Fantasy Corner – New York Giants Fantasy Preview
As the new season approaches it is important to look at each team and to evaluate each position and each player. Over the next few weeks I am going to look at each division/team and break down the most important players from a fantasy perspective.
QB – Eli Manning
Eli is coming off a bit of a down year in terms of Fantasy production. On paper he still had ok numbers but he still struggled with turnovers (16 interceptions), and towards the end of the season it looked like he could have possibly lost some of the strength in his arm, as he failed to complete several manageable passes. However coming into this season, there are several reasons to be optimistic. Firstly, he has a great group of receivers around him. He has the no.1 WR in the league in OBJ, along with sophomore WR Sterling Shepard, and now with the acquisition of Brandon Marshall to play on the outside, he has one of the best receiving groups in the league. They should be a nightmare for opposing defences, and will help the Eli and the Giants to convert more redzone opportunities. Secondly, the Giants finally addressed their need at the TE position and drafted a quality player for the position in Evan Engram. He is a big upgrade at the position, from what the Giants had over the past few seasons, and even though TE’s usually take a while to become productive, he could be the exception, and whatever he does in season one will help Manning. Finally, Manning has had time to rest his arm over the offseason, and further time to learn his newer offensive playbook, which should both help revitalise and renew him for the new season. Of course there are some worries including his offensive line and suspect running game, but there are enough new positives to be very optimistic for a good fantasy season for Manning, who can be acquired at a discount price.
RB – Paul Perkins
Perkins is a big question mark for both the Giants and Fantasy players alike. He showed good potential towards the end of last season and rushed for over 450 yards. However, he will have to prove that he can handle a full load this season, and also has some competition from Wayne Gallman who could steal some carries if he performs well or Perkins underperforms. Shane Vereen will also be back fully healthy and will take some work from Perkins especially in passing situations. The Giants O Line could also be a problem for him if they don’t improve from last years. However, taking all of the negatives into account I still feel that Perkins has enough potential to be productive if the Giants use him correctly, therefore I would recommend him as a decent RB2 with upside.
RB – Wayne Gallman
The Giants selected Gallman from Clemson in the 4th round of this years draft, and as I mentioned above he could see some work if he performs well or Perkins underperforms. He is a talented back (if not flashy) who has been drafted into a good position and is worth a late round pick in redraft leagues in the hope that he will share or take over from Perkins. Whether you draft him or not may depend on how much faith you have in Perkins to carry the load for the Giants. In Dynasty he’s worth a 2nd round pick.
RB – Shane Vereen
Vereen had been a very productive PPR back in New England and it seemed like he was going to have a nice season for the Giants last year until he got injured. He will be back this season and should be productive in PPR leagues but it could be hard to predict when he will have good games, as he is the type of player who could have a monster game or barely touch the ball, depending on how the Giants use him. He is worth a late pick in PPR leagues but is a declining asset.
WR – Odell Beckham
Beckham is a player who needs very few words as his stats do the talking. He went for 1,367 yards with 10 TDs in 2016 and I would expect that number to rise this year. He is the unquestioned number 1 WR in the NFL and Fantasy drafts and should produce for your team for many seasons to come. With Brandon Marshall now playing opposite him, it should free up more space for him to exploit and I think he will really explode this year. You should be hearing Manning to Beckham a lot this year. He should be the 1st WR off the board in redrafts leagues and the first pick overall in Dynasty.
Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac
WR – Brandon Marshall
Marshall has been one of the best and most reliable WR’s in the NFL over the past few years. He left a sinking ship with the Jets to move to a team where he hopes he can compete for a title, and I would expect another good season from Marshall. He will have an upgrade at QB, and lots of talent around him to free up space. As a big target he should also help the Giants convert red zone opportunities, which they struggled with last year. He is a very good WR2 to own with upside that he could be a WR1 again.
WR – Sterling Shepard
Shepard had a nice rookie season going for almost 700 yards and 8 TD’s and is an excellent slot receiver. He is a player that I like a lot, but I do feel that he may take a hit this season with the addition of Marshall and especially Engram. There are going to be a lot of mouths to feed in the Giants attack and we won’t really know how this affects Sheperd until we see them play. I feel that he could be the odd man out this season and will be inconsistent. However I feel that in the longterm he is someone to own, so if you can acquire him at a discount do it now. He is a WR3 with upside this season, but should be a high end WR2 in the future.
TE – Evan Engram
The Giants took Engram in the first round of the draft this year and he has the potential to be one of the all time greats at the position. Over 4 years at Ole Miss he made 162 receptions, received 2,320 passing yards and averaged 14.3 yards a play, scoring 15 career touchdowns. The Giants have had a great need at the position for a number of years and this was a fantastic pick. TE’s usually take a while to produce in the NFL, but Engram could be an exception. You might have to be a little patient but if you draft him you have a quality player who will eventually produce, and whatever you get this year is a bonus. He is a fantastic receiver and I’m sure the Giants will find ways to get him involved, especially in the slot. He is a 1st round pick in rookie drafts, and I would take him in the late round of redraft, after some of the well-established veterans.
This OTI Piece was written by James Maguire. James is a NY Giants fan from Westmeath, Ireland. He is a huge fan of the NFL and watches several games each weekend. He has been playing Fantasy Football for over 10 years with great success in all types of leagues. Most of his articles focus on Fantasy Football covering a range of topics relevant to both Dynasty and Redraft leagues. Check him out on twitter @JamesMaguire21