Giants Fantasy News

Giants QB Eli Manning feels 'real good' in second year in offense

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 4:13pm

Giants.com - [Full Article]

After coach Tom Coughlin said earlier this week that the offense is “way ahead” of where it was at this point last year, Manning put up a big practice during Thursday’s organized team activities. The franchise quarterback, who is entering his 12th season, threw two touchdowns during 11-on-11 drills, one to tight end Adrien Robinson and the other to wide receiver Preston Parker. Manning is relishing the second offseason in offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s system.

“It was important having this last month – watching the film, talking a lot about the mechanics, the footwork, being able to go outside with him and working on a lot of drill work,” Manning said recently during OTAs. “A lot of it is stuff I wasn’t able to do last year. I was coming off the ankle surgery, I had a new offense – of lot of things going through the mind, trying to figure out concepts.

“This year, I understand the concepts. I’m still working on it, but I’m concentrating on the footwork and the mechanics and the timing of everything. It was great to have that this year and kind of get back to the basics of everything. I feel comfortable, I feel real good right now.”

Fantasy Impact:

Manning finished the season as the #10 fantasy quarterback, but was #2 over the final six weeks, when OC Ben McAdoo said that the team finally played the way it wanted to play. In Odell Beckham, Manning finally has a stud receiver. The free agent signing of receiving specialist Shane Vereen and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Victor Cruz give Manning two more weapons to utilize in the passing game. He looks like a great value for those who want to wait on the position until the 9th or 10th round.

Dolphins WR DeVante Parker underwent foot surgery on Friday

Friday, June 5, 2015, 12:57pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Per a team source, DeVante Parker underwent foot surgery this morning. As is always the case when NFL players go under the knife, the surgery was a success. He’s expected to be ready to go for Week One in September.

It’s unclear how or when the injury occurred. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that the surgery was performed as a precaution, and that the injury wouldn’t have kept Parker from playing this week, if it had happened in the regular season.

It’s also unclear whether and to what extent Parker will participate in training camp and the preseason. He’s definitely done for the rest of the offseason program. While he’s expected to be ready for Week One, his readiness for the rest of the work that comes before Week One could influence how effective he’ll be as a rookie.

Fantasy Impact:

This is a big blow to Parker's fantasy stock even though he's "expected" to be ready Week 1. As a rookie, he needs the practice reps to learn the offense, build a rapport with Ryan Tannehill and beat out Kenny Stills and Greg Jennings. He could come back strong a la Odell Beckham, but holding him to that sort of standard is probably a bad idea.

Eagles Beat: Sam Bradford (knee) takes 'small step forward,' participates in 7-on-7 drills

Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 9:46am

Philly.com - [Full Article]

Eagles beat writer Jeff McLane on the status of QB Sam Bradford:

Sam Bradford, as Chip Kelly said was likely, practiced during seven-on-seven drills. The new Eagles quarterback took about five snaps, splitting time with Mark Sanchez, with the first team on Tuesday. He didn’t participate during the second set of seven-on-seven drills and sat out all of team drills, as expected. Bradford threw the ball well. The drops he took weren’t strenuous. While his full return still appears to be a ways off, Bradford took a small step forward. That is a positive.

He warmed up to the side as most of the team went through conditioning at the start of practice. He then partook in individual drills with the other quarterbacks, jogging to the next station whenever the drill moved. I didn’t notice a hitch in his step as he ran. Bradford walked with a noticeable limp after practice last Thursday, but I didn’t get to see him walk off the fields on Tuesday.

Fantasy Impact:

Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia quarterbacks have averaged 16.7 passing game-only fantasy points. Bradford isn’t much of a runner, but he adds about 0.7 FP per game as a rusher. That adds up to 17.4 FP, or about what Eli Manning averaged as the #13 QB in 2014. The Eagles’ offense has lost their top receiver – DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – in each of the last two seasons, but Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are emerging and the team added Nelson Agholor in the draft. If Bradford ends up starting for the Eagles, we wouldn’t expect anything more than high-end QB2 numbers, but this is a definite system upgrade due to the overall effectiveness of Chip Kelly’s offense. The health of Bradford's knee is the biggest concern heading into 2015.

Giants WR Odell Beckham sits out with a sore hamstring

Monday, June 1, 2015, 1:11pm

Art Stapleton, Twitter - [Full Article]

Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. held out of team drills as precaution. Sore hamstring, not same as last year, per Tom Coughlin.

