Overall outlook: This once-potent offense had a bad season in 2012. Injuries in the backfield (Ahmad Bradshaw) and at wide receiver (Hakeem Nicks) limited Big Blue’s fantasy production, as only WR Victor Cruz was a fantasy standout.
Last season, the Giants finished 12th in passing yards (3,825), 21st in attempts (539) and T-11th in passing touchdowns (26). Their running game was also middle-of-the-road, as they were 23rd in rushing attempts (409), 14th in rushing yards (1,862) and fifth in rushing touchdowns (18). They threw plenty to their wideouts and tight ends, but none of the Giants’ backs ranked among the top 30 in receptions.
Bye week: 9
Quarterback: Eli Manning
After a huge 2011, Manning’s 2012 was a letdown. He ranked 14th in FOXSports.com standard fantasy points (284.9), was 12th in passing yards (3,948) and T-9 in TD passes (26) … In the new world of fleet-footed QBs, running game (20 carries, 30 yards) is non-existent … There’s not much new here, as his coaches remain the same, and the supporting cast hasn’t changed much … After a higher-than-usual draft ranking last season, Manning again seems like a low-end QB1.
Running back: David Wilson
Wilson entered 2012 with a lot of promise as the team’s first-round draft pick. Then he fumbled early in the opening game and landed in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse … Finally emerged as a viable running option late in the season, carrying 43 times for 247 yards and three touchdowns in the final four games … Caught just four passes all season, and seems to be limited as a receiver … Explosive gamebreaker, and only has to share carries with Andre Brown, as Bradshaw is no longer in the picture … Not a great pass blocker, but neither is Brown … Appears locked in as a fantasy RB2, and probably has more upside than downside … Could provide a bonus in leagues that award more points for long TDs.
Running back: Andre Brown
Brown had a good stretch as the Giants’ short-yardage back last season, scoring in five straight games (eight TDs overall) before breaking his leg on November 25 against the Packers … Will share carries with Wilson this season, and once again figures to be a goal-line threat … Want a weird, hopeful stat from 2012? Brown caught five passes in Week 10 against the Bengals. Hmm … As an RB3 in your draft, could provide nice value as long as the Giants don’t try to make Wilson a workhorse.
Wide receiver: Hakeem Nicks
Nicks (knee, foot) had trouble staying healthy, and was a huge disappointment in 2012, with 53 receptions, 692 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games … Claims that he skipped OTAs to avoid injury … In the two previous seasons, caught 155 passes for 2,244 yards and 18 touchdowns … Still only 25, could re-emerge as a borderline WR1 if he can stay healthy, but that’s a big issue for a guy who has never played a 16-game season … If you’re pessimistic about Nicks’ health, you should worry about Manning’s production as well.
Wide receiver: Victor Cruz
Giants’ lone fantasy bright spot in 2012, finishing 10th in receptions (86), 15th in receiving yards (1,092), T-6 in touchdowns (10) and 13th in fantasy points (169.2) … Big dropoff from 2011 (82-1,536-9), as his yards-per-catch declined from 18.7 to 12.7 … After holdout worries, signed a long-term contract in July … Expect more of the same from Cruz, who’s on the WR1/WR2 fringe.
Wide receiver: Rueben Randle
Caught 32 passes for 298 yards and three scores as a rookie; 8-101-2 over the season’s final two games hinted at things to come … Many people around the Giants seem to think Randle will take a big step forward this season … Nice sleeper value as a WR5, which is where early drafts have had him pegged.
Tight end: Brandon Myers
Finished 10th with 104.6 fantasy points in 2012, but was much stronger in PPR formats, placing fourth in receptions (79) and sixth in yardage (806) … Had four double-digit reception games as Carson Palmer’s security blanket in Oakland, but moves to a Giants’ team with many more receiving options … Manning hasn’t targeted his tight ends too much over the years, but he did look Martellus Bennett’s way 90 times (12th-most in the league) in 2012 … Myers looks to be a TE1/TE2 tweener in 12-team leagues.
Placekicker: Josh Brown
Brown made 11 of 12 field goals in four games with the Bengals last season … Walks into a kicker-friendly situation, as Lawrence Tynes ranked second in field-goal attempts (39) and sixth in extra-point attempts (46) in 2012 … Should be a top-12 kicker on draft day.
Team defense: Ranked 12th with 124 fantasy points in 2012, but was much better in fantasy than reality … Ranked T-3 in interceptions (21), T-4 in fumble recoveries (14) and 22nd in sacks (34), but an atrocious 31st in yards allowed (6,134) … Could be on the decline, and look very iffy as a top-12 fantasy defense.