Fantasy Football Offensive Evaluation: New York Giants

The Giants have had one of the leagues most consistent offenses of the last 6 seasons and they had several breakout performances in 2010 that could jump from 7th in scoring last year to the top 5.  The Giants were on the brink of making the playoffs last season when they led the Eagles 31-10 in the fourth quarter of their week 15 matchup.

Then Michael Vick led the Eagles to a furious fourth quarter comeback that saw them win the game and then later, the division.  It also didn't help that they got blown by the Packers the following week, but those late season losses could help propel the Giants back to the top.

They've certainly got a lot of players on offense that will be worthy of a fantasy spot, but there's still uncertainty in terms of which players will score the most.  Let's try to figure out the answer to that important question...

Quarterback

Eli Manning

He'll never be as good as his big brother.  He'll never be as good as the player he was traded for on draft day, Philip Rivers.  But in his defense, the Giants have finished in the top 14 in offense since Eli took over full-time in 2005.  He's slowly increased his completion percentage each year, gained more yards, and threw a career high 31 TDs last year.  He also threw a career high 25 interceptions, the 2nd time in his career that he's led the league in interceptions.  He's got a problem throwing interceptions, but he also potentially has the most weapons in his arsenal in his career and hasn't missed a game in 6 years.  Expect 4,000 yards, 28-32 TDs, 20 INTs, and generally being a backend QB1 or a top-end backup QB for fantasy.

David Carr

The Giants have two former #1 pick QBs on their roster, so that's cool.  

Running Back

 

Ahmad Bradshaw

Bradshaw was a steal of a 7th round pick for the Giants in 2007 out of Marshall, and he got the bulk of the carries last year which led to 1,235 yards and 8 scores.  He also caught 47 passes, a nice bonus in PPR leagues.  If there are negatives to making Bradshaw your RB2 (and God forbid your RB1) then its that he'll lose goal-line carries and in the last 3 games of 2010 he had 119 yards and 0 TDs total.  Bradshaw is a risky pick in the third round, where he's going on average, because I worry about: his share, his consistency, and the risk of being a one-year wonder.  In the 5th round, he's worth the risk.  

Brandon Jacobs

He has 49 touchdowns in his 6-year career and the 29-year-old could still have a few years left in the tank because he's almost always in a running-back-by-committee situation.  Usually he gets the fantasy-friendly part of that position by getting goal-line carries.  He scored 9 TDs last year and topped 800 yards for the fourth straight year.  He also averaged 5.6 yards per carry.  Bradshaw is the more talented back, he's the younger back, he's got the potential to be a RB1 while Jacobs will peak as an RB2... but Jacobs is going 70 picks after Bradshaw, and there's a lot more value in that.

Wide Receiver

Hakeem Nicks

I don't remember a lot of fanfare around Nicks going into the draft or going into last season, but its very possible that I just happened to have that bit of information fly over my head.  I won't be ignoring him anymore.  Nicks had some huge games in 2010, including a 12-catch, 130 yard, 2 score game against Houston, and a 3 TD game in week 1 against Carolina.  Overall he caught 79 balls for 1,052 yards and 11 TD's.  He's got all the potential to be a true number one wide receiver in the NFL and perhaps Eli's best option since Plaxico Burress.  I believe there are four elite wide receivers in the NFL on their own level, and Nicks isn't with them yet, but on average he is the 5th WR off the board making him just on the cusp of that group.  There's not a lot of great value in drafting Nicks in the 2nd round, but he's a solid WR to have.  

Mario Manningham

He dropped in the 2008 NFL draft because he was viewed by some teams as a dumb pothead, when he admitted to all 32 teams that he lied about smoking marijuana, and then he scored a 6 on the Wonderlic.  Of course, he's a WR and not a QB, so being a genius doesn't make as much of a difference, and so far the Giants are thanking God they were able to get him in the third round.  He caught 60 passes for 944 yards last season, and he crushed it in the final 3 games of the year: 16 catches, 346 yards, 4 TDs.  He's a nice compliment to Nicks as the deep-threat WR, and being drafted in fantasy alongside fellow breakout candidates Kenny Britt and Austin Collie.  I prefer the other 2, but Manningham is a good option as a WR2 or WR/RB, WR3.  

Jerrel Jernigan

The Giants selected Jernigan in the 3rd round of this years draft.  He's got great potential to be a big play WR and he'll compete for punt returns this season.  He's a deep, deep sleeper and he's coming off of a wrist injury, but he'll be one to watch in the next couple of seasons.

Also competing for catches are Michael Clayton, Domenik Hixon, and Viktor Cruz.

Tight End

Travis Beckum

The offseason's tight end carousel included Kevin Boss going from New York to Oakland, and the Giants decided not to replace him with a proven, veteran option.  Instead they turn to 2009 3rd round pick Travis Beckum, and a couple of other guys you've never heard of before.  Will the Giants add someone before the season?  Will one of these players step up and become a nice option for Eli?  Do the Giants feel so comfortable around the rest of the offense that they don't really care?  These aren't questions I, or anyone else, can answer right now, we'll just have to wait and see how the season plays out.  Luckily, does it really matter?  Nobody is drafting a Giants tight end either way, so there's no risk in not knowing what will happen with the Giants tight end position this season.

follow me on twitter @casetines so I can tell you what else is not happening with the Giants tight end situation.

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