Fantasy Impact:

Beckham said that the Pro Bowl that he actually had two tears in his hamstring which didn’t fully heal during the season. If true, then perhaps he has just scratched the surface on his full potential. Once his season started in Week 5, he averaged 17.2 FP (standard) and 24.8 FP (PPR), which was the best in the league in both scoring systems. The only (minor) concerns are a potential sophomore slump and the return of Victor Cruz, which could alter the dynamic in the Giants' receiving corps. This latest injury isn't much of a concern at this point in the offseason.

Giants TE Larry Donnell has a boot on his left foot

Monday, June 1, 2015, 12:59pm

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Giants tight end Larry Donnell sat out Monday's organized team activity (OTA) workout with a foot or leg injury.

Donnell was spotted on the sideline with a boot on his left ankle/foot. He had participated in last weeks OTAs.

Update from Art Stapleton: "Larry Donnell has Achilles tendinitis"

Fantasy Impact:

Donnell averaged 82% of the snaps through the first 11 weeks, but played just 69% over the final six games, due to run-blocking and ball-security concerns. He finished the season as the #11 TE in both standard and PPR formats, but did not crack 60 yards or find the endzone in the final six games. He had the 17th-most targets (5.2 T/G) over that span, after seeing the 7th-most (6.1 T/G) in the first 11 weeks. If he improves his blocking, his snaps should rise and that should result in an increase in production.

Giants TE Larry Donnell spent the offseason working on his blocking

Saturday, May 30, 2015, 9:56am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

Giants TE Larry Donnell's blocking had made him a liability. So the Giants pulled him from games on run downs, in lieu of better blocking tight ends Daniel Fells and Adrien Robinson. Donnell didn't start three of the last five games.

Donnell knew his weakness, had a goal and attacked.

"I was trying to refine my game so I can be better in the run game. I did some things, changed it up a little bit weight-wise and all," Donnell said this week after the Giants' first organized team activity workout. "The big problem with me is my hands used to go too wide. People used to get their hands inside of me, inside my chest and I lost a lot of battles there."

"We want to see him step up in the areas that are not natural for him, the blocking areas, for example," coach Tom Coughlin said during last season. "And obviously ball security."

Donnell had four lost fumbles, in part because he often found himself with his feet off the ground and in compromising positions. But that's more a mental mistake than physical.

So the focus this offseason was on blocking. There was a lot to fix.

Fantasy Impact:

Donnell averaged 82% of the snaps through the first 11 weeks, but played just 69% over the final six games. He finished the season as the #11 TE in both standard and PPR formats, but did not crack 60 yards or find the endzone in the final six games. He had the 17th-most targets (5.2 T/G) over that span, after seeing the 7th-most (6.1 T/G) in the first 11 weeks. If his blocking and ball security improve, he should see his snaps rise, and in turn his targets and production.

Chip Kelly believes QB Sam Bradford is 'right on schedule' in rehab

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 1:55pm

Philly.com - [Full Article]

Eagles quarterback Sam Bradford is "right on schedule" in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, coach Chip Kelly said Thursday. Bradford has been limited during this week's first thre organized team activities. He's able to participate in individual drills, but he's not taking part in team drills.

“He is on schedule," Kelly said. "We all think there’s three phases – there’s medical rehab, performance rehab, and prepare to play.He’s probably at the tail end of medical rehab. He’ll probably start throwing some 7 on 7 next week, and I think he’s right on schedule.”

Fantasy Impact:

Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia quarterbacks have averaged 16.7 passing game-only fantasy points. Bradford isn’t much of a runner, but he adds about 0.7 FP per game as a rusher. That adds up to 17.4 FP, or about what Eli Manning averaged as the #13 QB in 2014. The Eagles’ offense has lost their top receiver – DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – in each of the last two seasons, but Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are emerging and the team added Nelson Agholor in the draft. If Bradford does start for the Eagles, we wouldn’t expect anything more than high-end QB2 numbers, but this is a definite system upgrade due to the overall effectiveness of Chip Kelly’s offense.

Giants WR Victor Cruz (patellar tendon) says he's 'about 80 percent there'

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 1:48pm

NY Post - [Full Article]

Victor Cruz is getting close.

