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Offseason Primers: New York Giants

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The Giants might have had a Super Bowl hangover in 2012. At least that's an excuse they can use for a down season.

After winning Super Bowl XLVI against the Patriots to end the 2011 season, the Giants fell apart. They finished 9-7 but failed to make the playoffs, and their key players really struggled.

Eli Manning was miserable for most of the season. Ahmad Bradshaw was inconsistent and lost a ton of Fantasy production to Andre Brown. Hakeem Nicks was hurt again. And rookie phenom David Wilson failed to get on the field early in the season.

2012 Touches Leaders
732 total touches (rush attempts + receptions)
Ahmad Bradshaw 244 (221 car., 23 rec.) 33.3%
Victor Cruz 86 rec. 11.7%
Andre Brown 85 (73 car., 12 rec.) 11.6%
David Wilson 75 (71 car., 4 rec.) 10.2%
Martellus Bennett 55 rec. 7.5%
All Others 187 25.5%

Only Victor Cruz and Martellus Bennett played well, and now Bennett is gone as a free agent to Chicago. He is being replaced by Brandon Myers, and the Giants should have a different look this season.

Manning is poised for a rebound year, especially if Nicks returns at 100 percent. And the Giants will replace Bradshaw, who was released, with a combination of Wilson and Brown. Cruz is back to lead the receiving corps, and we hope Myers can replicate his performance with the Raiders last season in New York.

We expect the Giants to play better in 2013 than they did last year because they're too talented to struggle again. And if that happens as expected then you can count on the Giants' offense to help Fantasy owners just as they have in the past.

Eli Manning -- Bounce-back candidate

2012 Target Leaders
539 pass attempts
Victor Cruz 143 26.5%
Hakeem Nicks 100 18.5%
Martellus Bennett 90 16.7%
Domenik Hixon 59 10.9%
Rueben Randle 32 5.9%
All Others 115 21.3%

Manning's final stats in 2012 were respectable but misleading. He finished the year with 3,948 yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, which gave him 276 Fantasy points in a standard league. But Manning needed 208 passing yards and five touchdowns -- 38 Fantasy points -- in a meaningless Week 17 game against the Eagles to save his production. Without that game, Manning would have been the No. 22 Fantasy quarterback compared to where he actually finished at No. 14. He was brutal for most of the season (he had four games with five Fantasy points or less), and we hope a rebound year is in order. Getting Nicks back at 100 percent will help, and the Giants need to hope Rueben Randle can become a viable third receiver all season and that Myers can continue to play at a high level. Prior to last year, Manning had consecutive seasons of at least 4,000 passing yards and 30 total touchdowns. It won't take him much to get back to that level, and he actually presents great value since he'll fall to a mid- to late-round pick in most leagues. We love getting Manning as a low-end starter or high-end backup, and he should bounce back in 2013.

David Wilson -- Breakout

The Giants showed how much they are committed to Wilson this offseason when they cut Bradshaw. That left the running back position to Wilson and Brown splitting carries, with Wilson the expected starter. He was drafted in the first round last year out of Virginia Tech but struggled to get on the field at running back for most of the season, mostly because of his lack of pass blocking. But he displayed his talents as the year went on, including a big game in Week 14 against New Orleans when he had 13 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns. He closed the season with 49 Fantasy points in his final four games, and he should have the chance for a big season. Brown will take on the short-yardage work, limiting Wilson's touchdowns, but he has 1,500 total-yard potential, and we love his upside with Bradshaw gone. He's worth drafting as early as Round 4 in the majority of leagues. As for Brown, he could reach double digits in touchdowns, and he's a nice sleeper with a mid-round pick.

