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Hakeem Nicks had a solid rookie season for the Giants last year. He caught 47 passes for 790 yards (16.8 ypc) and 6 TDs. He had 411 yards after the catch, which is an impressive number given his relatively few receptions. He is big at 6’0″, 215 lbs with good speed, making him difficult to bring down. He should turn in another solid season, but are people drinking a little too much of the Giants’ Kool-Aid?

 

Nicks has an ADP of 53 (19th WR) according to Mock Draft Central. I have him as my 24th WR (click to see my WR rankings), but I wouldn’t be comfortable taking him quite so early. I prefer the likes of Dwyane Bowe, Percy Harvin, Vernon Davis, Jermichael Finley, Pierre Garcon, and others that have lower ADPs. If Nicks is on my team, it will be as a WR3. I don’t see that happening based on this scenario.

 

It’s not that I dislike him, but I am going to temper my expectations. I am predicting 65 catches for 950 yards and 6 TDs. Not bad numbers, but not numbers you expect out of the fifth pick of the fifth round in fantasy drafts either. Not unless they are coming from a tight end.


The problem is the Giants have a lot of options in the passing game. Steve Smith is the clear #1. Mario Manningham figures to see at least as many targets as Nicks. Kevin Boss and Ahmad Bradshaw, provided they can stay healthy, should also have decent roles in the passing attack.


I’m also expecting a more balanced attack this year. The Giants attempted 542 passes to just 443 running plays. I would expect fewer attempts from Manning and more carries from Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Andre Brown, if he can recover from his Achilles injury, could formulate the three-head monster the Giants used with great success in 2008.


If the Giants are running more and passing less, it stands to reason the G-men WRs will suffer, especially considering how many quality options they have. Throw in his injury history from last year, and I just can’t trust him quite at 53.


What are your thoughts on Hakeem Nicks?

 

The G-Men had question marks at WR and turned out three that had solid seasons. The running game took a step back. I see the running game bouncing back at the expense of the air attack.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule:  Difficult
First they have to travel to Minnesota in Week 14. They return home to face the Eagles. Then they travel to Green Bay in the fantasy championship.

Five Star Fantasy Options
None

Four Star Fantasy Options
Eli Manning – Manning had an impressive season throwing for 4021 yards, 27 TDs, 14 INTs, a 62.3 completion percentage, and 93.1 passer rating. All of those numbers, except for the INTs, were career bests. He is a decent starting fantasy QB, but as I said, I expect the Giants to utilize the rushing attack more.

Steve Smith – Smith came out of nowhere to deliver for the G-Men in a big way. He had 107 catches for 1220 yards and 7 TDs. I expect a step back from Smith, but he still should be a solid WR2.

Three Star Fantasy Options
Brandon Jacobs – His 835 yards and 5 TDs were a far cry from the 1089 yards and 15 TDs he had in 2008. He suffered through injuries last year, which have been a problem most of his career. If he can stay healthy he can approach double-digit TDs. I wouldn’t bank on 1000 yards for him though.

Ahmad Bradshaw – Bradshaw almost certainly will have more total yards than Jacobs. Health could be a concern for Bradshaw as well, but he is very talented.

Hakeem Nicks – Nicks had fewer catches (47) and yards (790) than Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, but he offers the most upside. He has big play ability. Consistency could be an issue.

Giants Defense/Special Teams – They had a myriad of injuries in the secondary, but should be improved in that department. They are always a good bet to pile up the sacks.

Two Star Fantasy Options
Mario Manningham – Manningham was second in receptions and yardage last year, but is likely to be the third receiver this year. There will be times that you want to use him, but he’s more of a depth option at this point.

Kevin Boss – Boss had 567 yard and 5 TDs last year, which is solid, but I don’t seem much room for improvement. He’s a high-end TE2, but I wouldn’t want him as my starter.

One Star Fantasy Options
Andre Brown – What will Brown do for you? He’s coming off a serious Achilles injury so you will have to see his progress before you consider him. He’s probably at least a  year away (if he ever makes it at this level).

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

Time for another Fourth & 1 Roundtable Debate.   Kurt Turner of www.top-fantasy-football.com came up with this week’s topic.  Click here to see the full article.

This week’s question: What are your top two buy low / sell high candidates headed into week four?

Buy Low
There are a number of good Buy Low options as several stars have yet to score a TD. Running Backs Matt Forte and Steve Slaton are candidates, but prying a Running Back that was selected in the first round away from someone is a tall order.

A player that I would target is Carolina’s Steve Smith, who shockingly is becoming the “other” Steve Smith. He has just 190 yards through three games. What’s worse is 131 of those yards came against Atlanta in Week 2 meaning he has just 59 yards in his other two games. A reason that Smith could be acquired is the horrific play of his Quarterback, Jake Delhomme, who has 7 INTs and 2 Fumbles through three games. His poor play has caused people to question Smith’s value, which opens the door for you to swoop in and nab a WR1 for below market value. Smith is too talented not to come around.

Sell High
Everybody expected Matt Ryan to make a huge leap this year, but it’s the other Sophomore Sensation Joe Flacco that’s lighting up the league. Flacco is seventh in passing yards with 839 and tied for 4th with 6 passing TDs. Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Matt Schaub are the only other guys with at least 800 yards passing and 6 TDs. I don’t see a major fall from grace, but I don’t see him keeping up his top five fantasy QB ranking either. His fantasy value will likely never be higher. The weather is fine now, but later in the year when it gets cold and sloppy, the Giants will rely more heavily on their ground game.

Another player I’d consider moving is Mario Manningham. His value is also extremely high as teams scrambled to grab him as a waiver wire gem. There are a few things that will be going against him going further. Hakeem Nicks and Domenik Hixon will be returning from their injuries. They won’t take his starting gig, but they well likely take some of his targets. Also, if you check your calendar it’s October. It’s nice nice, but once the weather gets cold and sloppy the Giants will shy away from the passing game a bit and utilize their powerful rushing attack.

Panelists
Junkyard Jake of www.junkyardjake.com
Ryan Lester of www.lesterslegends.com
Paul Greco of www.fantasypros911.com
Bryce McRae of www.kffl.com
Kurt Turner of www.top-fantasy-football.com
Eric Stashin of www.rotoprofessor.com
Lee of www.footballjabber.com
Smitty of www.fantasyfootballxtreme.com


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