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Fantasy Football: New York Giants Final Preseason Thoughts

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The Fantasy Coach, Dennis Esser, gives his final preseason thoughts on where to target each of the New York Giants' skill players in Fantasy Football leagues.

Jeff Zelevansky

The Giants finished the preseason 5-0, but the fantasy football world was largely disappointed with what they saw.  The retooled offense has looked more like a work in progress and the the starting wide receivers were largely invisible as the Giants never got their passing game going with the first unit.  To be confident in drafting any New York Giants skill players you have to believe that their talent will come to the forefront and that their relatively weak schedule will benefit them.

Let's start at the quarterback position and be honest with ourselves.  Is Eli Manning the scared in the pocket quarterback we've seen in the preseason or is he going to all of the sudden flip a switch and become the "alligator blood" Super Bowl winning quarterback we loved a few years ago?  My bet is he will end up somewhere in the middle.  The Giants tried to ease his shakiness by rolling the pocket in the first few preseason games, but all that did was show his poor accuracy while on the move.  Now when he breaks the pocket the odds have to be even that he'll either fumble or throw the ball to the other team.  I would rather see Eli stand tall and take some hits, but I don't think he trusts that his receivers will be where they are supposed to be if he lets in go at the proper time.

My projections for Eli are pretty ugly and they make him almost undraftable in any format.

4,100 Yards Passing, 24 Touchdown Passing, 19 Interceptions, 4 Lost Fumbles.

Currently he's going off the board around the 21st Quarterback Overall across all sites and I think that's a little high.  The only format he retains any value is in best ball leagues where you don't have to worry about starting or sitting Eli.

The Giants running back situation is a little more promising because of the struggles that Eli and the receivers have had in the preseason.  Rashad Jennings is the first back I will talk about because he is the first Giants running back going off the board in Fantasy Football Drafts.  Jennings is averaging the 20th running back taken across all the major fantasy football sites and that has him going in the fourth to fifth round of drafts.  The fact that Jennings showed well in the passing game in the first preseason game, really pushed him up PPR Draft boards and solidified him as a possible RB2 in drafts.

For my money, I want Jennings in the fifth round and no higher.  He will lose carries to Andre Williams over the course of the season and he may not factor in the red zone.

My Projections on Rashad Jennings put him in the RB3/Flex Range with some upside.

980 yards rushing, 42 receptions, 380 yards receiving and 7 combined touchdowns.

Andre Williams has been flying up draft boards since the David Wilson retirement.  Williams has done nothing but impress when given the chance in the preseason, but he still doesn't show any potential in the passing game.  There's no guarantee that Williams gets the goal line carries, but if he does, he would hold very nice standard league scoring value when compared to his draft position.  His Average Draft Position in PPR Leagues (45th RB) is a little inflated right now.  If your draft is in the greater New York area the chances you will have to overpay for Williams is raised dramatically.

My Projections for Andre Williams put him in the RB4 range for Standard Scoring Leagues and in the RB5/undrafted range for PPR Leagues.

780 yards rushing, 5 receptions, 25 yards receiving, and 8 combined touchdowns.

Victor Cruz is going to be very up and down this season, but he should still be a good option as a wide receiver two.  Opposing teams are going to try to take him away quickly if Eli starts to hit him early in games.  The lack of a real secondary weapon and a viable tight end threat mean that Cruz will receive all the attention the middle of defenses.  The big key to any upside with Cruz is if Rueben Randle and or Odell Beckham Jr. can take some pressure off of him.  My main problem with drafting Victor Cruz is the price you have to pay to get him.  He's the 15th receiver off the board in most drafts and averages around the 39th pick.  I'm fine with paying the fourth round price tag when he falls that far, but I am likely to pass when he's sitting there in the 3rd round.

My projections for Victor Cruz have him in the solid WR2 range, but leave him well short of pushing WR1 numbers.

84 receptions, 1,170 yards receiving, and 6 receiving TDs.

Rueben Randle is a bit of a conundrum when it comes to fantasy football drafts.  If he had walked into the number two role with the Giants just a few years ago he would be be drafted as a potential WR2 in the mid 20s of wide receivers, but instead he finds himself going off the board in the late 30s to early 40s of wide receivers in the 7th and 8th round of drafts.  Randle's inconsistent 2013 and the Giants passing game struggles in the preseason have him going after a bunch of rookies in drafts.  I have to be honest and say that I've been targeting Kelvin Benjamin over him quite a bit.

My projections for Rueben Randle have him in the WR4 territory, but there is room for upside.

68 receptions, 925 yards receiving, and 8 receiving TDs.

Odell Beckham Jr. is undraftable in fantasy football drafts at this point.  The recurring hamstring issues and the gigantic leap a wide receiver has to make as a rookie have me looking at some retread veterans instead of him.  I would rather take a chance on Kenny Britt or James Jones.  Of course he will still be picked in your home leagues because we're all Giants' fans, but that doesn't make it right.  I would rather let him hit the waiver wire and wait for him to get some nice usage before grabbing him as a potential WR5.

My projections for Odell Beckham Jr. are incomplete at this point.  Just too much uncertainty.

Corey Washington and Jernel Jernigan are both names to have at the ready if Cruz or Randle suffer injuries.  I especially like Washington as a dynasty add or late round pick in full dynasty leagues.

Look away folks, I'm going to talk about the Giants' tight ends.  In all seriousness there isn't a league deep enough for me to look at any current New York Giant tight end.  It's very sad that the situation has come to this, but here we are.  Let's hope some other teams have to make some tough decisions at the position and we can pick up a tight end after final cuts.

My projections at tight end are incomplete.

The New York Giants Defense should be one of your main streaming targets with their schedule.  They shouldn't be drafted, but you should keep an eye on their performance and upcoming schedule so you can grab them in ideal match ups.

Guys and Girls there is no official BBV Leagues this year, but I am renewing the leagues from last year and I am opening them up to whoever wants in. I will provide a prize to the winner of each league and another prize to the overall winner between both leagues this year.  Email me at Coachesser@gmail.com if you want in the league and make sure you are available for a live draft at 7PM on September 2nd.  I hope this date and time works for everyone.

Follow me on Twitter @Coachesser and head over to Coachesser.com for all of your Fantasy Sports needs.  Mock Drafts, Player rankings, and The Fantasy Coach Podcast are all there.