Peyton Manning was a hero for many fantasy football owners in 2013. After passing for 5,477 yards, throwing 55 touchdowns and averaging 342 passing yards a game, Manning could have almost single-handedly made you a fantasy football champion. As we all know, Manning fell short of winning a Super Bowl to Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks. While Manning is considered your standard old-school quarterback, Wilson is a part of the new mobile quarterback breed.
In the 2012 fantasy football season, Manning was the fifth-highest scoring quarterback in standard scoring leagues. Wilson finished just outside the top-10 in his 2012 rookie season, but he was only 45 points behind Manning.
The top three fantasy scoring quarterbacks in 2012: Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, are all considered your prototypical pocket passers. While Rodgers is more mobile than Brady or Brees, you will rarely ever see Rodgers rush for more than 20 yards in a game. Cam Newton was the only dual-threat player who finished his season as a top-five fantasy football quarterback. Newton had 741 rushing yards in 2012 and averaged 46.3 rushing yards per game.
Wilson managed to finish the 2013 season as the eighth-highest scoring fantasy quarterback, and every fantasy player knows what position Manning finished in. Brees once again finished in the top-five, but Newton and Colin Kaepernick made the list of top-10 fantasy scoring quarterbacks with their arms and rushing abilities.
As a fantasy player, I love the idea that my quarterback has the possibility of scoring my team a few rushing touchdowns each game. With that being said, the durability of a rushing quarterback is a major concern. You only have to watch one quarter of football to be scared away from drafting Robert Griffin III.
The two main criteria I use to draft a quarterback are health and consistency. It may worry some owners to see Wilson scramble all over the field, but I do not have a problem with drafting him if he has proved from previous seasons that he can stay healthy. Manning dominated Wilson in passing yards and touchdowns in 2013, but Wilson won the battle in rushing yards. Surprisingly, however, Wilson and Manning each scored one rushing touchdown.
From the past two fantasy seasons, Manning clearly has the advantage over Wilson in fantasy football. While it is nice to have a fantasy football quarterback who can score you points on the ground, I will still stick with the quarterbacks who are getting it done through the air.