As part of the premium content package, we’re unveiling dynasty capsules for every team in the NFL all Spring and Summer. This year, we also have a precursor to every team capsule, with more detail on one of our favorite pieces – the dynasty sleeper. We continue our alphabetical journey through the NFL with the New York Giants.
Manning finally has it all together and is at that part of an elite (yes, I said it) quarterback’s career where the mental understanding of the game meets the peak or near-peak physical abilities. We all know about the 25 interceptions in 2010, but other than that statistical anomaly, he has averaged 4,319 yards, and 29 touchdowns while completing 62% of his passes over the last three years. His INTs should continue to hover around the mid-teens. (14 in 2009 and 16 in 2011). Those last three years he was the QB10, QB10 (even with the 25 INTs) and the QB6.
In addition, last year it really seemed that with the emergence of Victor Cruz and transition of the Giants’ traditionally excellent run blocking line to a more effective pass blocking line, the Giants have succummed to the transition of the NFL to a passing league. Manning’s 588 passing attempts was his highest total in his eight year career. I look for him to maintain value in the middle of the QB1 rankings (somewhere between six and nine) for the next several years. His early fifth startup ADP is probably too high to pair him with Andrew Luck or RGIII, but he would make a very good QB1 to pair with someone like Jake Locker (ADP in the early tenth). If you decide to not take a top quarterback early, Manning may be the best of the next tier and, having never missed a game due to injury, does not have the durability concerns of a Tony Romo or Michael Vick.
David Carr is Eli Manning’s backup – that’s the best thing I can think of to say about the former 1st overall pick. If Eli did go down, you would have to look elsewhere in all but the deepest of leagues.
Perrilloux is an undrafted quarterback who has bounced around after being dismissed from LSU and may have set a record for being waived and re-signed to the practice squad. He has good arm strength and mobility, and might be someone to keep an eye on if he ever ascended to a QB2 role, but is more likely a less-polished Troy Smith.
Let’s be clear about something – Bradshaw is a talented running back who is capable of repeating his 2010 season when he finished as the PPR RB10 despite Brandon Jacobs’ 147 carries (276 carries for 1235 yards (4.5 ypc), 58 targets, 47 receptions for 314 yards and eight TDs). Despite an injury-shortened 2011 season, he scored 11 total touchdowns in just 12 games. Bradshaw says his feet feel as fine as they ever have and may be motivated by the Giants’ selection of David Wilson at the end of the first round.
Bradshaw is only 26 and if he can stay healthy, he offers good upside for the next two to three years, even in a timeshare with Wilson. His ADP, according to the ProFootballFocus DynastyADP, is RB18 at the end of the fourth, which is coincidentally both where I have him ranked and his consensus DLF ranking. Thus, Bradshaw is one of those rare players that seems to be neither undervalued nor overvalued right now. I’d be comfortable with him as my RB2 because of his RB1 upside, but I would want some sort of injury-related backup plan in place.
Wilson is a hot commodity right now. If I was drafting in the middle of a rookie draft right now, I would probably take him just after Kendall Wright for the trade value alone. Wilson’s main weakness, a tendency to break runs to the outside, is something that can be coached up, but combined with the Giants’ weak run-blocking line, makes him someone that I believe is being overdrafted right now where his playing time for the foreseeable future is tied to a Bradshaw injury. Note that this is a much different situation than Ronnie Hillman who is playing behind a much older runner in Willis McGahee.
If I’m looking at this year, I wouldn’t expect more than 125 to 150 carries for Wilson. While word out of OTAs was strong, Wilson still needs to work on his pass-protection to earn playing time. Everyone knows that Manning is the gas that makes the Giants offense run at this point, and protecting him is priority one.
Ware is a pedestrian back who will likely open the season as third or fourth on the Giants’ depth chart. Even if Bradshaw got hurt and Wilson wasn’t ready for a full-time role, I wouldn’t expect Ware to carry flex value. Leave him on the waiver wire.
Scott was one of my favorite pre-draft stashes – before the Giants drafted Wilson in the first round, of course. Famous for his 4.34 40 time at the combine, his 97 yard TD run in the 2011 preseason against the Bears and his 67 yard fake punt touchdown in the preseason against the Patriots, I thought this blazer had a chance to make waves with a full preseason under his belt. Now, it seems unlikely that he would ascend to higher than RB3 on the depth chart, but is someone to keep an eye on if Bradshaw or Wilson went down and he was able to garner some playing time.