Hakeem Nicks -- Injury-risk sleeper

Expected 2013 Draft Averages
Eli Manning 94-100 overall
David Wilson 34-42 overall
Andre Brown 55-62 overall
Victor Cruz 35-43 overall
Hakeem Nicks 65-72 overall
Brandon Myers Undrafted

Nicks is out to prove that he's still among the best receivers in the NFL after an injury-plagued year in 2012. Nicks appeared in 13 games last season, but his leg injuries were problematic. He was limited to 53 catches for 692 yards and three touchdowns, with his yards and touchdowns new career lows. If Nicks is able to take part in training camp without any problems then he could easily return as a Top 20 Fantasy receiver. Keep in mind prior to last year he had consecutive seasons of at least 76 catches, 1,050 yards and seven touchdowns with 18 total touchdowns over that span. But if he continues to be limited by knee and foot problems then his value will continue to drop. We'd still take a chance on Nicks with a mid-round pick, and hopefully he can rebound to play like an elite Fantasy receiver once again.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Anthony McCoy carted off with Achilles injury
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:11 pm ET) Seahawks tight end Anthony McCoy was carted off the practice field after suffering an Achilles injury, reports 710 ESPN Radio. McCoy missed last season after tearing his other Achilles tendon.

Steelers make roster moves
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:07 pm ET) The Steelers signed running back Josh Harris, an undrafted free agent out of Wake Forest, and waived/injured center David Snow. Snow broke his foot in practice and will undergo surgery.

Matt Schaub 'getting his mojo back'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(4:03 pm ET) After a disastrous 2013 season with the Texans, quarterback Matt Schaub is settling in with the Raiders and regaining his confidence, reports the Sacramento Bee.

"Schauby's getting his mojo back," defensive tackle Antonio Smith told the paper. "He's getting his confidence back. He's starting to believe in himself again.

"He's starting to throw with confidence. Those are things you need to be a successful quarterback. You would be surprised just much a mindset is important in this game. ... The moment you are doubting yourself is the moment you start throwing a lot of interceptions and stuff."

Raiders coach Dennis Allen thinks Schaub can again be a Top-10 quarterback.

"I think he's in a good frame of mind," Allen said. "I think he's very hungry. I think he's excited about the new opportunity. I think anytime you go into something new there's a little bit of, maybe it's an increased focus, an increased intensity level, because it is new. You kind of force yourself out of your comfort zone a little bit. I think he's done that."


Dion Jordan standing out early
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:48 pm ET) Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan is having a strong training camp thus far, reports ESPN.com. On Sunday he had a pick-six on Ryan Tannehill, and on Tuesday he had at least one would-be sack in team drills, the report said.

Jordan, however, is suspended for four regular-season games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.


Drew Brees wants to play until he's 45 -- seriously
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:39 pm ET) Saints quarterback Drew Brees, 35, wants to play another decade in the NFL.

"I'm serious. I'm not delusional," Brees said after practice Tuesday, per the New Orleans Times-Picayune. "I know that that's something that would be extremely difficult to do. Not many have done it. ... It could be done, but a lot of things have to fall into place."

Brees said his performance will determine how long he plays.

"I know it's one year at a time. It's, 'What have you done for me lately?'... But why not push the envelope a little bit?" Brees said. "It's certainly not going to be easy. I try to play this game like a kid. ... It is a serious business, and they don't keep you around if you don't play well."


Colts add two players
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:29 pm ET) The Colts signed running back Phillip Tanner and linebacker Jonathon Sharpe, and they'll practice with the team Wednesday. Tanner played in 39 games the past three years with the Cowboys, scoring two touchdowns.

Rueben Randle held out with hamstring issue
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:20 pm ET) The Giants held receiver Rueben Randle out of Tuesday's practice due to a sore hamstring, reports the New York Post.

David Wilson leaves practice with neck 'burner'
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:14 pm ET) Giants running back David Wilson, who underwent neck surgery in January, walked off the practice field Tuesday with a trainer, reports ESPN.com. Coach Tom Coughlin said Wilson suffered a neck "burner."

Coughlin later added that "we were all praying" Wilson would not have a setback.


Cowboys change course, hold out Tony Romo
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(3:11 pm ET) After Cowboys officials said quarterback Tony Romo would practice Tuesday, they changed course and held him out, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Coach Jason Garrett said Romo is fine.

Coming off back surgery, Romo practiced Thursday, was off Friday, then practiced Saturday and Sunday. The entire team was off Monday.


Ravens tweak roster
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(2:57 pm ET) The Ravens cut receiver Gerrard Sheppard and signed defensive back Marrio Norman, reports the Baltimore Sun.

 
 
 
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