Fantasy Football Team Preview: Giants
Meet The ...
Team that wants you to believe they can win with anybody. That's right, it's the system and not the players. The Giants shed a bulk of their offense in the offseason, some by choice, others ... well not so much. Their franchise QB bid farewell to his top receiving options and a key running back bolted for free agency.
Yet, let's not worry too much. The Giants still have a monster with Brandon Jacobs, a ball-hawking defense that thrives on pressure, and some potential budding stars on offense. Will Eli shake off the tough offseason and put up those solid and consistent numbers we all crave? Well, maybe. Yeah, that's a good theme for owning most of this Giants offense. Do you trust (fill-in-the blank) ... "well, maybe."
Ahmad Bradshaw is ready for the bright lights of the big city. We've seen what he can do as a supporting cast member of "Earth, Wind and Fire." However, the Giants backfield is sure to have a two-headed, change-of-pace look this season with Brandon Jacobs and Bradshaw getting the bulk of the carries. The Giants will rely heavily on Bradshaw to use his speed to create a new combination (or return to the old days) of "Thunder and Lightning." Derrick Ward saw ample time over the course of the past two seasons spelling Jacobs, and that role now belongs solely to Bradshaw. Look for those increased touches and opportunities leading to better production and ample chances for the home run. Really, what's not to like about Bradshaw this season?
I know a lot of people love him, but sorry folks the bust here is gonna be Domenik Hixon. Why? Well, it's painfully obvious, he's really not that good. I know he filled in admirably after the team benched/suspended/double-secret probation'd Plaxico Burress, but I'd hardly let such a small sample size blind you. Take note that Hixon will be entering his fourth season in the league and he's shown us what exactly? A few decent-to-solid games as a new face in the offense is not something I'm gonna bet the house on. Don't trust me? Take a look at the stink-fest he dished out from Week 6 through Week 11 last season. He had few decent games down the stretch where he managed to average just under 60 yards per contest. Um, yeah and that's the No. 1 WR in this offense and a possible WR2 for you? No thanks. There is plenty of talent in the making on the Giants roster at this position. I'll try me some Mario Manningham or Hakeem Nicks based on potential alone if you don't mind.
The Depth Chart
QB1 - Eli Manning
QB2 - David Carr
RB1 - Brandon Jacobs
RB2 - Ahmad Bradshaw
RB3 - Danny Ware
WR1 - Domenik Hixon
WR2 - Steve Smith
WR3 - Mario Manningham
WR4 - Hakeem Nicks
WR5 - Sinorice Moss
TE1 - Kevin Boss
TE2 - Michael Matthews
K - Lawrence Tynes
In short, I really, really like this defense, as do many. It should come back with a mission and purpose this season. The return of Osi Umenyiora immediately bolsters the potential for racking up points on sacks. And the plan is no different this season for the defense: put pressure on the opposing lines and QBs. My one caution with this defense is that some folks might reach a little too soon for them. They are by no means the Ravens or Bears of years past, but the hype machine is looking that way. Really, I can't ever make an argument for taking a defense in the 5th or 6th round. That said, somebody will, and they may very well own the top fantasy defense.
The Giants are going to be a productive team when it comes to winning on Sundays. But when it comes to fantasy football there is still a lot of enigma surrounding this team. They have arguably only one legitimate stud for fantasy purposes in Brandon Jacobs (unless you count the D/ST), several decent options and the rest are question marks based on potential only.
- The departures of Burress and Amani Toomer have created some holes on this offense and left the top WR position wide open. Most think it belongs to Hixon by default, but not here. There is talent to be found, but are you willing to wait for it? Really, it's a tough argument to wage that I'd trust anyone on the Giants' receiving corps to even be a key reserve for my fantasy squad.
- The Giants will miss Ward to an extent, but as mentioned the tandem of Jacobs and Bradshaw should suffice. The unproven Danny Ware plays the third fiddle, which could lead to depth shortage in the backfield.
- A lot folks are down on Manning, both fantasy and reality-wise. Well, it's a big season for Peyton's little brother. I've never been a big advocate of young Manning as a starting fantasy QB. He's going to have to carry this team a lot if it's going to have a chance. He'll spread the ball around (as usual) and turn in some monster games along with some stinkers. The suggestion is to always proceed with kid gloves when it comes to Eli and remember how bad he can be down the stretch.
- Kevin Boss should be a nice little surprise in the Giants offense. He had his moments last season, but with Eli's favorite passing target now gone, expect for him to look to Boss as his familiar face.
You can find worse than a lot of the Giants' skilled positions, but you can also find much better. The thought here is that you shouldn't be drafting any Giants outside of Jacobs before the 6th round (at least).