SMITTY: Unless he suffers some kind of injury in warm-ups, or on Saturday, the guys is locked into high-end WR2 starting line-up slots. He has to be. We might possibly be looking at a fantasy WR1 as early as next year. He is clearly already showing flashes of that right this very moment. Stud! Looking for Week 13 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: This is awful news. Cruz was in tremendous pain as he was carted to the locker room. This could increase the values of Larry Donnell, Rueben Randle and even Odell Beckham. Although, this clearly isn’t a good thing for Eli Manning or that struggling Giants offense. Be sure you’re hooked up with Smart Alerts for updates on other players this coming week, not to mention we send out our Waiver Wire Recommendations and our Buy-Low/Sell High Candidates out via our Smart Alerts.
SMITTY: This was definitely a strange game with an unexpected direction, but Larry Donnell is absolutely proving to be a strong low-end TE1 moving forward. We don’t yet trust Eli Manning despite an amazingly-strong outing in this one, but his uptick in production is clearly fantastic news for all Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle and Donnell owners. As for Jennings’ quiet night, he didn’t get a carry in the fourth quarter, as the Giants turned to rookie Andre Williams in a blowout. Jennings was on our Week 4 Sell-High List because we feared, and still fear, that his workload will be inconsistent — selling him coming off his 170+ rushing performance was just smart if the price was right. And, even though Williams saw his 15 touches (to Jennings’ 13) due to the game being a blowout, you have to think that the Giants might look to use Williams more moving forward — Williams can’t catch, but he sure runs with force. As for Kirk Cousins and his 4INT night, we didn’t see that coming at home against the Giants. Everyone should allow him another week of play before we starting jumping to conclusions, but he looked like a different player in this game, not the passer we saw last week and in previous outings where he has shined. Looking for Week 4 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: DJax is a good play assuming he doesn’t suffer a setback in warm-ups. Inactive for the Redskins is QB Robert Griffin III, TE Jordan Reed and WR Santana Moss, which makes Niles Paul a must-start in Week 4 — Paul is inside our top 5 for Week 4 tight ends. Of course, Pierre Garcon should be in line-ups, and Kirk Cousins is top 10-capable this week… and if you need a sneaky DST play this week, this Thursday night game is at home in Washington… Eli Manning turning the ball over a few times sounds about right. Looking for Week 4 Power Rankings?
Bills WR Sammy Watkins pulled in zero of his three targets during Sunday night’s preseason opener against the Giants; EJ Manuel completed just 2-of-7 passes for 19 yards, Robert Woods pulled in four passes for 49 yards and 1TD, Mike Williams pulled in 1 pass for 11 yards, CJ Spiller ran the ball one time for two yards, and Bryce Brown ran the ball seven times for 40 yards. On the Giants side of the football, Eli Manning completed 6-of-7 passes for 43 yards, Andre Williams ran the ball seven times for 48 yards and 1TD, and Rashad Jennings ran the ball seven times for 23 yards.
SMITTY: Sammy Watkins owners could be in some trouble early on in 2014 if EJ Manuel can’t find a way to deliver him the football. Manuel haters need to give it more than seven passes before they completely write him off as a legitimate NFL passer, but I can’t say he looked good on Sunday night, that’s for sure. He telegraphed everything, something he will need to remedy moving forward he he wants to get his rookie the football. Despite some early EJ Manuel concerns, we still have Sammy Watkins set for some pretty good full-season projections.
According to nj.com, Giants WR Victor Cruz is “playing the role of Green Bay’s Randall Cobb and being moved all over the field, 100 receptions is a possibility.”
SMITTY: Eli Manning, who threw 27 interceptions last season, was the problem in 2013, the problem wasn’t Victor Cruz. Cruz went from pulling in 86/1092/10TDs in 2012 to producting 73/998/4TDs in 2013; I think Cruz can easily replicate his 2012 stats if Manning gets back to playing just ‘decent’ football. Odell Beckham and Rueben Randle will play well enough in 2014 to provide Cruz with some space to play that Randall Cobb-type role, which equals tons of receptions! Checkout where Victor Cruz ranks on our Week 1 Power Rankings?
According to ESPN, Giants WR Victor Cruz “continued his quest for self-improvement, even after signing a big contract.” The article also talks about how after signing his big extension last year, Cruz reported to training camp and told his coaching staff that he “wanted to work to improve his blocking.”
SMITTY: Victor Cruz has all kinds of bounce-back upside this coming season, to the tune of a potential low-end fantasy WR1. Now, don’t even think about drafting him that high, or trading for him at that value… use ADP data to your advantage, data that indicates Cruz’s average draft slot is right around the middle of the 4th-round, which could be steal-type material at season’s end. While Cruz only pulled in 4TDs and 998 receiving yards last year, that’s on Eli Manning, who threw 27 INTs in 2013. Sure, there is a chance Manning struggles again in 2014, but my guess is we will see much improvement in Eli’s stat lines, which gets Cruz back into his 80/1000+/9-10TD stat lines. Improvement in the passing game is good news for both up-and-coming receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Ruben Randle. For full projections on all these guys, especially Victor Cruz, check out our Draft Analyzer projections for fantasy football 2014!
According to ESPN, Giants WR Rueben Randle is more focused heading into 2014.
SMITTY: Ruben Randall is entering his third NFL season, which is typically a breakout year for receivers. While I feel Randle does have sleeper appeal, there are a lot of mouths to feed in New York this year. Victor Cruz and Odell Beckham Jr. are likely the team’s top two receivers heading into 2014, or at least we expect Beckham Jr. to be locked into the that WR2 spot soon enough. And, with Eli Manning being the definition of inconsistency (18TDs and 27INTs last season), it’s tough to know what to expect out of the Giants’ third receiving option. Last year, Randle pulled in 41 receptions for 611 yards and 6TDs. Check out his 2014 projections right here.
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