As we anticipate the start of the 2017 NFL season, the DFF Degenerates (@DFF_Degenerates) are tearing down every team in the NFL – #32Teams32Days. We’re going round-trip to tackle the entire country – AFC East to West, then NFC West to East. We didn’t have to do it, but we did.
Buckle up! It’s a bumpy ride. We’re traveling to another dimension between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge… that’s the signpost up ahead – our next stop – the RED ZONE.
For our last stop in this series, we visit the
New York Giants
What’s this offense look like post-Eli Manning? Better?
@DiBari22: It all depends on who takes over. Is Davis Webb the answer? Geno Smith? Josh Rosen? It might be better, but it could also be much worse.
@DFF_Walk: I’m just going to throw this out there, Eli Manning is going to Canton solely on the strength of two great defensive performances by New York. Would the Giants have more Lombardi trophies if Philip Rivers had been their quarterback for the last 13 years? Think about that for a second.
Of course, the short term will be worse because he’s an established, quality NFL-caliber starting QB. Eli has never really been a viable fantasy starter outside of a streaming QB and that won’t change in 2017 even with the amazing group of receivers at his disposal.
@DynastyGOAT: Eli gets a lot of hate, but very few have been able to consistently put up numbers like he has. He won’t be the star that wins your league championship, but he is coming off his 3rd consecutive 4,000-yard season, and that’s good enough to be your QB2. Eli is now 36 years old, so I imagine he has about 2-3 good years left. With Geno Smith and Davis Webb being the only other options at QB on the roster, I’m guessing the answer for life after Manning has yet to be drafted.
@DFFMemphis: Maybe it’s the Manning Face, maybe it’s the arm flop to the thighs after every pick, maybe it’s living in Peyton’s shadow his whole life, but is there any QB more disrespected than Eli Manning? He has been, on average, the QB13 since 2006. That’s a borderline QB1 for a decade. He was the QB10 in 2014 and 2015, ironically those were the first two years of O’Dell Beckham Jr. and the first two years under current head coach Ben McAdoo. People only seem to remember his QB21 season from last year. Eli has arguably the best receiving options of his career now that the Giants have added Brandon Marshall and Evan Engram to a receiving group that already features OBJ. Eli has a real opportunity to be a top-12 QB in 2017, especially if he can limit the turnovers. It was once said, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Giants fans are going to experience this soon. Eli will never produce Peyton stat lines, but he’s been a very good real-life QB and a decent fantasy QB as well. Put some Respect on Eli’s name.
@DFF_JamesH: I can’t see a QB on their roster that is a suitable replacement for Manning. The Giants may be looking at a year with a free agent veteran after Manning retires, before they look to draft their next franchise QB.
@ChristipherBean: Eli is an interception machine and runs hot and cold. But the cold is average and the hot is elite. He’s also on the most efficient 3-year stretch of his career (*cough* OBJ *cough*). QBs can play into their 40s, and until the NFL changes schematically to accommodate the new wave of NCAA QBs, it’s damn hard to find a replacement.
I do think Geno Smith got a raw deal with the Jets and is better than most think. Half his career games were against top-10 pass defenses. In fact, only 10 of his 33 games were against bottom-half pass defenses.
Is Beckham the consensus 1st overall in Dynasty startup drafts?
@DiBari22: Like the above question, you should factor in his QB play a bit. If a downfield gunslinger comes in after Eli, then I think no doubt OBJ is the top guy to own, but if he gets stuck with a dink-and-dunk guy… he might be screwed.
@DynastyGOAT: Anyone who has ever seen Odell Beckham play knows about his stellar one-handed catches. Some need to be reminded of how great of a fantasy star he has been. Through three seasons, Beckham has averaged 96 receptions, 1,374 yards, and 11 TDs. That sort of consistent production is extremely rare. Still just 25 years old, Beckham is the quintessential pick to top your dynasty startup.
@DFF_Madman: He’s being drafted on average as the first WR for sure. In most leagues, I’d draft Beckham at 1st overall. He was 5th in yards per route last season and made it look easy. During the last 4-weeks of the 2016 season, Beckham led the league in passing targets with 59! He’s obviously not your average WR.
@DFF_Walk: Beckham is unquestionably the 1.01 in dynasty startup drafts and should be the top WR taken in redraft as well. Just look at those 3-year averages that @DynastyGOAT listed above. That is exactly the type of consistent production you want on your dynasty roster. Beckham is a generational pass catcher who will set records in this league regardless of QB.
@DFFMemphis: Many love him, but not I. I like Beckham and he is a clear stud in what should be an amazing offense this season, but what happens in 2018 or 2019? Does Eli stick around? Is anyone excited to turn their prized WR1 over to Geno Smith or Davis Webb? Can the offensive line protect the QB behind it? Can the Giants produce a run game that takes some of the load off the passing game? There are many “what if” questions that I never have to answer about a guy like Mike Evans. These are the reasons why OBJ is not my 1.01.
Does Brandon Marshall finish as a WR3 (top 36) in fantasy this year?
