Alright, so first off I want to make note that even though I call it an Eli Manning love story, I really mean I love to have his babies wide receivers on my team.  For his career, he’s averaged 1.5 TDs per game while averaging 1.1 TO along with them.  I’m not saying he’s bad and surely his 2010 25 INT season won’t soon be repeated but I can never justify that line with where he goes in drafts.  But of course, as I said this article isn’t about him it’s about the people he throws the ball to.  If you can catch it, he will find you and he will throw it to you deep and at a pretty darn good pace.  Last year, Eli had a deep pass percentage – the percentage of pass attempts thrown that were beyond 15 yards – of 28.1, good enough for 3rd most deep pass plays in the league for 2011.  Though that percentage was a career high, he has consistently been over 20% since 2007.  Since that season, plenty of WRs have come and gone from the Giants and many of them had some great seasons while playing with the deep slinging Eli.  For many, Victor Cruz came out of nowhere last year and for that reason we need to start viewing NYG receivers through the eyes of how good the quarterback is and not necessarily the WR themselves.  With Hakeem Nicks currently shelved up until the end of training camp, let’s examine the New York Giants depth chart courtesy of Gridiron Experts and see the players who might be filling in for him.

Everywhere we look, it seems that Rueben Randle will be the man of the hour in New York with Nicks sidelined.  Though I can’t argue with that sentiment, I still wonder about the slow-footed yet physically intimidating Ramses Barden.  At 6′ 6″ and 224, Barden has the body to imitate what Plaxico Burress used to be for Eli, a large target whom he can chuck it high to with wild abandon.  Looking back at Plaxico’s numbers in New York, he averaged 4.2 rec, 64.5 yards and 0.57 touchdowns for an average 16 game season line of about 67 rec, 1032 yards and about 9 touchdowns.  If Ramses can nail down the #2 role behind Cruz, he might be able to match that per game average if he can develop a good bond with his quarterback.  I’m going to briefly mention Domenik Hixon and then run away like I never did because I don’t think he gets a crack at it.  However, he needs to be at least mentioned when talking about the Giants for now.  Don’t get me wrong, this post is not touting Barden as a sleeper.  However, it’s simply stating a fact: whoever the #2 wide receiver in New York is I’m going to be interested and I strongly suggest you follow suit in observing throughout camp, at least until we know just how healthy Nicks is and if you’re drafting Nicks, make sure you know who his replacement is in case he takes a PUP on ya.

  1. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    thanks for the insight man. i like you’re love for randle which stems this question.

    Oh yeah, and thanks for the help last night… things didn’t turn out the way i had planned though.

    I ended up taking Donald Brown with my 1st round pick and Jermaine Gresham with my 2nd pick. My team is rounding out as follows:

    RB: DMC, Beanie, Starks, Brown
    WR: Fitz, Smith, Crabtree, Titus

    My question is, i have a choice between Willis Mcgahee or Rueben Randle. As you can see, my RB’s are pretty weak. Am i better off going with McGahee (although he is ancient), or do i take the shot with Rueben even though i already have young upside guys in Titus and Crabtree?

  2. The Talented Mr. Dope Man says:
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    sorry mate, mcgahee is gone. i think randle is my guy.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Sorry for the late response but I think overall, you made the right decision anyways. Though your RBs are thin, I don’t think McGehee fixes that for you.

  3. David_KOA says:
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    Sky,
    Just like Fred Jackson, I was much more a Eli fan, when he only cost me a 8th round pick or later. In 2012, he is costing fantasy owners a mid 6th round pick or earlier.

    As a fantasy owner, you have to get excited, when you see the likes of Philip Rivers & Matt Ryan both coming off the board in the 7th round.

    I still don’t like drafting a QB even that early. I will take Big Ben and his price tag of the 9th round or later! He has Eli(pre 2012) draft value written all over him for this year.

    Being that I want to go as cheap as, when it comes to my QB slot. I could see a QBBC with Jay Cutler & Carson Palmer. I could hit gold with Cutler back with Marshall & Jim Bates. Yes, these two could just be a train wreck.

    You walk a fine line when you wait this late for your QB’s(Cutler & Palmer). This also gives me the ability to make a move(if needed) for another QB. With the depth, I have aquired at my other positions.

    • Sky

      Sky says:
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      Yeah, given his numbers last year I don’t understand Eli’s pricing for 2012.

      Big Ben is definitely a stretch for me. Matt Ryan is my guy this year. I know you say 7th round but Matt Ryan is going in the 11th in yahoo drafts right now and is being ranked in most places as between the 10th and 14th QB off the board.

      Freeman is a boom or bust I’d like this year, overall. I wouldn’t stretch and call him a sleeper but I think there’s good bench QB value there this year. If I had my wants filled, those would be my two.

      • David_KOA says:
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        @Sky,
        Wow! at Matt Ryan not coming off the board till 11th round.

        I’m going to assume all these drafters are going off of Yahoos player rankings. I just don’t see how Yahoo can justify giving Matt Ryan that low of a ranking? I know anybody can put out ranking on the world wide web. Just go and look at ESPN player rankings. Lol

        If I find myself drafting in a yahoo league in 2012. I am coming away with Matt Ryan as my QB. No way is he falling anywhere close to the 11th round.

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          Even ESPN is discounting Matt Ryan in their 2012 rankings from what I’m seeing. He’s QB11 and ranked 85th by Christopher Harris. Matthew Berry left him entirely out of his top 100 back in early February. This is all funny to me because everyone is ranking his receivers so high and yet they don’t expect a bigger year from the guy getting them the ball.

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