the outside isn’t there. It would shock me if Manning landed here, though.
4. New York Jets: Santonio Holmes and Keller would be a nice start.
5. Miami: There is depth at wide receiver, but no big playmakers and an offensive coach that may not fit Manning.
6. Denver: Manning can make any system work but I wonder if he’ll make sense with John Fox and two young starting wideouts.
7. Seattle: They wouldn’t be a run-first team any more.
8. The Field: I’ll be amazed if any other team signs Manning. For what it’s worth (not much), there really wasn’t much difference between the top and bottom of this list. Manning makes any offense his offense. He can make it work if healthy, even if he doesn’t recreate the 2004 Colts overnight.
I went back to watch three Mario Williams games to see if it made any sense for the Texans to give him a big deal despite their 3-4 defense.
My sense is that he fits Wade Phillips’ scheme just fine. But he’s still not worth it for Houston.
Williams split snaps evenly with his hand down and standing up. He rarely dropped into coverage. (I counted four times in 2.5 games.) He is always on the line of scrimmage; so calling him a linebacker seems silly.
Williams is valuable because he can line up on either side of the defense and he often draws double teams. But in the games he played last year, Williams was no bigger difference-maker than J.J. Watt, Connor Barwin, or even Antonio Smith.
Charley Casserly’s prized pick beat Dallas Clark of the Colts for two sacks and Steelers rookie Marcus Gilbert for two more. (One of those Gilbert did a nice job but Big Ben ran into the sack.) Williams also disappeared against the Saints and for a long stretch against Pittsburgh. (Although Mario had a huge second half against the Steelers.) Williams can be attacked in the running game.
Seattle would be my prediction for where Williams ends up. It makes more sense for him to have his hand on the ground most plays. Houston is a team defense with a lot of working parts. They don’t need Williams. Williams stands out physically, but he’s just one key piece to the puzzle there. He doesn’t show up every game.
Williams has racked up sack totals over the years, but I’m not convinced he’s the every-down difference maker that he should be considering he’s likely to become the game’s highest paid defensive player. This isn’t Reggie White or even Julius Peppers in his prime.
He may not be a top-five defensive end.