The New York Giants offer a smattering of fantasy options that range from an elite wide receiver to a sleeper tight end. While it’s safe to assume (barring injuries) that Odell’s production will remain in the elite tier might we expect a regression from Eli Manning after setting career highs in pass attempts and touchdowns?
WR Odell Beckham Jr.
Not if Odell can help it. Perhaps the league’s most exciting young receiver OBJ, ODB, whatever you want to call him has been nothing short of remarkable since entering the league in 2014. In 27 career games, Beckham Jr. has 25 touchdowns, averaging nearly a score a game. We could spend a lot of time talking about his pace for receiving yards and TDs and throw superlative after superlative out but it’s quite simple. Superior talent, more than competent QB play and a cake schedule with respect to passing defenses. It’s going to be another fantastic fantasy season for the young wide-out and if he can keep his head on straight he may eclipse Antonio Brown and Julio Jones.
QB Eli Manning
The Giants were awful defensively in 2015 and lacked a steady running game for three quarters of the season. This resulted in a heavy passing attack. While they didn’t do much to improve the running game they did spend a lot of money along the defensive line and in the secondary to sure up their pass defense; how that ultimately plays out remains to be seen. That being said, even if the Giants only improve marginally defensively Eli Manning may be hard pressed to replicate his numbers from 2015. I mentioned the career high in attempts (618) and touchdowns (35); his 4,436 passing yards were 2nd most for him in a single season and his 62.6% completion mark was his highest since 2010. While I do expect some regression I think it will ultimately be negligible. Head Coach, Ben McAdoo appears to have something going with Manning and considering that Eli has the aforementioned Odell Beckham Jr., Sterling Shepard (I’ll get to him momentarily), Victor Cruz (expected to play for the first time since 2014), Will Tye (a promising prospect at tight end) and a plethora of running backs who can make plays in the passing game particularly at his mid-to-late round ADP I would feel pretty comfortable rolling with Manning as my weekly starter. Don’t count on 35 TDs but 30 is very realistic and one thing’s for sure, Manning will play. Eli has played in all 16 games of each of his professional seasons except for his rookie year prior to taking over for Kurt Warner.
WR Sterling Shepard
We at Couch Potato General Manager are very excited about rookie wideout Sterling Shepard. While he may lack the prototypical size and speed expected of a #1 receiver or someone who makes their living outside the numbers, Shepard has plenty football speed, technical prowess and physicality to win wherever he lines up in the formation. Even with the anticipated return of Victor Cruz, Shepard has staked his claim as the #2 WR in New York. His upside is immense and he frankly is the most pro ready receiver from a route-running standpoint in the 2016 rookie class (Tyler Boyd is a close second). But don’t let our appreciation of how polished he is convince you that he lacks explosiveness, because he has that too. In some fantasy circles Shepard will likely be over-drafted and in others he’ll be underappreciated. However, it’s up to you to decide how you value WR2 fantasy upside and what I believe is a WR3 floor. I’m thinking 85/1100/6.
Others of note:
- RB Rashad Jennings
- WR Victor Cruz
- TE Will Tye