The Giants were high enough on Brown to select him in the fourth round of the 2009 NFL draft, but he tore his achilles and was subsequently waived. He’s back for a second stint with the Giants. He’s only worth monitoring if he is able to grab the RB3 spot.
Despite only playing 13 games in 2010, Nicks was the PPR WR8. This comes after Nicks was the PPR WR12 in 2011 in just 15 games. He is an excellent route runner and has that “my ball,” attack mentality needed for a true top receiver. Although he does carry the injury risk, including the broken bone in his foot that kept him out of OTAs and early training camp, Nicks appears to be on target for a mid-August return. He should have no trouble getting into shape and back into a rhythm with Eli Manning. The Giants’ conversion to a downfield, passing offense and the presence of Victor Cruz should help Nicks, who should continue to see 150+ targets and consistently has a chance for touchdowns in the 7-11 range. He is still my dynasty WR2.
Cruz has apparently continued on where he left off last year. Early reports out of training camp are that Cruz has been routinely making spectacular catches, while putting in extra effort on refining his game. Its a scary thought that a guy who only had four total targets in the first two weeks of the season and still finished as the PPR WR3 could get better. Cruz is in ideal situation with Nicks opposite him leaving defensive coordinators stymied as to who to double team. Even without Nicks’ presence, Cruz was able to deliver a good game (six receptions on 11 targets for 91 yards Week nine against New England).
Conventional wisdom is to sell high on Cruz now. While his startup ADP of WR9 and early thirrd round slot may be too high for my ranking (WR19), Cruz is a talented young receiver on a passing offense with an elite quarterback. Keep that in mind when weighing offers him.
Hixon has a shot to start the season as the Giants WR3. Check out my sleeper article on him here.
Randle is a big target at 6’3” and 210 pounds. My personal belief is that Randle is very raw and could use a season to develop his route running and build rapport with Eli Manning. While his stats last year at LSU were underwhelming, the notion that Randle was dealing with sub-par quarterback play is spot on. If he develops, the Giants offense of the future with Nicks and Randle on the outside and Cruz manning the slot would be as imposing a trio as the NFL has seen in awhile. The issue that Randle has (and this will also impact Nicks and Cruz to some degree) is the availability of targets. That being said, I expect Randle’s 2012 impact to be negligible and he is a high upside talent if he develops. He’s worthy of a late first/early second round pick in rookie drafts.
Jernigan has an outside shot at earning the WR3 role, but he is going to have to overcome the numerous concentration lapses that kept him off of the field last year. He has the physical tools to develop into a slot receiver that made him worth of a third round pick last year. He’s most likely available on waivers in most leagues and is someone to watch as training camp moves forward.
The 6’6” Barden is most likely on his last legs with the Giants. Also a third round pick (in 2009), the Division III star has never figured out how to use his size to gain separation from NFL-caliber defenders. An unrestricted free agent in 2013, don’t be surprised to see him fighting for a roster spot in someone else’s camp next year.
He’s an UDFA from SE Lousiana, measures in at 5’11”, 180 pounds and is likely headed to the practice squad.
Isaiah Stanbeck, Jullian Talley, Dan DePalma
All longshots to make the team.
Bennett signed a one-year “prove it” deal with the Giants, then proceeded to balloon up to 291 pounds. Apparently now back down into the 260s, Bennett is 6’6” and is athletic enough to create matchup problems. His focus has always been the real question mark, and the Giants have not really used the tight end position as an offensive focal point since the heyday of Jeremy Shockey. He’s someone to monitor in a shallower league and worth a prospective add in deeper leagues. If the light bulb clicks on for him, he could ascend to high end TE2 territory.
This 6’5”, 259 pound and raw fourth round pick ran a 4.51 40 time and was famously called the “JPP of tight ends” by Giants’ GM Jerry Reese. He’s a project, but the Giants have pressed rookie tight ends into action to decent results when needed (see Ballard, Jake). He is definitely someone to monitor in deeper leagues where you might stash a developmental tight end.
Beckum is still recovering after tearing his ACL last year. More of a H-back move type of TE, Beckum has apparently added some bulk while rehabbing his knee. If he comes back and is activated for the regular season, he’s somebody to keep an eye on, but just barely.
No real dynasty value for Pascoe who is much less physical than the name “Bear” suggests. His best attribute is conjuring memories of Flipper Anderson not being on the Dolphins.
Ryan Purvis, Christian Hopkins, Larry Donnell
Likely the last time you read those three names before cut lists start getting published.
We’ll continue our team-by-team breakdowns with the New York Jets up next.