Sleeper Alert: Giants QB Eli Manning
It’s time for the first Sleeper Alert of the year, and we’ll start with everyone’s favorite quarterback – Eli Manning.
Manning has finished #10 and #8 in the last two seasons and has five top 10 finishes in the last seven seasons. And he's durable -- he hasn't missed a start in his last 11 seasons.
A quick look at our projections shows Manning at #8, a couple of spots higher than the General Consensus (GC), three spots higher than his ADP at Fantasy Football Calculator and his MFL10 ADP. And I think he has upside from there.
Here are the logs from the 27 games that he played with Odell Beckham:
|Averages with Beckham||24.4||38.9||62.6||282.9||2.0||0.7||7.27||18.3|
|2012-2015 w/o Beckham||20.2||33.9||59.4||242.5||1.5||1.4||7.15||13.0|
Eli has averaged 283 yards and 2.0 touchdowns per game over the last two seasons with Beckham in the lineup. That yields about 18.3 fantasy points per game, which would have been good enough for the #8 spot in 2015, and #7 the year before.
You’ll also see his 2012-15 numbers without Beckham (37 games) at the bottom. Basically, the presence of Beckham in the lineup is the difference between low-end QB2 numbers and low-end QB1 numbers for Manning. Some owners may want a quarterback who isn’t so dependent on the presence of his top target, but at the cost of a 9th- or 10th-round pick, along with the depth at the position, it’s easy to pivot to another player if Beckham goes down.
Early SOS shows that Manning has the easiest schedule in the league, and he projects to have an extremely easy stretch after his Week 8 bye. His matchups in Week 15 (Lions) and Week 16 (Eagles) look very favorable.
He has a Coefficient of Variation of 44% with Beckham, so consistency-wise he’s fairly mediocre in that metric. Two of the five games in which he scored fewer than 10 fantasy points came against the Cowboys (both in 2015), so I might find another quarterback to start in those two matchups against Dallas this year.
I’ve had success in recent years targeting my favorite quarterback in the #10-#15 range. Two years ago it was Russell Wilson (finished QB3) and last year it was Carson Palmer (QB5). Manning jumps out as the passer to target this year, though the position is so deep that there are intriguing players available all the way into the 13th-15th rounds. I won’t fret if I miss out on Eli, but at this point I’m looking to load up on receivers and running backs (and maybe a tight end) before drafting Manning in the 9th/10th round.