The Giants had a disastrous season last year, but that is going to change this year with the return of Odell Beckham, the addition of Saquon Barkley and maybe most importantly, an improved offensive line with two new solid additions in Nate Solder and Will Hernandez.
Eli Manning returns in 2018 after what was the toughest season of his career. He had the 2nd lowest TD total (19) since his rookie year, threw for less than 4,000 yards for the first time in three seasons and got benched for Gino Smith! No doubt, Eli will improve upon those numbers this season. In fact, I think this could be one of the best seasons of his career. He is simply playing in a a very good offense and now with what could be the best offensive line he has had in years, Eli is going to be a value selection at QB. The offense is stacked with Beckham, Engram, Shepard and Saquon. I wouldn’t mind running with Eli as my starter this year. I think you can expect over 4,000 yards passing with 30+ TD’s.
You can argue Davis Webb was almost as impressive if not just as impressive as Jared Goff while at the university of California. Webb had a rough rookie season and had a rough go ahead in his first preseason game this year, but bounced back tonight and looked good after drawing the start in the Giants 2nd preseason game. I think Webb can be a decent enough backup where if Eli goes down, the Giants offense can remain productive, providing some insurance.
Few things live up to the hype, Can Saquon Barkley buck this trend? I certainly think so. Coming in at 6’0 233 (most of that in his legs?), Barkley was born to be a RB and if you saw him in college you realize how special of a player he is and can continue to be. Barkley is going to be a true workhorse back as he can simply do it all, run, catch, return, and pass block. In Barkley’s first carry as a Giant which tore up social media, he showed his patience, agility, burst and speed. He is going to make a lot of big plays. Now, he’s not going to be a superhero, but in my estimation he is worth being selected at his current ADP, which is the mid to late first round. With all the weapons the Giants have on offense, defenses can not afford to focus strictly on Barkley. Draft him with confidence and enjoy the ride.
The Giants added Jonathan Stewart in the offseason, but at 31 years old and lacking receiving ability, he is no threat to Saquon’s usage. They also return 2nd year back Wayne Gallman who had a decent rookie year, but isn’t an overly talented player. Last player worth mentioning in this backfield is Rookie RB from Rutgers Robert Martin. Martin had 7 carries for 47 yards and TD in tonight’s preseason game. Should Barkley go down, you are likely to see a heavy platoon with Gallman and Stewart, with Martin possibly getting some work as well. But you aren’t to be thrilled with any of these options since they will all most likely offset each other and none are likely to outdistance themselves from one another, should an opportunity present itself.
Odell Beckham returns in 2018, after an injury filled 2017 (high ankle sprain, broken fibula) where he played in just four games. Beckham will return to stardom in 2018 and is once again worth a 1st round selection. He may see a drop in targets with all the emerging options on offense, but he is still Manning’s go to guy. Expect his usual 90-100 catches, 1200+ yards with double-digit TD’s. This Giants offense is going to put up points.
Sterling Shepard also suffered from the injury bug in 2017 playing in just 11 games last year. However in those 11 games Shepard had more yards (731) than in his rookie year despite playing in fewer games. Shepard specializes in the slot where he beats defenders consistently. He’s not a superstar WR, nor is he extremely talented, but he’s solid enough to be a decent WR3 on your Fantasy teams. He is a well-rounded WR, who Eli trusts and I like Shepard as a late round pick. Expect around 70-80 catches with close to 1,000 yards and around 6-8 TD’s.
Roger Lewis, and former Bronco Cody Latimer are the likely 3rd WR’s on this team, followed by former Panther Russell Shepard. None of these guys are exciting. One guy I like is Hunter Sharp who is currently their punt returner. He is probably the most athletic WR of the all the Giants backups.
Yes Evan Engram struggled with drops last year and also failed to impress in some advanced metrics, but this guy is easily one of the best Tight Ends in the league. Actually, he plays a lot more like a WR, with excellent speed and solid route running. Some may expect a decline in production since he saw a ton of targets last year with Beckham, Shepard and Brandon Marshall hurt, but I could actually see an increase in production. Can he do better than 64 catches, 722 yards and 6 TD’s? The simple answer is yes. He could easily be Manning’s favorite target behind Beckham and out produce Shepard. He is a great talent at the TE position. Let’s go with 60-70 catches, 700-800 yards and 7-10 TD’s.
3rd year player Jerrell Adams (6’5 250) is a name to keep in the memory bank if Engram should suffer injury. Giants also have veteran Rhett Ellison, but Adams I believe would be the guy. He is a big, athletic target, a Jared Cook type, who looks just as good if not better to me than Cook, on tape.
The Giants offense is going to be much improved this season and could be a force to be reckoned with in 2018. Eli Manning could have a career season, surrounded by an impressive offense that is balanced at all positions. I would confidently draft Beckham, Shepard, Barkley, Engram, all at their current ADPs. I am expecting a lot of points out of this offense.
Next up: The Dallas Cowboys
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