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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
Andre Williams could surprise again
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/30/2014) Though I don't know that he's ready for a platoon role, believing his strong showing Week 4 at Washington happened mainly because the Giants saw fit to rest their starting running back in a blowout, rookie Andre Williams has the perfect matchup to make the most of whatever opportunities he gets Week 5 against Atlanta. The Falcons rank 28th against the run, allowing 153.5 yards per game, and have given up nine touchdowns on the ground, four more than any other team.

Even better, they've been sort of the magic elixir for running back tandems this season. Not only did the Vikings' Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon both have big games against them last week, the former rushing for 78 yards and three touchdowns and the latter rushing for 135 yards, but the Bengals' Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill both had big games against them in Week 2, the former rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown and the latter rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Of the two lead CBSSports.com Fantasy Football analysts, Jamey Eisenberg ranks Williams the highest for this week, placing him 28th among running backs, so we're talking little more than an emergency flex option in standard 12-team leagues. Still, you wouldn't be completely out of your mind to play him coming off last week's performance.


Rashad Jennings should come roaring back
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(9/30/2014) After being limited to just three touches in the second half of a blowout victory Week 4 at Washington, Giants running back Rashad Jennings has a chance to get back in his Fantasy owners' good graces in Week 5. He'll be facing a Falcons defense that just gave up 241 rushing yards to the Vikings, making them 28th against the run. They've also allowed nine touchdowns on the ground, four more than any other team.

Because rookie Andre Williams performed so well in relief of Jennings last week, rushing for 66 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, you may be worried the two will split carries in some form or fashion going forward. While I don't think that's much of a concern -- Williams was already getting 5-10 carries a game and not doing much with them -- I'm not sure it really matters with this matchup. The Falcons have been the magic elixir for running back tandems this season. Not only did the Vikings' Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon both have big games against them last week, the former rushing for 78 yards and three touchdowns and the latter rushing for 135 yards, but the Bengals' Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill both had big games against them in Week 2, the former rushing for 90 yards and a touchdown and the latter rushing for 74 yards and a touchdown.

Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard both rank Jennings among their top six running backs for Week 5, and I agree wholeheartedly. He remains a must-start despite the disappointment of last week.


Alfred Morris running into tough matchup
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) For as good as Alfred Morris is, owning him in Fantasy can leave you disappointed at times, given the Redskins' sometimes-inconsistent usage of him. You might want to skip the headache in Week 5, with the Seahawks on the way Monday night.

Morris has been productive in each game so far, and currently ranks fifth in the NFL in rushing yardage through four games. Unfortunately, he faces one of the toughest tests in the league this week. The Seahawks have yet to allow an opposing running back to score even six points this season, and their lone touchdown allowed came from little-used Packers fullback John Kuhn in Week 1. Morris has yet to face Seattle in his career, and they are unlikely to give him a very warm welcome.

Morris is nearly a must-start Fantasy option on a weekly basis, but this is one time you might want to avoid relying on him. The workload should be there, but Morris ranks outside of the top-30 for running backs in both Jamey Eisenberg and Dave Richard's Week 5 rankings.   


Jets add LeQuan Lewis, subtract Brandon Smith
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Jets signed cornerback LeQuan Lewis to their practice squad and released corner Brandon Smith from the squad, reports the New York Daily News.

Panthers add Tauren Poole, Horace Miller to practice squad
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Panthers signed running back Tauren Poole and linebacker Horace Miller to their practice squad.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins an interesting long-term prospect
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Buccaneers tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins returned from a foot injury and immediately served as a key part of the offense in Week 4. Does the rookie second-rounder have sleeper Fantasy potential moving forward?

Seferian-Jenkins was targeted on seven of quarterback Mike Glennon's 42 throws in Sunday's game, a number that left him third on the team. He brought in three of those passes, a decent number considering Glennon struggled with his accuracy all game. The fact that Glennon looked his way so often might be a good sign, since it was the pair's first game together.

After a collegiate career that saw him total 1,840 yards in three seasons, Seferian-Jenkins has a chance to become a big part of this Tampa Bay offense. However, he obviously has a lot to prove before you want to rely on him. Keep an eye on Seferian-Jenkins' play in Week 5 against the Saints, and consider adding him if he and Glennon show a good rapport. 


Lions put Montell Owens on IR
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Lions put running back Montell Owens on injured reserve with a hamstring injury, ending his season.

LaMichael James signs with Dolphins
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Former 49ers running back LaMichael James signed with the Dolphins, reports Fox Sports. San Francisco released the oft-injured back following the season opener.

Luke Willson has a lot to prove with increased role
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) The Seahawks will turn to Luke Willson to start at tight end in the coming weeks, with Zach Miller sidelined by ankle surgery. Should Fantasy owners take notice?

Miller had logged 83.5 percent of the team's snaps through three games, so Willson should be in line for a much larger role as the starter. Of course, Miller was nearly a nonfactor in the passing game so far, having been targeted just seven times. Between he and Willson, quarterback Russell Wilson has targeted tight ends just eight times on 87 attempts, after 20.6 percent of his passes went their way a year ago.

Willson might be the better pass catcher of the Seahawks tight end tandem, but we don't have much to go on here. There are better tight end options worth targeting on waivers, at least until Willson proves himself. 


Christian Ponder preparing to start
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(9/30/2014) Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder took the first-team reps Monday and Tuesday while rookie Teddy Bridgewater watched with an ankle injury. "I'm preparing to play, but we're hoping the best for Teddy," Ponder told reporters.

"I've talked to Teddy. He's doing everything he can to prepare and be ready to play."

Ponder has started 35 games, but none with Norv Turner as offensive coordinator. He could be under center Thursday in Green Bay. "It's a very different style of offense than what we've ran the previous three years," Ponder said. "Without Adrian [Peterson], it's different. Defenses play us differently without Adrian. I'm comfortable and fit well in it."


 
 
 
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