Since the NFC East is the division that is nearest and dearest to us, we have invited bloggers to guest post a season preview about their favorite in the NFC East to precede our Fantasy Football analysis. Introducing:
2011 New York Giants Outlook (by The Sportz Guru at www.sportstories23.wordpress.com)
Let’s first talk about the 2011 NFL Draft. The Giants selected Prince Amukamara (CB) with the 19th overall pick. Many feel that the selection of Amukamara addresses a big problem the Giants last year: defense. They were a little weak at the CB position, so I think Amukamara can help them in that regard. He’s a very quick CB who can definitely pick-off a few balls, possibly in his rookie year. In his junior year at Nebraska, Amukamara totaled 60 tackles.
After the selection of Amukamara, the Giants selected Marvin Austin (DT) with the 52nd pick (2nd round). This was a great pick because the Giants D-line was kinda beat up last year. This addresses that problem accordingly. The last pick of great significance was the selection of Greg Jones in the 6th round. Greg was projected to go much earlier; in the 3rd round. The Giants definitely got a steal by selecting him 3 rounds earlier then projected. Also, he possesses incredible speed and tackling prowess for a linebacker. Most believe he has the potential to become a stud in the NFL, provided he works his butt off day in and day out. Overall, the Giants had one of the best drafts in the league. They properly prepared for this, and their work certainly showed. If I were an ESPN analyst, I’d give the Giants an A- for this draft.
I think the Giants used the draft to address their major problems from last season. After all, that is the purpose of the draft right? I have a very positive outlook on the Giants in 2011 (provided there is an NFL season). I feel that they’ll win at least 10 games, which may not seem like a lot, but after a few years their rookies will be able to wreak havoc on the league. Just give it time and they’ll win lots of games.
Eli Manning is a player in which many fantasy football owners (and Giants Fans) have mixed emotions about. Last year Eli ended the season with 4002 passing yards (5th in the league) and 31 TDs (again 5th in the league). So why the mixed emotions? Should be a no brainer right? I’ll tell you why: the 25 INTs ( a league HIGH by the way) and the 7 Forced Fumbles. Decision Making is the name of the Game when it comes to Eli Manning. With the numbers Eli puts up in a season, he’s still a go to Fantasy QB. Just know that his decision-making may cost you a few penalty points some weeks. He won’t led the league in interceptions again this season.
Eli has some very good weapons on the WR front. Hakeem Nicks has established himself as the go -to receiver for the Gmen. He led the team with 1052 receiving yards and hauled in 79 receptions and 11 TDs in 13 games. Nicks does have a durability problem: He has not played a full season since he was drafted in 2009. Nicks is still a stud receiver that you can count on, when he’s healthy. Draft him with known hesitation but make sure you have a good plug in if he goes down. The other receivers, you can count are Mario Manningham and Steve Smith. Manningham is that one player that you forget about. He starts to make noise and you’re like “Oh Yeah, I need to pick him up before somebody else gets him.” Last season he caught 944 receiving yards and 9 TDs. He was also a nice fill in when Nicks went out. This guy has to be drafted in Fantasy. Smith is a receiver that can move the chains as well. But like Nicks, he also stays nicked up. He only played 9 games last season. He will be a good free agent for the latter part of the Fantasy season. TE Kevin Boss is a sleeper Fantasy player. He has yet to break into that Top tier of Fantasy TEs but he has potential. He had 500 plus receiving yards and 5 TDs last season. He is a draft worthy player but definitely in the later rounds.
The Giants still have an aggressive defense. Last season they led the league in tackles ( 886 solo and 737 assisted). Terrell Thomas has 101 (solo and assisted). We are used to seeing huge stats in sacks, but last year the GMEN did not disappoint. Last season they had 46 sacks lead by the usual suspects: Justin Tuck with 11.5 and Osi Umenyiora with 11.5. Who can forget the havoc they wreaked on the Bears (I know Jay Cutler remembers) when they got 10 sacks (9 in the 1st half). They were also 2nd in the league in recovered fumbles with 17. Sadly, all of this defense only resulted in 1 TD. Not such hot news for Fantasy owners. But the opportunities this defense creates to score makes them exciting to watch live and on Stattracker.
Last year, the RBs were in a game of musical chairs. We saw Brandon Jacobs lose his job, lose his cool, and get his job back, at least for a little while. Ahmad Bradshaw became the starter, then started fumbling, which put him in Tom Coughlin’s doghouse. Despite the up and downs of being in the backfield, the Giant RBs had very good seasons. Bradshaw lead the team in rushing with 1235 yards and had 8 TDs. He did have BIG PROBLEMS holding on to the ball, fumbling 7 times and losing 6. This can KILL a Fantasy team. We’ve all been there! Jacobs had a decent year, rushing for 823 yards and 9 TDs. He did do a better job protecting the ball, but he did cough it up twice. This year look for Bradshaw to be the main man, which he should be, despite his slippery fingers. He is the more elusive of the two backs and gives them another dynamic in the passing game. He is an every week starter. Lets hope he gets his fumbling problem corrected. Remember Bradshaw:HIGH and TIGHT! Jacobs can still make some noise on the field(and off it too apparently). He doesn’t run with the same power like before, but he can still run over people (Laron Landry still sees Jacobs in his dreams). Look at the matchups before you start him, but Jacobs is definitely worth drafting.