“I’m about 80 percent there. I think it’s just a matter of continuing to build the strength for the last leg of it,” Cruz told The Post on Wednesday after the Giants’ first OTA practice. “I’ve been running some routes for about two weeks now, and there’s been no pain, no swelling or anything like that, which are all good signs.”

As his teammates worked, Cruz was nearby on a side field, running routes, running hard. Then he iced his surgically repaired right knee. He tore his patellar tendon Oct. 19 in Philadelphia and nearly is all the way back.

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season, though recent reports are positive. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz will likely play the Randall Cobb role in OC Ben McAdoo's offense, so there is some upside if he's fully healthy by Week 1.

Pats Beat: James White the favorite to win 3rd-down RB role

Sunday, May 24, 2015, 9:59am

NESN - [Full Article]

NESN's Doug Kyed on the team's passing-down running back competition:

Shane Vereen’s departure leaves the third-down role wide open, and James White is the favorite to win that job.

The Patriots’ running back competition will be fascinating to watch in training camp. Travaris Cadet will be another player to watch in the third-down mix.

Fantasy Impact:

Kyed also mentions Cadet, whom the Patriots went out and signed to a three-year deal. We would have thought White had the inside track as well, but that doesn't explain why the team signed Cadet. Whoever wins the job will become instantly relevant in PPR formats.

Committee likely to replace Shane Vereen, Travaris Cadet 'most intriguing' candidate

Thursday, May 21, 2015, 12:23pm

Mass Live - [Full Article]

Shane Vereen caught 124 balls in 29 games over the past two years. His presence will undoubtedly be missed.

No single player on the Pats roster will fill his void. So here's what may happen: The Patriots have more talent at the No. 2 tight end spot than they did a year ago, so that position figures to command more targets while the running backs figure to command less.

The pass-catching role out of the backfield could be filled by a combination of Travaris Cadet, James White and Brandon Bolden.

Of that group, Cadet, a free agent signee from New Orleans, is the most intriguing. He has great receiving skills, as you'll see here, and seems comfortable splitting out wide and running routes, a rare trait for a running back.

Fantasy Impact:

If any single back wins the Patriots' pass-catching role outright, he'll suddenly be a factor in PPR formats. Vereen averaged 4.3 catches per game over the past two years (including the postseason). That projects to 68.8 receptions over a full 16-game season.

Gruden: Redskins RB Matt Jones has 'natural hands'

Saturday, May 16, 2015, 7:53pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

In hopes of complementing Alfred Morris with their first true big running back since Stephen Davis left after the 2002 season, the Redskins drafted Florida's 6-2, 226-pound Matt Jones in the third round this month.

"Alfred's a darn good halfback," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said Saturday on the second day of Washington's three-day rookie minicamp. "In order to take carries off of him, you gotta show a lot. "So far, Matt's taken the right steps to take a little bit of the load off of Alfred (who had 85 percent of the carries by Washington's running backs the past three seasons). If you want to commit to running the football, you gotta have a couple guys that can tote it."

By hiring offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who helped make Dallas the NFL's top rushing offense in 2014, and using three of their first five draft choices on Jones, tackle Brandon Scherff, and guard Arie Kouandjio, new Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan has shown how committed the Redskins are to a power running game. McCloughan called Jones "a physical player and as tough as crud." And yet, Gruden raved about the rest of the rookie's game.

"You think of him as a big, power-type back, but Matt's done some things out in space that have been very, very impressive, making moves on the second level, in the passing game, running some option routes on linebackers," Gruden said. "He's got natural hands."

Fantasy Impact:

Jones only had 19 catches in three years at Florida, but it sounds as if he may compete for third down duties now that Roy Helu is no longer locking down that role. Morris has caught 68.5 percent of his targets, which is a higher rate than what Shane Vereen and Jamaal Charles posted last season, but he has yet to make much of an impression in the passing game.

Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) still on track for Week 1

Wednesday, May 13, 2015, 10:23am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

At last check late last month, Giants WR Victor Cruz was doing straight-line running. He hadn't yet reached the point of cutting, even though he claimed to be close. There were "zero doubts" about whether he would be ready for the season opener in September.

Now into early May, Cruz has begun cutting. He's running routes against air (no defenders) and trying to rebuild strength and confidence in the right knee where his patellar tendon tore in an October game against the Eagles.

