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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

FANTASY FOOTBALL CRISIS POINT: ELI MANNING QB NY GIANTS

When you have Odell Beckham Jr, Victor Cruz, AND terrific rookie Sterling Shepard as your starting wideouts; plus pass-catching backs Rashad Jennings, Shane Vereen, and Bobby Rainey at your disposal, one would think that New York Giants QB Eli Manning would be on the short list of potential fantasy football MVP candidates for 2016.  After all, Manning new head coach is Ben McAdoo who was the same man who helped his passer achieve highs in passing numbers the last tw years as offensive coordinator.  Manning entered into 2016 coming off back-to-back 30-TD seasons, while also going past the 4,400-yard mark in both campaigns.  Throw in the arrival of Shepard and return to health of Cruz and visions of 5,000 yards and 40 TD's were dancing in Manning's owners' heads. 

Fast forward to present day and Manning is fresh off a Monday Night Football loss to the Minnesota Vikings where he failed to throw a touchdown pass and instead tossed a pick.  After throwing 3 touchdowns in the opener, Manning has thrown a grand total of ONE scoring pass in the subsequent three games.  Also in the last three games, Manning has thrown three picks and seen Beckham Jr. become invisible at times in the offense.  So what is going on here?  Is age a factor?  Is Manning now longer starting-worthy in fantasy football.

What needs to be mentioned right off the bat is that outside of the Vikings game, Manning drove the Giants offense well in the New Orleans and Washingto games and long passes that were stoppped just short of the goal-line forced the offense to turn to short runs to convert the touchdowns.  That was especially true in the Saints game which robbed Manning of precious touchdowns.  Yes the interceptions were bad but Manning has been a bit turnover-prone throughout his career.  The bigger concern is the poor play of the offensive line which has not opened up holes in the run game to take pressure off Manning and he also has been rushed too often when dropping back.  That makes it tough on any passer and it has led to Manning rushing throws that have not connected.  Finally, the distraction that Beckham Jr. has become to himself is hurting the offense badly.  Beckham Jr. is getting into it every week now with opposing DB's and it seems to have hurt his focus.  Without his number 1 wideout's head in the game, Manning is robbed of his best chance to throw scoring passes. 

When you put it all together, Eli Manning has quite a few troubles he needs to work through.  Still he gets the forgivin Green Bay Packers defense this week and that gives Manning a good chance to get back on track.  The weapons are all still healthy as far as the wideouts are concerned and so Manning should be given one more week to right the ship. 


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