[Note by Ed Valentine, 08/21/13 8:49 PM EDT: Dennis Esser wrote and published this last week. Since it fits this psonsored post perfectly, however, I am re-printing it here. ]
The New York Giants are one of the key teams this year in fantasy football. While some teams are almost entirely ignored during drafts, like our neighbors the New York Jets, the Giants have seven players that will be drafted in almost every 12 team fantasy football league. Here we take a look at all seven and their potential to breakout.
Eli Manning - Eli's fantasy football stock has come down since last year and that's just fine by me. While Eli was unable to match his 2011 numbers in 2012, he may be able to surpass those 2011 numbers this year. Eli will rely on a veteran offensive line to keep him upright as he looks to put up huge numbers. The loss of Ahmad Bradshaw will be tough as he was an excellent pass blocking running back and was proven pass catcher out of the backfield. Andre Brown and David Wilson will vie for their touches in the passing game, but only if they can pick up the blitz when called upon. A healthy Hakeem Nicks, a content Victor Cruz, and an emerging Rueben Randle will have defensive backfields on their heels. Brandon Myers is a steady tight end who is an excellent route runner and has soft hands which will be a nice addition for Manning. With all of these weapons Eli could break his career highs and reach the golden QB territory of 5, 000 yards and 30+ touchdowns. One thing he will not and should not do is run with the ball.
David Wilson - I may sound like I am beating a dead drum, but David Wilson's talent will be hard to ignore. He must prove himself a willing blocker before he gets the keys to the Giants' backfield, but his skills are undeniable. His biggest comparison player in fantasy football has been C. J. Spiller who was a break out star last year after starting the season as the second running back in Buffalo. Talented backs like Spiller and Wilson are hard to keep on the bench especially after they pick up the nuances of the pro game. if Wilson averages 15 touches a game he is an excellent RB2 this season.
Andre Brown - I fully expect Andre Brown to be a big piece of this offense if he stays healthy. Brown totaled 8 rushing touchdowns last year in limited duty and will be the featured goal-line back this season. His ADP is extremely low for his scoring potential and might be one of the best value picks of a fantasy football draft this year. If Brown gets 15+ touches plus goal-line work he will be a low-end RB2 and excellent flex option.
Hakeem Nicks - Hakeem's skills are never in question, it's just his health. With Nicks being extra careful this offseason and not pushing through little injuries here and there, he will be entering the season the healthiest he has been in at least two years. With the extra motivation of a big free agent pay day hanging over his head he could outperform his current ADP by leaps and bounds. He had been drafted as the 5th WR off the boars in previous drafts and now he is being drafted somewhere around the 16th wide receiver off the board. He can easily be a top 8 wide receiver if he stays healthy. 70-85 receptions,1200-1350 Yards, 8-12 TDs should be easily attainable if he is healthy.
Victor Cruz - Victor Cruz could have had a lost season if the Giants didn't step up to the plate and sign their star receiver from Patterson New Jersey. With Cruz reporting to training camp with a fat new contract in hand he will be eager to live up the money. Sometimes that pressure can be tough to overcome, but Cruz has faced tougher challenges in life and come out on top. I expect Cruz to continue his dominance as one of the best inside wide receivers in the game as he has already shaken off the rust and linked up with Eli Manning in the preseason for a 57 yard touchdown against the Steelers. 80-90 receptions, 1100-1300 yards and 9-11 touchdowns would be an excellent season for this Giants' star.
Rueben Randle - I have already posted today about Randle's break out potential, but it's worth noting that Kevin Gilbride has been personally singled out Randle time and time again during training camp and OTA's as being one of the best Giants on the practice field. His time may not be this year as he could be Nicks eventual replacement, but in deeper leagues Randle could be a great lottery ticket. If there is an injury to a starting wide receiver there may be no more talented receiver, who's currently not a starter, to step up and take his place. I expect Randle to have 40-50 receptions for 800-900 yards and 6-8 touchdowns.
Brandon Myers - While in most 10 team leagues Myers may be overlooked on draft day he is being drafted on most sites as the 13th tight end going off the board. Myers production will pale in comparison to his 2012 season in Oakland where he was the only option in the passing game, but he will be a nice piece to the Giants passing game puzzle. His route running savvy and soft hands will make an excellent fourth option in the Giants passing attack. I expect Myers to have 45-60 receptions, 500-650 yards, and 6-10 touchdowns. Not bad numbers for your back up tight end.