Countdown to kickoff: An inside look at the New York Giants

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Don Banks' 2015 NFL Draft Preview: New York Giants

The NFL is back on FanDuel! Enter the $1 Million NFL Rush for Week 1. Just $5 to enter, and first place will walk home with $100,000. Submit a lineup now, and change it anytime up until 9/13.


The 2014 New York Giants gave us something to remember and take with us: Odell Beckham Jr. and huge expectations.

The latter tends to create budget-busting disappointment—something that could be very real with ODB, but not so much with the rest of the Giants.

Beckham certainly smashed all reasonable expectations after recovering from early-season hamstring woes, rising to the sixth-most expensive player overall in FanDuel games for Week 17 ($9,200), and Le'Veon Bell ($9,400) was the only non-quarterback to hit us in the wallet harder.

Now we are left with a one-handed catching freak who hits the whip and struggles to produce up to his premium—no matter how much you salivate over the possibilities—especially if we are expecting him to average the seven catches for 110 yards and a touchdown he posted in his 12 games a year ago.

You have to remember Beckham's production exploded because Victor Cruz (knee) went down. A healthy Cruz is going to cut into Beckham's FanDuel value, whether you realize it or not.

Beckham, though, proved to be a phenomenon that makes everyone around him better, even Eli Manning, who enjoyed one of his most productive seasons of his career at age 33. So, as daily players line up for Beckham's production—while defensive coordinators scheme to take the dynamo out of the game—we should expect there to be value with the New York Giants in daily in the $1 Million NFL Rush in Week 1...somewhere.

Depth Chart

Quarterback - Eli Manning; Ryan Nassib

Manning is a volatile player who can be a great daily pick, because he can post a huge game at something less than a premium price. No one would call Eli elite—or price him that way—but there were some productive weeks thanks to Beckham's rookie brilliance, offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo's high-percentage passing offense and a generally inept running game marred by injuries.

Thankfully, the injury bug does not bite Manning. You know he's going to get all the snaps for you. He is the active leader—third all-time—with 178 consecutive starts at quarterback. While he is inconsistent in his production, those bad games just drag down his price for us.

Running Back - Rashad Jennings (starter and early downs); Shane Vereen (third-down and change-of-pace back); Andre Williams (potential TD vulture)

Much of the value in Jennings' price was based on the fact he was going to be the do-it-all back in McAdoo's offense. So much for that. He proved incapable of being a 16-week starter last season and, while he did have some value as a receiving back, those third-down snaps and targets are going to free-agent signee Vereen. Jennings is going to have some productive weeks, but the Giants upgraded their run game with quantity (adding Vereen), not quality in an ace back.

Vereen is the pass-catcher ideally suited for McAdoo's high-percentage offense, but FanDuel is a 1/2-point per reception scoring system. It mitigates Vereen's value some here, especially because Vereen won't be getting starts, early downs or the goal-line work he saw at times in New England. Vereen will have value as a daily sleeper once Jennings goes down, since the snaps and targets will be great at his reduced price.

Williams, a rookie in 2014, finished as the Giants top-priced back, but he figures to be relegated to a reserve role, maybe slotting as the Giants' goal-line back (at best). Williams caught passes last season because McAdoo's offense asks that of the backs, but it is not his forte. Williams needs injuries and game plan in his favor to produce up to his daily price.

Wide Receiver - Odell Beckham Jr. (go-to man); Victor Cruz (slot possession/target receiver);Rueben Randle (field-stretcher/red-zone target); Dwayne Harris (special teamer); Corey Washington; Preston Parker (special teamer)

Success is the culmination of preparation and opportunity. If Cruz (torn patella tendon) is ready for the start of the season as he hopes to be, this is where the biggest daily opportunity comes to us. Beckham is going to get all the attention downfield, while Cruz is going to get targets out of the slot in McAdoo's West Coast offense.

You will have to track Cruz's health closely leading up to Week 1. Beckham is going to make the big plays, but only if get can get free from all the attention he has drawn to himself. Beckham's huge weeks came when Cruz was out. Beckham was all Manning and the Giants offense had going for them. This year we should figure the targets to be split 50-50 between the two. Randle will be left with scraps.

Tight End - Larry Donnell; Adrien Robinson; Daniel Fells

Donnell enjoyed a breakthrough last season and emerged as one of the sneaky daily plays. As long as Beckham and Cruz stay healthy—no small feat for two injury-risk stars—Donnell's best FanDuel value will come in random big performances, like the three-TD, Week 4 effort last year. In the weeks Beckham and/or Cruz are banged up (expect it), Donnell will be a bargain.

Kicker - Josh Brown

Rookies to Watch

OT Ereck Flowers (Round 1)—The loss of Will Beatty (shoulder) for at least half the season forces Flowers to start at tackle right away, perhaps even protecting Manning's blind side. You cannot love Beckham as your FanDuel lineup linchpin if Manning has a rookie left tackle. Flowers looks like he could be a run-game mauler, which could have bolstered the above backs for daily, but that would have been more if Justin Pugh was slotted at guard and Flowers as the right tackle. Beatty's offseason surgery puts a damper on that until at least midseason.

SS Landon Collins (Round 2)—The Giants defense has some holes, so it doesn't figure to be a frequent FanDuel buy. A strong first season by Collins can help change that, though.

Contract Year

Manning—He will be playing to earn perhaps the last contract of his career. The system is favorable and the weapons are in place, barring the continued offensive line issues/health. Manning has some huge—and potentially surprising relative to price—performances coming our way in daily.

What Has Changed?

Cruz's comeback—Not only is Beckham going to be schemed against better, but Cruz is going to be in the mix for targets. The Giants might be more daily potent overall, but Beckham is going to be leaned on less, potentially.

Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnolo—The Super Bowl-winning coordinator is back, replacing the ineffective Perry Fewell. Spags loves to pressure the quarterback, so there should be sacks, turnovers and big plays to be had this season. The Giants might prove to be a sneaky FanDuel bargain as the season unfolds, particularly since it hasn't been a productive defensive unit for daily under Fewell.

Early Schedule

The Giants start with the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins the first three weeks. All three matchups figure to be favorable for daily production, assuming it isn't baked into their prices. Look for some early opportunities with the Giants offense and less for the defense. The first two games in particular should be wide-open shootouts.

Position Battles That Impact Value

Running back—How the Giants divvy up touches will affect the value here. It looks like it will be a three-headed monster, though, which would render all of them marginal FanDuel plays at best.

The NFL is back on FanDuel! Enter the $1 Million NFL Rush for Week 1. Just $5 to enter, and first place will walk home with $100,000. Submit a lineup now, and change it anytime up until 9/13.

Read Full Story

People are Reading