New York Giants
1. Is Eli Manning Worth Drafting as a Fantasy Starter?
scout.com: While he started to show incremental improvement late last season, Manning still has a lot to prove. He'll get a full off-season of work as the starter which wasn't the case last year at this time and those who have watched him practice recently say he looks a lot more confident.
With the addition of veteran WR Plaxico Burress to the offense, their passing game should show improvement. However, keep in mind their starting wide receivers didn't catch a touchdown pass in 2004.
Overall, Manning has enough ability to put some good games together but we don't envision him worthy of starter status at this point in his career--probably a few seasons down the road.
2. What role will rookie RB Brandon Jacobs have?
scout.com: The Giants have been looking for a way to protect RB Tiki Barber since they drafted Ron Dayne but have really been unable to do so.
Jacobs, despite his girth, can really move. We would suspect that the big reason they selected Jacobs was for him to handle a lot of the short-yardage work which would include some goal-line situations. They also have backup RB Derrick Ward who has good size who could compete for that short-yardage role.
If you're near the end of your draft, Jacobs is probably worth a shot since he could score a bunch of times in close.
3. What kind of production can one expect from WR Plaxico Burress?
scout.com: He should turn out to be the No.1 target in the passing game especially down field. Burress was signed to a big money contract and the team is expecting him to get results right away.
When he's at the top of his game, Burress is a supreme deep threat who is capable of posting pretty solid fantasy numbers. The problem with him is consistency.
He has been going late in drafts and probably is a nice selection as your third receiver who will give you some upside potential.
4. Is Tiki Barber worth selecting as a No.1 fantasy back?
scout.com: Many fantasy football fans are worrying about the presence of Jacobs, especially inside the red zone area. While it's probably likely Jacobs will steal a few scores here and there, Barber will get his share of touchdowns as well.
The question is, can he produce as good numbers as last season?
Barber will be used just as much in the passing game and will get plenty of touches but at this point of his career, the team would be smart to get him some rest every now and then so he doesn't break down physically. Look for Jacobs to handle some of the short-yardage worth and to take some scores away but Barber still should be a quality fantasy starter but the loss of possible touchdowns makes him a questionable first back. If you get points for catches, his value jumps back up.
5. Will this be Jeremy Shockey's breakout season?
scout.com: Shockey has been on the cusp of putting together a big season but has yet to do so over the first three years of his career.
Whether it has been numerous injuries or inconsistency, Shockey just hasn't given fantasy football the kind of results they expected from him after being selected in the first round of the 2002 draft. However, that could change this season.
He's coming off his best season with touchdowns (6) and stayed relatively healthy until late in the season. The team is looking at ways to reduce his role as a blocker and to get him more involved in the passing game.
Offensive coordinator John Hufnagel is on board with that sentiment.
"We need to get Shock more into the game," Hufnagel said. "We need to get him to be a playmaker for us consistently, game-in and game-out. I know he is looking forward to that challenge, he wants it so bad. We've just got to make sure that we are doing everything we can offensively to help him get us in the end zone."
With the commitment there to get him the ball more, this could be the year where Shockey puts it all together.
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