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2012 Draft Prep: Eli or Peyton?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Archie Manning is a proud father, as one would expect. He has two sons who have become two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history in Eli and Peyton.

Eli is a two-time Super Bowl winner with the Giants, and Peyton is a four-time NFL Most Valuable Player with a Super Bowl victory of his own with the Colts. The Manning brothers have competed in four of the past six Super Bowls, but they have yet to play each other in the championship game. Archie, a former quarterback with the Saints, said he has no desire to see his sons face off in a Super Bowl.

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"It's actually kind of tough on the family when they play each other," Archie, a college football analyst at CBS, said in a recent phone interview. "I'd prefer they both just go out and play well and whatever happens we'll be happy."

Archie is just happy his sons have the possibility to face each other another time now that Peyton is back on the field after sitting out 2011 following a series of neck surgeries. His career was in jeopardy, but Peyton got healthy enough to return this year. He left the Colts after 14 years and signed with the Broncos this season.

Fantasy owners now have the chance to draft Peyton again, and he should be considered a No. 1 option. But who is the better Manning quarterback this year, Eli or Peyton?

The prediction here is Eli will be the better Fantasy quarterback. The interesting thing is that our current Average Draft Position data shows Peyton being drafted ahead of Eli. Peyton is being drafted in Round 4, one spot ahead of his brother.

If you guaranteed that Peyton was 100 percent healthy with his neck, then I could understand him being drafted first. But Eli is coming off the best season of his career in leading the Giants to a Super Bowl victory against the Patriots, he's five years younger and has the better receiving corps.

No matter what Eli does he never seems to get enough respect. Even Archie still sees Eli being criticized for needless things, like recently when former teammate Amani Toomer said Tony Romo was better than Eli.

"I hate to say I don't care, but there are so many people that judge you, so many people that rate you. I just don't think you can get all worked up over that," Archie said. "I like the way Eli handles himself. He just plays."

Eli took command of the Giants last year and backed up his claim of being an elite quarterback. He passed for a career-high 4,933 yards, 29 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. It was his third year in a row with at least 4,000 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. In the playoffs last year, Eli was even better with 1,219 yards, nine touchdowns and one interception in four games.

Now, Eli has a long way to go to match his brother statistically. Before sitting out last year, Peyton had five years in a row and 11 of 13 years with at least 4,000 passing yards. He also had at least 31 touchdowns in five of seven years.

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But we're not drafting a Fantasy team of the past. Eli, 31, is in his prime. He has stud receivers who are proven in Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, and Martellus Bennett and Rueben Randle could also develop into playmakers.

Peyton is 36 and missed an entire year. He has to learn a new system and develop a rapport with young receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker. While those two have a ton of potential, they still have to prove themselves first over a full season. Jacob Tamme will help Peyton's transition to the Broncos because of their history with the Colts, but Eli has much better weapons.

We're not saying Peyton is going to struggle. If he can stay healthy, he should return as a starting Fantasy option in all leagues. Archie just spent time with Peyton at the Manning Passing Academy in mid-July and said Peyton "looked fine" throwing the ball.

"He threw the ball well," Archie said. "He looked like his old self."

We hope Peyton is back at 100 percent because he's a great Fantasy quarterback when healthy. But he should not be drafted ahead of Eli. It's time to realize that Eli deserves respect, and he should be the best Fantasy quarterback in his family this season.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Ravens receiving duo remains confounding
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5:31 pm ET) The Ravens passing attack has vastly improved from a year ago, but you probably wouldn't be able to tell if you are one of Steve Smith or Torrey Smith's Fantasy owners, as both have remained terribly inconsistent throughout the season.

In Week 16 against the Texans, it was Torrey Smith who got loose, scoring two touchdowns on five catches, while Steve Smith was held out of the end zone. Of course, the previous two games saw Steve Smith rack up 107 yards and a touchdown on 12 catches, while Torrey was limited to just two catches and no scores while dealing with an injury.

All in all, Steve Smith has been the more productive of the two, with 975 yards to 684 for Torrey. However, Torrey has 10 total touchdowns to Steve's six, three of which came during the first four games of the season. If you can avoid them, neither player is a reliable option for Week 17, and you have to wonder whether either has much Fantasy value long term as well. 


Trio of Panthers receivers pitch in to Sunday victory
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:31 pm ET) No Panthers receivers totaled more than five receptions for 47 yards Sunday against Cleveland, but a trio did make decent contributions.

