The League

Fantasy Check

Player of the decade


The best: Peyton Manning
The next: LaDainian Tomlison
The rest: Randy Moss, Brett Favre, Terrell Owens

There's really no wrong choice when deciding between Peyton Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson as this decade's most valuable fantasy player. Owners who drafted either rarely were disappointed, and both were top 10 picks in just about every season during the 2000s.

But Manning edges out Tomlinson based on the final two seasons of the decade. From 2008 through Week 16 of this season, Manning averaged 271 yards and 1.9 touchdown passes per game. Tomlinson, meantime, averaged 64 rushing yards, 19.4 receiving yards and .83 touchdowns a game over the same span.

Manning simply has not had a mediocre season this decade. Last season Manning threw 27 touchdowns, which were the second fewest of his career, yet he was named the league's most valuable player.

After a two-year stretch during which he accounted for 52 total touchdowns, Tomlinson since has scored 24. At 30 years old this season, Tomlinson clearly has lost the breakaway speed and quickness that carried him to the MVP trophy in 2006, and he is now a RB2 in most formats.

Next season Manning remains a legitimate first-round pick, but Tomlinson probably will fall to the mid-rounds in most leagues. There's at least a dozen other running backs who should go ahead of LT, and some of them -- Jonathan Stewart, for instance -- are currently backups on their respective teams.

By Gene Wang  |  December 31, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  | Category:  Fantasy Football Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

LT's name should have an asterisk next to it. The guy gets an advantage because he got a doctor's note to wear a visor. If he had a real medical need, he would also wear sunglasses on the sidelines in sunny San Diego. Why is it the media gives him a pass on him faking a medical condition?

Posted by: JF | January 1, 2010 8:02 PM

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