It’s that time of the week again! It’s time to profile and review the weeks of the top five fantasy stars from week number two in the NFL. Each of these players had a giant week and three of them are from the New York Giants. I guess that’s what happens when you beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on your home field in a 41-34 shootout.
*NOTE: As per my review last week, please note that my fantasy league uses several customized scoring settings that most leagues probably do not. We give out points for receptions, take one point away from quarterbacks for sacks, and also provide points for plays over 40 yards and kick return yards as well, so my top five scorers are based on these settings and yours may differ.
1. Eli Manning – New York Giants QB
- 31 Completions, 510 Passing Yards, 3 TDs, 3 INTs
I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, I am not a big fan of waiting until the middle rounds of a draft to pick up a mediocre fantasy quarterback such as Manning, but this week you have got to tip your hat to the young man as the statistics speak for themselves. The Giants outscored the Buccaneers 25-7 in the fourth quarter on Sunday capping one of the biggest comebacks in franchise history and evening the team’s record at 1-1. In real football, playing from behind is not a position you would want your team to be in, but as a fantasy owner you have got to love it when your quarterback is forced to throw the ball down the field in a bid for a comeback. In that situation it can really be a feast or famine, sometimes a famine because your quarterback is forcing the ball into tight coverage and other times a feast because his wide receivers find a way to come up with the ball and if you started Manning this week you obviously feasted on his performance.
As much as the NFL has become a quarterback’s league in this day and age you obviously can’t count on Manning or any other quarterback for that matter to throw for over 500 yards in a game on a consistent basis. That said, you have a pretty good chance of winning when your quarterback plays the way Eli did on Sunday.
2. Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants WR
- 10 Receptions, 199 Yards, 1 TD
Nicks bounced back from a difficult Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys and showed why he is still the Giants go to receiver. Although Victor Cruz also had an outstanding game, Nicks possesses the ability to outstanding speed that can get him down the field quickly, so I would give him a slight edge over Cruz as the Giants number one receiver. Nicks finished with two catches over 40 yards and his 199 yards receiving was a career-high.
- 172 Yards Rushing, 2 TDs, 3 Receptions for 25 Yards
Bush is a player that many would say underachieved in his time with the New Orleans Saints. Saying that is probably a little bit too critical of Bush considering that he also struggled with his share of injuries throughout his tenure in Louisiana. Normally when it comes to fantasy scoring, moving from a high-octane offensive juggernaut like the Saints to the offensively starved Miami Dolphins would leave most running backs in fantasy exile but in Bush’s case he is in line to amass over 100 total yards per game on a regular basis and of course with that get his share of touchdowns as well.
There is no doubt that he will have weeks that are on the less productive end of the scale, but if you can live with a few lows as a direct result of playing on a bad team he should be able to average consistently good numbers which is especially be important in head-to-head leagues. Bush strikes me as one of those players that perhaps needed to mature and get out of the shadows of all of the offense of talent he had around him in New Orleans and move to a team where he could be the main guy and the centerpiece of the offense. No matter how Ryan Tannehill, Devone Bess, and Brian Hartline perform on a week to week basis, Bush will no doubt see his touches and make an impact on the regular.
4. Victor Cruz – New York Giants WR
- 11 Receptions, 179 Yards, 1 TD
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the New York Giants’ Super Bowl winning season last year, Cruz only really got a chance to strut his stuff because teammate Domenik Hixon went down with a knee injury that forced him to sit out almost all of the 2011-12 season. Since that time, Cruz has been nothing but a fantasy star and is considered by many to be a top 5 fantasy receiver this year, even with teammate Hakeem Nicks sure to get his looks too. Cruz seemed to have overcome the struggles he had with dropping passes in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys and will continue to be a heavily targeted receiver all year long.
- 15 Receptions, 160 Receiving Yards, 1 TD, 29 Return Yards, 1 Fumble
At the beginning of the season, most of us were referring to Amendola as a poor man’s Wes Welker. After the first 2 weeks, we might want to start referring to Welker as a poor man’s Amendola. OK, maybe not so fast, but the Texas Tech product did tie an NFL record with 12 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown…IN THE FIRST HALF… against the Washington Redskins on Sunday. He also managed to throw in a few extra fantasy points for a punt return and throughout the season he will chip in a few special teams yards here and there, which means consistently easy points if they count in your league.
If there is one thing that should alarm you about Amendola’s performance on Sunday, it’s that he only managed three catches in the second half as the Redskins defense adjusted to him. From an all-around perspective, Amendola is definitely worth having on your team in leagues that give out points for receptions or returns. He is on a squad that lacks much of a passing game and as much as they have a guy like Brandon Gibson as there main deep threat, Amendola will be the receiver that Sam Bradford looks to whenever the Rams are in need of a quick slant for first down yardage. He would be a bit of risky play in leagues that only count receiving yardage and touchdowns, but otherwise this could be a really solid season for Amendola and he clearly stood out in Week 2.
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