QB Eli Manning (NY Giants)
Eli threw for 4933 yards in 2011, but other than that has never gone over 4021. He proved that 2011 was a fluke by throwing for just 3948 yards in 2012. It’s not that he’s a bad quarterback, but the Giants prefer a balanced attack. I do expect him to go over those 4021 yards this season because he’s got a loaded receiving corps with Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Brandon Myers, and Reuben Randle.
Projection: 4200 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, 15 interceptions, 50 rushing yards, 0 rushing touchdowns (263 pts standard, 323 pts 6 pt td leagues)
RB David Wilson (NY Giants)
8/29/13: I was already considering moving Wilson up because he was taking some of the goal line carries away from Andre Brown and because he was having an amazing pre-season, averaging 7.5 yards per carry. However, Andre Brown is out indefinitely with a fractured ankle and might miss the entire season. It’s the same leg he fractured last season. He’s not draftable any more, while Wilson has minimal competition for carries and is as close to being a true feature back as you can be. There’s RB1 upside here. The Giants have averaged 16.6 rushing touchdowns per season since 2004. The last time a Giants’ starting running back was also the goal line back, he scored 15 times, Tiki Barber in 2004, before Brandon Jacobs and Andre Brown. Brandon Jacobs scored 15 times in 2008 despite splitting carries. Tom Coughlin runs on the goal line.
Wilson showed a lot of explosiveness as a rookie, especially on special teams, but he only got 71 carries. That should be closer to 200 this season. However, Andre Brown will continue to steal carries from him, especially around the goal line. The coaching staff doesn’t 100% trust Wilson get and Brown is the better short yardage and passing down back.
Projection: 280 carries for 1260 rushing yards 12 total touchdowns 28 catches for 200 rushing yards (218 pts standard, 246 pts PPR)
WR Victor Cruz (NY Giants)
Cruz didn’t match the 82 catches for 1536 yards and 9 touchdowns he had in 2011, but it would have been unreasonable to expect him to do that. He still caught 86 passes for 1092 yards and 10 touchdowns and he could do even better than that this season. His one issue last season was his 12 drops.
Projection: 84 catches for 1170 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (171 pts standard, 255 pts PPR)
WR Hakeem Nicks (NY Giants)
Nicks essentially missed 4 games last season and was limited in others, catching just 53 passes for a career low 692 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, remember, he averaged 78 catches for 1122 yards and 9 touchdowns per season in 2010 and 2011 despite missing 4 combined games in those 2 seasons. He’s never played a full 16 game set and I wouldn’t expect that to change this season, but I like his chances to get back over 1000 yards and give the Giants two 1000 yard receivers.
Projection: 71 catches for 1020 receiving yards 8 touchdowns (150 pts standard, 221 pts PPR)
TE Brandon Myers (NY Giants)
Giants tight ends always seem to be productive in the passing game, regardless of who they are. Tight ends coach Mike Pope is a big part of the reason for this, as is the offensive system and Eli Manning’s tendency to throw to the tight end. Myers caught 79 passes for 804 yards and 4 touchdowns on just 101 targets last season with Carson Palmer throwing him the ball. He could match that, or even exceed that.
Projection: 74 catches for 790 receiving yards 5 touchdowns (109 pts standard, 183 pts PPR)