New York Giants Team Capsule
What Went Right
It really was something of a disappointing fantasy season for the Giants. The lone bright spots were Brandon Jacobs and Plaxico Burress. The former traveled 1,009 yards on a mere 202 carries. He dealt with injuries, and that remains a concern, but his 5.0 yards per carry average proved he can be a valuable fantasy asset when healthy. Burress, on the other hand, was much more of an enigma. He had his best season from a touchdown perspective and, at times, was a dominating fantasy force. He also disappeared for long stretches at a time. Granted, Burress was dealing with injuries, but his inconsistency kept him from truly being a top wide out.
What Went Wrong
Eli Manning was rather mundane. We’re pretty sure a quarterback rating of 73.9 is as average as can be. It’s the exact cutoff between acceptable and a quarterback controversy. Anyway, Manning threw for 3,336 yards, 23 scores and 20 interceptions. He was nothing more than a ho-hum fantasy backup. Jeremy Shockey had a down season with only three scores, but we’ll get to talk more about that situation in a bit.
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New York’s only offensive addition this season came in the third round of the draft in the form of Michigan’s Mario Manningham. Manningham had a nice career in college, but he didn’t really have the physical freakiness that scouts love, so his stock was muddled. Still, if he progresses well, he could certainly step into a big role in the offense in a couple seasons.
State of the Team
Quarterbacks – The big question is how long does the Super Bowl win allow Manning to retain the uncontested job? If his rating doesn’t climb over 75, it might only be another season or two.
Running Backs – Jacobs is a nice little high-reward, low-risk player. He’s around the 18th back being taken in drafts, and health is really the only question mark. This is also a situation where grabbing the backup, Derrick Ward, makes sense as Ward was successful when he stepped into the starter’s role. Basically, if you cover your butt, you’re bound to get better production from the pick than what the value of it is.
Wide Receivers – Burress is mired in a contract dispute, so that could open the door for someone else. The prime candidate would be second-year man Steve Smith. The former Trojan had a very quiet regular season with only eight total receptions. Then he accounted for 14 receptions in four playoff games. He’s probably still a year away from being a fantasy starter, but he’s worth keeping an eye on all the same.
Tight Ends – Well, the Shockey situation sure was resolved. The mercurial star was shipped south to the Big Easy and now second-year Kevin Boss is being touted as a prime sleeper. That’s entirely possible, but Boss had even fewer receptions and yards in the playoffs than Smith. In fact, it’s one thing to overvalue a guy because of a good playoff game, but it’s even more absurd to overvalue a player based on one play. That 45-yard reception in the Super Bowl was his only catch. Fantasy owners might be setting themselves up for disaster with this situation.
Defense/Special Teams – The Giants have always been a defense-first team. Michael Strahan retired, but the components are still there for this to be a start-worthy unit. Expect high sack totals and low yardage and points allowed numbers.