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Eli Manning had perhaps his finest professional season last year when he threw for 4436 passing yards with 35 touchdowns against only 14 interceptions. Manning is only 6 passing touchdowns away from 300 in his fine NFL career. He has been a top-ten fantasy quarterback in each of the past two seasons and four of the past six. He really seems comfortable in how he seems the game right now and has a beast of a receiver in Odell Beckham Jr. to get the ball to. Expect more of the same in 2016.
This fourth-round pick from Syracuse has completed 9 of his first 10 NFL passes over his two seasons. Obviously a ridiculously small sample size but still a nice start while learning from a talented veteran like Manning.
The good news is Rashad Jennings had his best pro season for the Giants last year. The bad news is that means he rushed for 863 yards and a 4.4 yards per carry average with 4 total touchdowns. The 31-year old veteran running back has great size at 6'1 and 230 pounds and he can really wear down a defense with his powerful style. He doesn't have tons of wear and tear on his frame (only 749 career carries) but he is an average talent at best in the twilight of his career so he could fade at any point.
27-year old Shane Vereen has really carved out a perfect role for himself with the Giants. He is a 3rd Down / Passing specialist and he has developed a wonderful rapport with Eli Manning. He only had 61 carries for 260 yards and no scores but caught 59 passes for 495 yards and caught 4 touchdown passes. He is a receiving specialist within this offense and he should post similar numbers once again thi season. He has a powerful frame and likely could surprise with a great role if given the opportunity.
Williams is very similar to Jennings in size at 5'11 and 230 pounds and he is a powerful rusher. However he also has limited wiggle and he finished with a plodding 3.3 yards per carry in his first year and even worse, a 2.9 yards per carry last year. His carries fell off the map last season but he is worth keeping an eye on as he is similar enough to Jennings where he could have some minor success if he gets a chance.
The Giants drafted Paul Perkins in the fifth round and with a good training camp, he has a chance to move way up in this depth chart, perhaps to the top spot. He is not a power guy and may not have the durability of a full time running back but his vision and excellent cutting ability is second to none and he has a real chance to climb this depth chart in a hurry.
5'11, 210 pound Orleans Darkwa had some decent success in limited work last season rushing for 153 yards on 36 carries and scored a touchdown.
Odell Beckham Jr.,
After such an amazing rookie campaign, expectations were on fire for the acrobatic, talented Odell Beckham Jr. heading into 2015. Surely he could not exceed the huge numbers he put up as a rookie when he caught 91 passes for 1305 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. Well, he did surpass those numbers and he is a superstar in every sense of the word. Last year he caught 96 passes for 1450 yards and scored 13 touchdowns. His blend of speed, quickness and body control is second to none and his ability to make highlight-reel catches make him a fan-favorite. However he also runs strong routes and has exceptional hands. He is only going to get better and he is should be near the top of the fantasy football rankings for a long time to come. If he stays healthy he is going to set some records by the end of his career. He's that good.
The Giants picked themselves up a legitimate receiver in the second round of the draft in Sterling Shepard of Oklahoma. There have been alot of comparisons of Shepard and last year's dynamic Seahawks rookie Tyler Lockett. While he is not the threat Lockett is as a returner, Shepard is more polished as a receiver and will be really hard to cover out of the slot position. He has no fear and makes tough catches in traffic. He needs to do a better job of getting off of press coverage which he will see a lot of at the NFL level. He will team up with Odell Beckham to cause havoc on the field. Excellent pick here for the Giants.
Dwayne Harris caught 36 passes for 396 yards and 4 touchdowns in his first season with the Giants. That was more receptions and touchdowns than in his four years with the Cowboys combined. He has average size but his quickness and ability to cut helped him carve out a role on the Giants and he should catch up to 50 passes in this offense.
Victor Cruz exploded from nowhere in 2011 when he finished with 1536 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns and became an instant fan favorite in New York. The undrafted receiver from Massachusetts followed that season up with another solid effort in 2012 but the wheels fell off the bus since with serious injury issues. He missed the entire 2015 season but has been working out hard to regain that form. He only turns 30-years old this season so if finally healthy, he could emerge as the WR2 in this offense and a thousand yards would be a possibility but that is a big 'IF' right now.
Undrafted from Grambling State, Donnell had himself a very exciting rookie campaign for the Giants. He caught 63 passes and scored 6 touchdowns and he appeared to be an up and comer at the tight end position. However last year, he missed eight games due to a scary neck injury although he has been cleared and should be fully healthy by training camp. He is a huge target at 6'6 and 269 pounds and he has strong hands.
However in Donnell's absence last year, Will Tye, an undrafted tight end from the football hotbed Stony Brook emerged as a possible tight end sleeper as well. In the final eight games he caught 34 passes for 387 yards and 3 touchdowns. There will be a battle between he and Donnell for playing time this season.
Projected Starters: LT Ereck Flowers, LG Justin Pugh, C Weston Richburg, RG John Jerry, RT Marshall Newhouse
Key Backups: Bobby Hart, Byron Stingily, Adam Gettis
Ereck Flowers, the 9th overall pick last year learned on the fly last year and is going to be a very good tackle in the NFL. I don't think he is there yet but could emerge this season in his second season. After that I do not love what I see here although the center position looks pretty stable with the solid play of Weston Richburg. Justin Pugh struggled at tackle last year but is shifting back to guard where he should be more comfortable. The right side of the offensive line looks terrible to me and I don't see a good starting option on the roster at either right guard or tackle. Flowers, Pugh and Richburg gives the team hope but unless some magic happens on the right side in a hurry, this unit will be exploited.
37-year old veteran kicker Josh Brown has been money with the Giants over three seasons, hitting on 77 of his 84 field goal attempts.