October 02, 2009

The "Deconstructing" tour takes a stop in Jersey to dissect the Giants.

Eli Manning deserves more respect.

Until he won a Super Bowl, he was engulfed by the massive shadows of his daddy (Archie Manning) and big brother (Peyton Manning). And, let's be honest, he still plays second fiddle to Peyton despite the shiny ring. Eli, please just don't go the goofy commercial route to gain attention. It's embarrassing.

The lack of respect has transcended to fantasy football and has even tainted the perceived value of some his weapons. Did you know that Manning has averaged QB1 numbers over the past four years? Did you know the Giants currently have the sixth best offense in the league even without Plaxico Burress?

It's time to give the gunslinger (I'm talking about Eli for any Plax fans who were confused) and his boys some "Deconstructing" love.

The experts said the Giants passing game would struggle without a true No. 1 WR. Owners stayed away from Manning because of this nega-hype ("Deconstructing" language) and his lack of elite upside. Don't be afraid of Manning or this passing offense.

Manning finished 2008 as the 13th ranked QB with 3,238 passing yards and 21 TDs. This was the fourth straight year Manning finished with 3,000-plus passing yards and 20-plus passing TDs. Impressively, he also cut his INTs in half last year to 10. Careless INTs used to crush Manning's value in leagues that harshly penalized the negative statistic.

He is having no problem adjusting to life without Burress. Manning is currently a Top 10 QB with 747 passing yards and five passing TDs. Despite the lack of a true diva WR1, Manning is clearly gelling with young receiving talents Steve Smith, Mario Manningham, and Hakeem Nicks. The chemistry between the veteran QB and these raw weapons will only get better.

Listen, this signal caller isn't going to win you a title on his own. Nevertheless, he's a steady and underrated back-end QB1, with a balanced offense, who can surely help you bring home the bragging rights.


As you know, the Chiefs have a weak defense. Kevin Kolb put up 327 yards and two scores against them last week in his second career start. Now, my guess is the Chiefs are slightly better this week at home. That said, Manning is still going to have a good day even if the Giants can run wild. Expect solid but unspectacular numbers.

I'm such a sellout. I hated the self-proclaimed nickname the Giants RBs Brandon Jacobs (Earth), Derrick Ward (Wind), and Ahmad Bradshaw (Fire) gave themselves last year. Yet, here I am promoting its usage.

While the artificial "Wind" has left town for Tampa, the Giants still have one of the best RB time shares in the league behind Jacobs and Bradshaw. Did you know Bradshaw has more rushing yards (201) on the season than Jacobs (196)? In fact, Bradshaw looked so good last week against the Bucs, it raises the question: Could Bradshaw end up the more valuable RB this year? Okay, the answer is most likely "No." But it could be close.

Take that surprised look off your face. I will explain. Bradshaw has a 5.7 YPC average and is the primary third down back. Further, he's a home run threat on every touch. Nevertheless, while Jacobs' YPC is sitting at a weak 3.4, he will still receive more carries and the goal line looks. While Jacobs will remain slightly more valuable, I have no doubt Bradshaw will garner more carries as the season progresses. Of course, with Jacobs coming out for an injury once every three series, we know Bradshaw is destined to get his opportunities.

Many people mistake the "Fire" for a scat-type back, but he's far from it. Sure, Bradshaw runs with a great combination of speed and agility, but he also busts through the line with power and fights for every yard at the end of runs. Bradshaw has developed into an excellent flex and potential weak RB2 in the Giants' offense. Try to pry him off another owner by stressing that Jacobs is the primary back and Bradshaw has an ankle injury. Hey, you gotta approach trade talks with a plan.

JACOBS' WEEK FOUR OUTLOOK (@KC): 115 RuYDs, 1 RuTD, 2 Rec, 15 ReYDs

Jacobs did not look good last week despite his 96 rushing yards. He was caught running east-west behind the line on a few runs and appeared indecisive. In Week Four, he should go over the 100-yard mark against a soft Chiefs' run defense and because Bradshaw may be somewhat limited with an ankle injury.

Big Blue's WRs are shocking the fantasy world. Steve Smith (he has earned the right to lose the "NYG" parenthetical) has torn up the "possession receiver" label and buried it in a dump under the George Washington Bridge. In three games, Smith has 23 receptions for 277 yards and two TDs. Further, he is in the Top 10 in targets with 28. Smith has clearly become Manning's go-to WR. Congrats if you drafted him as a backup and now have a WR1 on your squad.

"Super" Mario Manningham is a hero to many because he ruined the Cowboys' home opener for Jerry Jones more than a punt with ten-second hang time. On that night, Manningham exploded for ten catches, 150 yards and a score. Naturally, he was subsequently a scalding hot waiver-wire pickup. Manningham has locked down the starting spot opposite Smith. Despite the fact he doesn't have blazing speed, Manningham is the Giants best deep threat right now, and will put up solid WR3 with his solid route running and YAC ability.

Don't worry rookie-lovers, I won't leave you without some Nicks nuggets. Nicks flashed some real upside and development towards the end of the preseason. He was clearly going to receive significant playing time before he went down with a foot sprain. Now he has been "Manninghamed." Nicks may return to the field against the Chiefs this week. He will undoubtedly make some big plays for the Giants during the course of the season. Manningham, however, will receive the lion's share of snaps in two wide out sets and limit Nicks' value. Sell high on the fresh meat if he has a long TD catch one week.

Ahh, you patient and lost Domenik Hixon owners don't want to be left out? Snip-snip, this dude is now an almost exclusive returner outside of a few long-ball bones they may toss him. Sever ties.


Manning will have all day to throw against a Chiefs pass rush that only has three sacks on the season. This time will allow an astute route runner like Smith to have a huge day against the developing CBs he will be lined up against.

Kevin Boss was a little bit overhyped coming into the season. He finished last year as the 13th best TE with 33 grabs for 384 TDs and six TDs. I couldn't pull the trigger on Boss at the draft table because he's unproven and generated most of this value last year from TD snags. Boss is off to a slow start with six catches for 102 yards and zero TDs over the first three games. Notably, Boss only has one red zone target on the year. That is not a good sign. Boss won't find the dance floor six times this year and he will finish the year as the 20th best TE, or worse. Only use him as a starter during bye weeks if he has a favorable matchup.


This will be a week where Boss shows a little life. Todd Heap ripped the Chiefs apart in Week 1, and Brent Celek did the same in Week 3. Boss should find some holes in the middle of the field and get a chance to do his first TD dance.

Hit Bill Root with a tweet @FantasyRoots if you have a pressing start/sit question. Looking to prove you're a fantasy guru? Then register for the UPSET CHALLENGE, the new and unique office pool game that gives you the opportunity to earn ultimate bragging rights! Check it out: http://upsetchallenge.com/.

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