Can Big Blue rebound? Two years removed from one of the most improbable Super Bowl Championships the New York Giants missed the playoffs for the first time since Tom Coughlin’s inaugural season as head coach in 2004. The Giants season started off well opening the new Cowboys Stadium with a big win and starting the season 5-0, but ended in a thud as they got destroyed by Carolina at Giants Stadium and limped to a 8-8 final record.
There were some positives as quarterback Eli Manning kept fantasy players happy by having career highs in completions (317), completion percentage (62.3), yards (4,021), touchdowns (27) and QB rating (93.1). Wide receiver Steve Smith was a fantasy stud, especially in leagues with point per reception as Smith was first in the NFC and second in the NFL with 107 receptions, 25 more than the franchise’s previous single-season record-holder (Amani Toomer had 82 in 2002). Smith’s 1,220 receiving yards were the second-highest total in franchise history and he led the NFL with 38 receptions on third down.
Division: NFC East – Projected Finish: 3rd Place
Strength of Schedule: 25th = 7th Toughest. The NFC East has gotten tougher and playing the AFC South does not help the schedule.
New York Giants 2010 Fantasy Football Draft Targets
Eli Manning continues to prove that his Super Bowl MVP was not a fluke and that he can be a viable fantasy option at quarterback. Manning is the third quarterback in Giants history to throw for more than 4,000 yards in a season.
Manning is the only quarterback in Giants history with five consecutive 3,000-yard seasons and five consecutive seasons with 20 touchdown passes. This season they play the three worst passing defense last season (Detroit, Tennessee, Seattle), great news for people thinking of drafting Manning.
What use to be strength for the Giants has now turned into a weakness? From Earth, Wind and Fire one year to Grass, Breeze and Smoke the next, the Giants went from a league leading 157.4 yards per game on the ground in 2008 to 114.8 yards per game and 14 rushing TD.
- Brandon Jacobs – The good news, the often injured Jacobs started a career-high 15 games last year. The bad news, he only rushed for 835 yards on 224 attempts and only 5 TD. Jacobs had season ending knee surgery before the season finale and should be ready for training camp.
- Ahmad Bradshaw – When Derrick Ward left last offseason that gave a boost in playing time for the speedy Bradshaw and he responded with a career-high 778 rushing yards on 163 carriers. Plagued by two bad ankles and an injured foot that required postseason surgery, Bradshaw still rushed for a team high 7 TD and had six runs of 20 yards or more. If healthy the speedy Bradshaw could get some consideration as the Giants starting running back, if so target him as a sleeper on your draft board.
It was a youth movement for the Giants receivers as it was the first time since 1963 they had four different receivers with at least five touchdown catches. Early bad news for the receiving corps as Domenik Hixon is out for the season with a torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
- Steve Smith – The 2007 second round pick out of USC won’t be giving back his BCS championship ring but will continue to give defensive coordinators headaches. If you are in a PPR league this is a good guy to target and just like I said with Manning they are playing the three worst passing defenses from a year ago.
- Hakeem Nicks – The 2008 first round pick Hakeem Nicks had a very successful rookie season scoring 6 TD. His 790 receiving yards tied for first among all NFL rookies with Minnesota’s Percy Harvin. He is a big play threat as had a catch longer than 20 yards in nine straight games. Nicks is a nice late round sleeper.
Kevin Boss is another Giants coming off surgery, but has claimed he is ahead of schedule in his recovery from ankle surgery. The Boss Man improved in both receptions (42) and receiving yards (567) and scored 5 TD. Boss will never be a top fantasy option at TE as he ranked 19th in receptions by a TE, 15th in receiving yards, and 12th in TD. That being said he has some fantasy value as a bye week sub in deeper leagues.
Amidst controversy the Giants defense was very disappointing for the team last season. They were ranked 13th in the league in total yards allowed per game (324/9), and even worst ranked 30th in total points giving up per game (26.7). The usual sack happy Giants d-line was not that with only 32 sacks which was 10 sacks less than 2008 and 21 less than the Super Bowl 2007 team. They should see their fantasy value improve with the offseason priority to improve their pass defense.
New York Giants 2010 Schedule
|1||Sep 12||CAR @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||1:00 PM||FOX|
|2||Sep 19||NYG @ IND||Lucas Oil Stadium||8:20 PM||NBC|
|3||Sep 26||TEN @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||1:00 PM||CBS|
|4||Oct 03||CHI @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||8:20 PM||NBC|
|5||Oct 10||NYG @ HOU||Reliant Stadium||1:00 PM||FOX|
|6||Oct 17||DET @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||1:00 PM||FOX|
|7||Oct 25||NYG @ DAL||Cowboys Stadium||8:30 PM||ESPN|
|9||Nov 07||NYG @ SEA||Qwest Field||4:05 PM||FOX|
|10||Nov 14||DAL @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||4:15 PM||FOX|
|11||Nov 21||NYG @ PHI||Lincoln Financial Field||8:20 PM||NBC|
|12||Nov 28||JAC @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||1:00 PM||CBS|
|13||Dec 05||WAS @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||1:00 PM||FOX|
|14||Dec 12||NYG @ MIN||Mall of America Field||1:00 PM||FOX|
|15||Dec 19||PHI @ NYG||New Meadowlands Stadium||1:00 PM||FOX|
|16||Dec 26||NYG @ GB||Lambeau Field||4:15 PM||FOX|
|17||Jan 02||NYG @ WAS||FedEx Field||1:00 PM||FOX|
In 2009 the New York Giants offensive numbers did not match their 8-8 record which was music to the ears of fantasy owners. They averaged 26.7 points per game good for third in the league. With Kevin Gilbride as the offensive coordinator they have topped over 400 points the last two seasons.
Only three other quarterbacks have thrown for at least 20 touchdown passes in each of the last five seasons, joining Drew Brees and Peyton Manning.
The Giants will try to improve the once dominant run game, and with that improve their red zone efficiency. The Giants only scored a touchdown 48% of the time when inside the 20 and 65% when they had goal to go. Both of those numbers should improve slightly.
The Giants secondary got a major boast this offseason when they made Antrel Rolle the highest paid safety in the league. The 27-year-old has played in 68 regular-season games, 59 as a starter, in five successful years with the Cardinals. He accumulated 12 interceptions and forced four fumbles. Those takeaway stats should help the Giants who had only 24 takeaways last season.
The Giants will have huge spikes to fill at middle linebacker as they released incumbent Antonio Pierce. Pierce five-year totals with the Giants were 537 tackles (322 solo), seven sacks, six forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and four interceptions. That will be a lot for third-year Jonathan Goff, who started the last five games of the season and had 14 tackles (10 solo), sack and interception in those games.
Lastly, for the Giants to be a fantasy option they will need a better pass rush. Like I stated before the sack numbers have declined drastically from their once dominant days, but beyond Michael Strahan moving to the Fox, they main sack masters are still on the team. One of those guys is current backup Osi Umenyiora, who saw his playing time and sack numbers decline from 13 in 2008 to only seven last season. For the Giants to be a relevant in the fantasy world they are going to have to knock the quarterback around like it was 2007.