"We got [to cutting]," Cruz said Tuesday night prior to the 22nd annual United Way of New York City Gridiron Gala at the Hilton in Manhattan. "We started running some intermediate routes on air and stuff like that. It's feeling good. It's feeling tood so far. I think I'm 75-80 percent right now. It's just a matter of building it."

GM Jerry Reese, coach Tom Coughlin and Cruz's teammates all are confident he'll be back for the start of the season. There has been nothing to this point that has indicated otherwise.

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season, though recent reports are positive. He's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz will likely play the Randall Cobb role in OC Ben McAdoo's offense, so there is some upside if he's fully healthy by Week 1.

Giants OC Ben McAdoo says offensive improvement 'usually shows up' in the second year

Sunday, May 10, 2015, 1:35pm

NY Post - [Full Article]

All of Giants QB Eli Manning’s statistics trended upward in 2014 after a sub-par 2013, with room for more growth.

“Usually when you put in changes or change the system or address fundamentals, it usually shows up in Year 2,’’ OC Ben McAdoo said. “I like the look in his eye. I am excited for what is on the plate this year.’’

Fantasy Impact:

Manning finished the season as the #10 fantasy quarterback, but was #2 over the final six weeks, when OC Ben McAdoo said that the team finally played the way it wanted to play. In Odell Beckham, Manning finally has a stud receiver. The free agent signing of receiving specialist Shane Vereen and the return of a (hopefully) healthy Victor Cruz give Manning two more weapons to utilize in the passing game. He looks like a great value for those who want to wait on the position until the 9th or 10th round.

Eagles QB Mark Sanchez believes he'll have a chance to compete for the starting job

Thursday, May 7, 2015, 1:10pm

PFT - [Full Article]

Eagles QB Mark Sanchez believes he'll be able to compete for the QB1 job:

“Really just talking with Coach Kelly and knowing I’m coming with the opportunity to compete for the starting job,” Sanchez said, via CSN Philly. “That was important to me. There were some other opportunities out there, but I didn’t want to switch systems again. On a one-year deal, it’s different for maybe a defensive player then for an offensive player, especially a quarterback. You’ve got to learn a whole new language again. I started to feel real comfortable and I felt like to be honest, personally, there’s some unfinished business we left out there. I know I can play a little bit better than that. I know we can get this team in the playoffs. I think we have the talent to do that.”

Fantasy Impact:

We believe that it's Bradford's job to lose. Over the last two seasons, Philadelphia quarterbacks have averaged 16.7 passing game-only fantasy points. Bradford isn’t much of a runner, but he adds about 0.7 FP per game as a rusher. That adds up to 17.4 FP, or about what Eli Manning averaged as the #13 QB in 2014. The Eagles’ offense has lost their top receiver – DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin – in each of the last two seasons, but Jordan Matthews and Zach Ertz are emerging and the team added Nelson Agholor in the draft. If Bradford ends up starting for the Eagles, we wouldn’t expect anything more than high-end QB2 numbers, but this is a definite system upgrade due to the overall effectiveness of Chip Kelly’s offense.

Reese: WR Victor Cruz (patellar tendon) is 'probably 85, close to 90 percent right now'

Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 10:46am

NJ.com - [Full Article]

The last time we checked in with Victor Cruz before the draft, he said he had "zero doubts" that he would be ready for the season opener in Dallas. Giants GM Jerry Reese said there is no reason to believe that won't happen, but that they are taking a cautious approach with Cruz's rehab.

"We feel really good about Victor, he's working hard every day," Reese said. "I was down there watching him work out a couple of days before the draft. He's excited, he's jumping up on boxes as tall as he is, almost, so he must be doing pretty good for me. We think he's probably 85, close to 90 percent right now, but they're taking him at a snail's pace just so he won't have any setbacks."

It's important to note that Reese is not a medical professional, so he might have gotten a little over-excited with the "85-90%" comment. Cruz said before the draft that he had only been running in a straight line so far, and that he hoped to progress to cutting soon.

But the fact that Cruz has not had any setbacks so far is encouraging, and the box drills that Reese referred to are an indication that he's trying to regain some of the fast-twitch explosion that he would have lost from the injury.

Fantasy Impact:

Cruz tore his patellar tendon in mid-October, so while these reports are encouraging, it's no sure thing that he'll be back for the start of the season. Even if he's fully healthy, he's not going to get the same number of targets given Odell Beckham's emergence as a top-flight wideout. Cruz is currently going in the later rounds.

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