Peyton Manning is a free agent and the suitors are already fighting for his signature (https://twitter.com/#!/AdamSchefter/status/177734123757113344). Where Manning signs will have a major impact on next year's NFL season. Much more importantly, where Manning signs will have a major impact on next year's fantasy football season.
Manning was a bust for everyone last year whether you picked him up in the first or fifth round. He did not play a game and has only recently resumed throwing the football.
The eight time all-pro selection, four time league MVP and former holder of the single season touchdown record will have a new home by this time next week in anticipation of the beginning of free agency. Prior to those additions, it is worth noting the value of some of Manning's potential new teammates.
As the team's leading receiver Marshall is going to get his numbers whether Matt Moore or Peyton Manning are playing in Miami next year. Marshall would obviously benefit from having Manning on the roster but either way he remains a top receiving option, but not an elite option.
Much like Austin Collie previously, Peyton Manning would love to work with Bess. Bess has some similarities to former Dolphin Wes Welker and could have a similar breakout season with a better passer who doesn't discriminate with his passes.
This is where Manning's effect really impacts the Dolphins' offense. Fasano is one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL. As a pass catcher, he is targeted too few times in Miami. Manning would change that instantly and Fasano is good enough to thrive on more opportunities.
For most running backs, the arrival of an elite quarterback would take away from his value. Bush may lose carries, but his receptions and yardage total should rocket. Manning has no issues with checking the football down, checking it down to Bush can often be the best option on offense.
Moss is in the twilight of his career but still producing as a possession receiver, despite being a burner earlier in his career. He runs good routes which should allow Peyton Manning to find him consistently working in a timing offense. His value skyrockets with a real quarterback, but he is still limited as a receiver so don't jump on him too early.
Davis is a very talented tight end and, as Dallas Clark will attest to, Peyton Manning loves targeting tight ends. With Manning, Davis should be one of the first tight ends off the board after the big guys like Rob Gronkowski, Jason Witten, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham.
Helu had 49 receptions last year with Rex Grossman/John Beck under center. Simple logic would tell you that Helu should see more balls with Manning in the side. Not so much, while Reggie Bush will excel in Miami because he can turn short catches into bigger gains, Helu benefited last year from quarterbacks who couldn't find receivers consistently. Manning won't look Helu's way as fast. He would also figure to lose some carries, not too many though as Shanahan will always want to run the ball.
Kansas City Chiefs:
Bowe struggled last year because of the offense as a whole. With Peyton Manning, he would still be one of the better receiving prospects in the NFL for fantasy terms, but his value shouldn't explode just because of Manning's arrival.
Presuming that Moeaki returns to full health, then he should be a definite starter next year. Moeaki may not be the most explosive of tight ends, but by sheer volume of targets he should put up very good numbers.
Charles should be treated the same way regardless of what quarterback is under center. He doesn't need 20 carries a game to put up big numbers so his number of carries won't be effected. The only thing to worry about with Charles is his injury.
I expect Baldwin to be the outside starter ahead of Steve Breaston next year and have a big impact. Baldwin would be where Manning goes most often as teams look to take away Dwayne Bowe with double teams. His physical talents should allow him to get in the endzone a lot against single coverage.
Little needs help next season if he is going to be effective. Even with Manning under center in Cleveland, he can barely be considered a starter for fantasy teams without better talent around him.
Moore wasn't a worthwhile fantasy option last year, he could be a late round steal if Manning lands in Cleveland. You still would be unlikely to draft him, but as an undrafted addition he could prove to be great value.
Manning would realize quickly what the Browns are still figuring out: Put the ball in Cribbs' hands and good things happen. Currently he is not a starting receiver option, but with Manning he could be a valuable #3 receiver.
Massaquoi probably won't even be the starter once next season comes around. If he does drop down the depth chart, he should be forgotten about for fantasy football. If he is still the starter, his value only slightly increases. He's simply not a very good fantasy option.
New York Jets:
Keller is a fantastic possession receiver. With Manning, he should be considered a definite starter and has the potential to be as good as any tight end, save for those on the level of Gronkowski, Graham and Witten.
Holmes is a poison to the Jets' locker-room, luckily, your fantasy chemistry won't be affected. His level of play may be, but that is hard to predict. Manning should at least be able to command Holmess' respect and get him the ball. Expect closer to his 2010 weekly production opposed to 2011.
Let's get this straight right now. Jeremy Kerley is not the next Victor Cruz. Sure, draft him in the late rounds and pick him up as an undrafted free agent, but don't say I didn't tell you.
Greene would definitely lose carries. The Jets would likely re-sign Ladanian Tomlinson or bring in a better pass catching back to take away from his playing time.