@DiBari22: Injury free? I say yes. I see a lot of red zone targets coming his way and several touchdowns as a result (I also see many, many interceptions too). The Giants ran an absurd 90% of their plays with 3-wide receiver sets. If he plays all 16 games, talent meets opportunity and there is no reason he won’t be top-36, and probably top-24.
@DynastyGOAT: Marshall is right on that top-36 fringe, but I don’t think there are enough targets in New York to go around to get him there. Sterling Shepard isn’t going away and Evan Engram will get more looks than usual for a rookie. Marshall will have his moments, but I don’t trust him as anything more than a bye week fill-in at this point in his career.
@DFF_Walk: FantasyPros PPR Rankings have Marshall in their Tier-5 as WR34 overall, which is a tail-end WR3 in 12-team leagues. The only way I see him cracking the top-36 is if he receives a disproportionate amount of the team’s red zone targets. Oddly enough, last year’s WR36 in PPR was Sterling Shepard whose stat line was buoyed by 8-TDs (six of which occurred in the red zone). Marshall is one of my favorite wide receivers of his generation, but he has never played with a WR the caliber of Beckham, who commands a significant target share with father time nipping at Marshall’s heels last year.
@DFFMemphis: Fanboy alert! I’m a huge Marshall fan. This one guy has won me a lot of cash over the years and I will always remain his fan. So, HELL YES, he’s a WR3 this season barring injury.
- He’s a huge target in the red zone
- He’ll draw the second-best DB in coverage for maybe the first time ever in his career
- All the talent around him in the receiver group means very little, if any, double coverage.
He’s tough, so he will go across the middle and easily achieve WR3 status in 2017.
@DFF_JamesH: There are just so many mouths to feed in this offense. They now have Beckham, Marshall, Shepard, and Engram. I can’t see Marshall being a top WR in 2017, but I do think he will eat into Beckham’s receptions. I’m not willing to gamble on any Giants’ offensive player this season.
@ChristipherBean: If Brandon Marshall gets enough targets to be WR36, I expect Eli Manning to set interception records. BMarsh is done:
He has a poor contested catch rate and runs like an old man. Eli led the league in INTs on targets in ’15 (9) and was 3rd in ’16 (8). The Giants force-feed OBJ and should continue to do so. If they want to target someone else, Evan Engram should be the guy.
@DFF_Madman: I’ve moved away from most of my old vet WRs. I still have a share of Marshall and a share or two of Larry Fitz, but I don’t expect much this year. The reason for trading them before now was to capitalize on their peak value as their skills decline. I think Marshall could be in the top-40 WRs one last time.
Who’s buying Evan Engram as the TE to own from this draft class?
@DiBari22: Not I. I don’t hate him, I just don’t love him as much as everyone else. Give me Njoku, Howard, and even Jonnu Smith over him. As of today, there is just too much competition for targets with OBJ, Marshall, and Shepard ahead of him.
@DynastyGOAT: I am all-in on Team Engram! OJ Howard was the first TE drafted, but he is on a team rife with playmakers, including Cameron Brate already playing the same position. A lot of people also like Njoku in Cleveland. I’m not buying Njoku yet considering the uneasy QB situation. Then, we have Evan Engram. He’s more of a receiver than a blocker, Engram finished with more than 900 yards and 8 TDs in his senior season at Ole Miss. That skillset will translate well as he grows into a safety valve for Eli.
@DFF_Walk: TE by team designation only, Engram is a Matchup Nightmare who drew Jordan Reed comps coming out – and rightfully so. Engram and Reed share strikingly similar physical attributes, but Engram’s athletic profile far exceeds Reed’s. The Giants have been looking for someone to work the middle of the field for what seems like forever (drafted Shepard last year and signed Marshall this year). Engram projects to be the best TE that Manning has had since Jeremy Shockey early in his career. I don’t think he provides consistent value in redraft, but he has the potential to be a Dynasty Dynamo.
@DFF_Madman: Engram is the real deal and a TE1 for years to come, in the form of a big slot WR. He’s going to keep lining up everywhere and help Eli expand on his excellent numbers in the redzone.
@DFFMemphis: Easily the one rookie from a very talented class that I am upset that I do not own a share of anywhere. He could be the next big thing if the Giants don’t screw up how to use him. Like most move TEs, Engram is NOT a blocker. Split him out as the slot WR, put him in motion to gain mismatches, but please don’t ask him to block. Let this guy run by linebackers and out-muscle safeties. Engram will have the best fantasy football career out of all the amazing tight ends in the 2017 draft.
Welp, we made it back to Brooklyn (er… um… Jersey?) Our day in the Meadowlands concludes our roundtrip tour of the NFL. We’re leaving the swamp and heading off to do a seance to locate Jimmy Hoffa, likely somewhere under the miles of concrete in the “Garden State.” Good luck this season!
Thank you for joining us on our inaugural road trip. We hope this helps you on your quest to find the otherworld of dynasty football.
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Previous articles in this series are available here.