Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian officially ruled Peyton Manning out for Sunday's season opener against the Houston Texans. It's safe to say there is Panic on the streets of Indianapolis as the Colts will start a quarterback other than Manning for the first time since Jim Harbaugh took the reins Week 17 of the 1997 NFL season.
Kerry Collins has been a solid QB in years past, but his glory days are in the rear view mirror for the most part. Nobody will be starting Kerry Collins in a fantasy league anytime soon. If you drafted Peyton Manning with the hopes that he'll be healthy, you better have a viable backup because it could be a fairly long and bumpy ride before Manning is healthy enough to start again this season.
The question of fantasy impact goes beyond needing a short term quarterback option (other than Kerry Collins). The Colts roster of skill position players suddenly faces numerous question marks without ol' reliable at the helm. Whether we're talking about Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, Pierre Garcon, Joseph Addai, or just about anybody, there are numerous question marks.
For the most part I'd imagine most people will continue starting Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and probably Joseph Addai. Since it's only week one, you might as well stick with the guys you expected to start and hope for the best. Collins can chuck the ball with the best of them, but we don't know who he'll warm to in the coming weeks if Manning is out more than just this week. It's entirely possible Collins develops an unexplained attachment to backup tight end Jacob Tamme. It's doubtful, but with no prior relationships, anything is possible.
For now, stick with the guys you expected to start with Manning this week. Any other choices would be nothing more than pure conjecture at this point. This is a situation that will have to be re-assessed following Sunday's game.