Kelvin Benjamin finished with five catches for 47 yards, including an acrobatic 18-yarder in the second quarter. Fellow wideout Jerricho Cotchery added 46 yards on five receptions while tight end Ed Dickson had two catches for 44 yards. Among them was a huge 34-yarder with time ticking off the clock that iced the victory.


Buccaneers run game can't get going against the Packers in loss
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) The Buccaneers running game managed just 16 yards on 14 carries for Tampa Bay in the 20-3 loss to the Packers. Just a week after rushing for 96 yards, Doug Martin had 10 carries for 17 yards. Backup Charles Sims had four carries for -1 yards. 

Sims added three catches for 30 yards. 

The Buccaneers will finish their season in Week 17 against the Saints. 


Jets QB Geno Smith held in check vs. Patriots
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) Jets quarterback Geno Smith was held in check in his team's loss to the Patriots in Week 16.

Smith hooked up with Jeff Cumberland for a 20-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter. He completed 17 of 27 passes for 210 yards with one touchdown and one interception, registering a 83.9 quarterback rating. He was sacked twice and rushed for 9 yards on three carries.

Smith will finish the season on the road against the Dolphins.


More to come for Zach Ertz?
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5:30 pm ET) In setting a franchise record with 15 receptions Week 16 at Washington, Eagles tight end Zach Ertz, as you might expect, also led the team with 18 targets, 10 more than his previous season high, which he had only reached once. In other words, he hadn't been a significant part of the Eagles passing game prior to Week 16.

Of course, 18 targets is an unfair comparison for anyone. It's the second-most any player has had in a game this season. It was made possible by quarterback Mark Sanchez attempting a season-high 50 passes in a game where neither team had trouble moving the ball. Of course, the Redskins in particular have struggled against tight ends this season, allowing the fourth-most Fantasy points per game to them.

Here's the problem for Ertz: The Eagles didn't win. This tight end-heavy approach wasn't some game-changer for their offense, and two talented wide receivers in Jeremy Maclin and Jordan Matthews took a back seat because of it.

Obviously, if you're hurting at tight end -- and it's a position that isn't quite 12 deep in Fantasy -- you could give him a look for Week 17 against Dallas, which also struggles against tight ends, but more likely than not, this performance was an aberration.


Bills DT Marcell Dareus (knee) questionable to return Week 16
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5:29 pm ET) Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is questionable to return to Sunday's Week 16 matchup with the Raiders with a knee injury, the team announced.

Dareus was able to walk off the field after being tended to by the trainers after the play on which he sustained his injury. He was then able to walk to the back to be further examined. The Bills are locked in a 7-7 tie with the Raiders in Oakland early in the second quarter.


Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater has solid performance in loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater helped lead the Vikings to five touchdown drives, but it was not enough as the Vikings fell to the Dolphins 37-35 in Week 16.

Bridgewater completed 19 of his 26 pass attempts for 259 yards while also throwing for two touchdowns. His lone blemish was an interception in the third quarter.

Bridgewater connected with wide receiver Greg Jennings on a 21-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter and then with Jarius Wright on a 8-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater has now thrown multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games as a starter.

The Vikings play against the Bears in the season finale.


Gordon leads small group of Browns contributors Sunday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5:26 pm ET) Rather than play a standout role, Browns wideout Josh Gordon merely led a small group of minor contributors to a Sunday loss against the host Panthers.

Gordon finished with four catches for 45 yards. Also chipping in were tight end Jim Dray and wideout Taylor Gabriel, both of whom caught just one short pass.


Bucs' Josh McCown throws for 147 and an interception in loss
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:24 pm ET) Buccaneers quarterback Josh McCown completed 12 of his 26 passes, but only managed 147 yards in Tampa Bay's 20-3 loss to the Packers.

McCown was under attack for much of the game, getting sacked seven times and hit 12 times.

Tampa Bay will wrap up their season at home against the Saints in Week 17. 


Patriots QB Tom Brady held under 200 yards in win over Jets
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5:24 pm ET) Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was held under 200 passing yards for the third time this season during Sunday's 17-16 victory over the Jets in Week 16.

Brady found Rob Gronkowski for a 3-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He compiled 182 yards while completing 23 of 35 passes. He added one touchdown and no interceptions, registering a 76.1 passer rating.

Brady has passed for 4,029 yards with 33 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season. He'll look to end the regular season on a high note against the Bills in Week 17.


 
 
 
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