As the playoffs near in many fantasy football leagues, here is our take on the fantasy value of some of the Giants’ most notable players entering December:
Giants schedule: at Washington (Sunday), at San Diego (Dec. 8), vs. Seattle (Dec. 15), at Detroit (Dec. 22), vs. Washington (Dec. 29).
Eli Manning gets a slew of favorable matchups down the stretch. The Redskins are 26th vs. the pass, and the Giants face Washington twice in December. Also, the Giants draw the Chargers (31st in yards per net pass allowed) in Week 14 and the Lions (28th in passing yards allowed) in Week 16, which is championship time for so many leagues.
Manning (2,760 yards, 14 TD passes, 17 interceptions) is available in 33 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. In the event he’s been dropped, he’s not the worst pickup. He's not a quality starter, but he could be played in the right circumstances.
Victor Cruz (60 catches, 851 yards, four TDs) remains the best starting option of the Giants’ wideouts. He’s getting about nine passes thrown his way per game, most on the team. As noted, the Giants’ passing game largely gets the best of it from a matchup standpoint down the stretch, with the notable exception of Seattle in Week 15. Cruz is playable in all formats.
Hakeem Nicks (42 catches, 620 yards, no TDs) can’t be started with any confidence in two-WR formats. He’s had a disappointing season, and now he’s battling an abdominal injury. The problem is, he can’t be released, either — he’s too talented.
Rueben Randle (32 catches, 524 yards, six TDs) is about on par with Nicks. He gets fewer passes thrown his way than Nicks, but he’s far more of a scoring threat.
Randle and Nicks are best utilized in three-WR formats. They have just enough upside to be interesting.
Since returning to the lineup three games ago, Andre Brown has carried 69 times for 308 yards and a touchdown. As long as he’s healthy, Brown is startable in all of the Giants’ remaining games, even against Seattle, which is stronger vs. the run than the pass. In fact, the Lions (Week 16) have the toughest run defense of all of the Giants’ remaining opponents. In short, Brown is just getting too much work not to strongly considering starting on a weekly basis.
Brown, per Yahoo!, is available in 20 percent of leagues. Hey, all it takes is a few keystrokes to search.
Brandon Jacobs, who is available in 91 percent of Yahoo! leagues, can be added as a backup for teams heavily dependent upon Brown. However, Jacobs missed practice on Wednesday with a knee inury.
Brandon Myers is getting about four passes thrown his way per game. Myers (28 receptions, 336 yards, two TDs) is available in about three-quarters of Yahoo! leagues and could be a decent-enough fill-in down the stretch, given the Giants' machups.
Josh Brown's value could be highest in Week 14 (at San Diego) and Week 16 (at Detroit). In the latter game, he’s kicking indoors. In the former, he could be kicking in favorable weather conditions for a December game. Browns is owned in 22 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS
The Giants are 12th in yards allowed and have forced 19 takeaways. However, they don’t have any slam-dunk matchups down the stretch. All four of the Giants’ remaining opponents have skilled offenses. Moreover, the Giants have some injury worries in the secondary.
Finally, the Giants do not have much punch in the return game.