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The Devil Went Down to Training Camp

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2012 New York Giants Fantasy Football Review: Offense

My uncle is a New York Giants season ticket holder, I am a Giants season ticket holder, my wife also has a set of season tickets (four rows in front of mine) and my kids will one day have their own sets. We are preparing to attend training camp for the first time as a family this year and so I wanted to be prepared. In doing so I learned a lot about this year’s team and players. So here is my breakdown of the Super Bowl Champions and all they have to offer a budding fantasy football dynasty.


(Starter) Eli Manning – Some people still refuse to admit that Eli Manning is elite, but his numbers speak for themselves. Last year he did two things that big brother Peyton Manning has never done. Won a second Super Bowl and put up more than 4,900 yards passing (sixth-best all time). Over the past three seasons he has averaged 4,318 yards and 29 touchdowns. He has also played seven straight seasons without missing a single game. He is a high Top 10 fantasy quarterback and you should feel great if you land him.

(Bench) David Carr - He is a decent backup quarterback, and, should Eli Manning go down, he will be good enough to win the Giants some football games. But there are better backups out there and a draft pick should not be spent on Carr, even in the deepest of leagues.

Running backs

(Starter) Ahmad Bradshaw – This is the Giants’ No. 1 running back, period. In 12 games last year he put up more than 900 yards (rushing and receiving) and 11 touchdowns, and that was with a poor Giants rushing attack. This year, with Brandon Jacobs gone, he is poised to have a career year. If he plays all 16 games expect 1,500 yards from scrimmage and double-digit touchdowns. This leads us to the problem for Bradshaw owners – his health. He has only had one season in the NFL without missing games. I would draft him with the same cautions as Darren McFadden and Jamaal Charles, although he seems to be graded much lower by most people.

(Bench) David Wilson - Welcome to New York. I have seen Wilson going in the fourth and fifth round, and as high as the third round so far in early drafts. That is a bit too early. The Giants typically run a two running back system, but one is not usually a rookie. At just 20 years old Wilson has a ton of upside and will certainly compete for the extra playing time. But with a very in-depth playbook to learn and a fumbling issue to fix, he probably won’t be on the field in the early stages of the season. Keep an eye on this battle throughout preseason and training camp to get a feel for where Wilson fits in. His potential is certainly through the roof.

(Bench) DJ Ware – The good. Ware is a four-year veteran of the Giants and knows the playbook and what the coaches are looking for. He also can catch the ball, pass block and does not have any fumbling concerns. This means he is the lead dog to spell Bradshaw when needed. The bad. He has been on the team for four years and has not had more than 46 rushes in a season. Simply put, he has not earned more carries thus far in his career and this is a very talented stable of backs to compete against.

(Bench) Da’Rel Scott – Scott is part of a very unique group of players I am calling red shirt rookies. Due to the lockout last season he (and many other rookies) missed out on rookie mini camps, organized team activities and training camps. This is kind of like his true rookie year. He is big, strong and very fast. The coaches love his vertical speed but will need to see his lateral quickness if he hopes to earn playing time. Learning the playbook and the protection schemes will be top on his list again, though. Proving he can catch and pass protect will be a huge boost as well.

(Bench) Andre Brown – It seems like each year Andre Brown is the odd man out. He looks good all offseason and in the preseason. Then it comes time to make cuts and he just misses out on the 53-man roster cuts. I don’t think the Giants will bring in five running backs this season, and Brown will likely be the one missing out again. However, I really think he has what it takes to make an impact some place and fantasy owners should keep an eye on him where ever he goes. He is better than a lot of backups out there, but is buried on a deep roster. This would not be the first running back to miss out on this team and make an impact someplace else (See Grant, Ryan).

(Bench) Joe Martinek – He has impressed the coaching staff in New York, but is more likely to compete for the fullback job than the starting running back.

Overall - Bradshaw has the starting job locked up, and if healthy can put up very nice numbers. Ware is the No. 2 running back for the time being, and with his experience may even start the season that way. Look for Wilson and Scott to make a strong push for his spot though with each one having an equal chance to take the playing time. With Wilson being drafted in the Top 6 rounds and Scott being undrafted, Scott has the most value of the two. If you grab Wilson, be prepared to grab Scott if he wins the battle. Brown will likely be gone, unless he really impresses the coaches. Martinek is a fantasy non-factor.

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