Depth Chart Analysis: New York Giants Wide Receivers

The Giants wide receiving corps entered 2009 surrounded by question marks.  Many thought they lacked a true #1 option, but as a whole the group stepped to the plate and showed that there wasn’t just one, but many options that fantasy owners should be paying attention to.

As we head into 2010, let’s take a look at the Giants receivers and determine their potential fantasy value:

Steve Smith
The other Steve Smith no more, he emerged as Eli Manning’s go to option in 2009.  He was second in receptions with 107 (one of only six receivers to eclipse the 100 reception mark), meaning in PPR leagues he was a gold mine.

For everyone else, however, that wasn’t his only strength.  He accumulated 1,220 yards and 7 TD, leading the Giants in both categories.

Heading into 2010, he probably will not be the go to option in the end zone.  At 5’11”, 195 lbs., he’s built more like a Wes Welker, where he is a tremendous possession receiver.  He had only 14 catches of more than 20 yards and 2 catches of more than 40 yards.

He’s going to be great once again, but his value is much greater in PPR leagues.

Hakeem Nicks
The 2009 first round pick got off to a slow start, but by mid-year he had become entrenched as a big play receiver in the Giants offense.  He had his ups and downs, but finished with 47 catches for 790 yards and 6 TD.

He never had more than 6 catches in a game, however, a number that I would expect him to surpass in 2010.  He also hit a wall in November, without scoring a touchdown and not exceeding 66 yards in a game.

Still, he showed his ability for the big play, with 5 plays of over 40 yards and averaging nearly 17 yards per reception (fourth among receivers with at least 45 catches).  Now, with a full year under his belt and more time to work with Manning, you have to think that he’s in line for a big year.  He’s usable as a WR3 and a great option for a depth receiver in all formats.

Mario Manningham
He had 57 catches for 822 yards and 5 TD, but he falls to more of a third receiver role thanks to the emergence of Nicks.  The Giants are likely to focus on the running game again, so you have to wonder how many opportunities the third receiver will actually have?

He’s a good player and could emerge in all formats, but don’t draft him expecting him to start.  He could easily fall further down the Giants depth chart, meaning he’d be useless to fantasy owners.

Dominick Hixon
He spent time as a starter, but in the end he’s likely to be the Giants fourth receiver in 2010.  There just aren’t enough balls to go around, so his value is nil unless things change dramatically.

What are your thoughts on the Giants wide receivers heading into 2010?  Who will have the most valuable?  Who is worth drafting and who do you think should be avoided?

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