Fantasy football team preview: New York Giants
Last season wasn’t the best for the New York Giants, as a lack of the right personnel led to a predictable offensive game plan that relied on by far the most three wide receiver sets in the league. However, Ben McAdoo and company added two things they lacked on last year’s roster: 1) a big-bodied receiver in Brandon Marshall, and 2) a seem-splitting tight end in Evan Engram. These addition should help mix things up for McAdoo, who promised more formations and creative play calling this year. McAdoo remains the offensive play caller, so we’ll continue to see his version of the West Coast offense that relies heavily on no-huddle. The Giants led the league with no-huddle on 18.5 percent of their offensive snaps and also ranked seventh in shotgun formations at 58.5 percent.
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Eli Manning has thrown for more than 4,000 yards in each of the last three years with Ben McAdoo calling the plays, but last year he barely cracked that plateau with just 4,027. He also finished a disappointing 21st among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring with just three weeks in the top 10. That’s a significant dropoff from 2015 when he had seven top-10 weeks and finished ninth for the season. However, Manning should be helped out by the additional weapons at his disposal in Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram. It’s a stretch to consider Manning a QB1 at this time, but he’s worth considering as a QB2 option in the late rounds.
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With Rashad Jennings out of the mix, second-year man Paul Perkins is in the driver’s seat for lead back duties. We didn’t see a lot of Perkins in his rookie season, but he did manage to finish the season on a high note with 102 yards against Washington in week 17. From a metrics standpoint, Perkins didn’t particular stand out last year, but he was one of the most elusive backs in the nation in 2015 with a combined 85 forced missed tackles. With Perkins set up for a heavy workload, he’s one of this year’s most intriguing breakout candidates at the running back position.
In addition to Perkins, the Giants also have veteran Shane Vereen and rookie Wayne Gallman in the backfield. Vereen figures to continue to serve as the primary receiving back, but has marginal PPR value at best. Gallman is a physical “banger” of a runner who topped 1,000 yards in each of the last two years. He also scored 31 total touchdowns over that span. However, his yards per carry dipped from 5.4 in 2015 to 4.9 in 2016, and he wasn’t the most effective at creating yards after contact with 2.98. At this point, he doesn’t appear to be a threat to Perkins, but fantasy players should at least be aware of Gallman.
Things you look for in a stud wide receiver: 1) an extremely high ceiling, and 2) and extremely high floor. Odell Beckham Jr. has both of those in spades. From a ceiling standpoint, Beckham has finished as a top 5 fantasy wide receiver in all three of his professional seasons with five weeks as the No. 1 overall wide receiver. His floor is also enormous with 33 top-25 finishes in 43 games played at the NFL level. Last season, Beckham ranked third in the league in targets per game 10.1. While that volume could take a slight hit due to the presence of Brandon Marshall, fantasy drafters should remain confident that Beckham will continue to be one of the most-heavily targeted receivers in the league. He’s locked in as an elite fantasy option.
Marshall comes over from the Jets and is very much in the twilight of his career in his age-33 season. That being said, there still a little gas left in the tank. Marshall gives the Giants a big-body at the wide receiver position, which bodes well for his work in the red zone. Marshall ranked fifth among wide receivers with 18 end zone targets last season and averages a whopping 20.8 per year over the last six seasons. He isn’t likely to put up big yardage numbers this season, but Marshall’s touchdown upside should help him retain WR3 fantasy value.
Sterling Sheppard will continue to man the slot after he scored a surprising eight times in his rookie season. Though he possesses DFS upside, it’s unlikely Sheppard will be much of a factor in redraft leagues this year. However, those in dynasty formats should continue to hold on to Sheppard.
|Wide Receiver Sets|
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The Giants nabbed arguably the most dynamic tight end in this year’s draft with the first-round selection of Evan Engram out of Ole Miss. A miss-match at 6-3, 235 lbs., Engram led all tight ends in yards (926) and finished second in catches (65) last year. Though he struggled as a blocker, Engram enters the NFL with some polish as a route runner thanks to the diverse route tree he ran in college. At Ole Miss, he showed the ability to get deep, with seven catches on 13 deep ball targets for 262 yards and three scores in 2016. The one knock on him from a receiving standpoint is that he dropped seven balls in 2016. Still, his skill set resembles that of Jordan Reed, which is ideal for fantasy purposes. He may be a somewhat volatile option in the short-term, but Engram has the makings of a future elite fantasy option. This season, fantasy drafters should consider Engram a risk/reward TE2 option who can be drafted in the late rounds.
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