Draft Day Decision: Victor Cruz vs. Vincent Jackson (Includes 2014 Projections)

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Based on the current average ADP (courtesy of Fantasy Pros), Vincent Jackson (35.2) is going ahead of Victor Cruz (41.1). My question is why? If I had a choice between the two I would go Cruz every time, but let’s take a look:

Victor Cruz
He had a poor 2013 campaign, which included missing two games and having sub par quarterback play. Yet, he still managed to pick up 73 catches for 998 yards and 4 TD.

While the touchdowns were down, part of the problem was Eli Manning and part was due to a negative impact from the running game. Despite what they’ve shown thus far in the preseason, it’s fair to expect a significantly better year from Manning. They brought in a new offensive coordinator and there’s definitely been growing pains, but it’s likely just a matter of time.

They’ve also brought in a pair of new running backs in Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams, which should help keep opposing defenses honest. No longer will opponents simply be able to focus on the passing game, which should help to open things up.

You also have the fact that Cruz is the clear best player not only in the receiving corps, but likely on the offensive side of the football. The Giants have other weapons, but we all know who the go to guy is.

Maybe Cruz isn’t the explosive player who averaged 18.7 yards per catch in his rookie year. Instead he is the guy who has averaged 12.7 or 13.7 yards the past two seasons. That’s more than enough, especially since he’s a near lock for 85+ catches and should repeatedly find the end zone (he scored 19 TD over his first two seasons).

2014 Projection: 85 catches, 1,250 yards, 10 TD

 

Vincent Jackson
He may be the bigger play option, with a career mark of 17.4 yards per catch, but he’s never had more than 78 receptions in a season (2013) and has never had more than 9 TD in a year (he’s had 8 and 7 the past two years).

He also gets a change in coach, with Lovie Smith taking over, but you also have a new wide receiver, in first round pick Mike Evans, who could take some targets away.

How about a return to health for Doug Martin, who arguably could be the best player and centerpiece of the offense (especially now that Charles Sims is out, though the team still speaks of rotating backs)? You have to think he’s going to get his chances, further hurting Jackson.

That’s not to say that Jackson isn’t one of the better options in the game and can make big plays, but he easily could continue coming in with fewer receptions and TD than Cruz.

2014 Projection: 75 catches, 1,225 yards, 8 TD

There you have my reasoning for favoring Cruz over Jackson. What about you? Which player do you prefer and why?

Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros

*** Make sure to pre-order Rotoprofessor’s 2014 Fantasy Football Draft Guide!!  The guide comes complete with projections of over 350 players, expended rankings, sleepers, and so much more (including constant updates up until opening day).  For just $6 you will get everything you need to dominate your fantasy league and one lucky subscriber will win a free autographed Brett Favre 8×10!  For more information and to place your order, click here. ***

Make sure to check out all of our 2014 rankings:

How Should Johnny Manziel Be Valued On Draft Day?
Draft Day Decision: Is DeSean Jackson Worth A Top 50 Pick? It's Close, But Probably Not...

2 comments

  1. CB says:

    Oh man do I hope you’re right about Cruz as a Giants fan. I don’t think you’re really saying anything negative here about VJax. You’re anticipating a normal year from him so I won’t comment much on him except that I think he was operating under awful conditions last year with Doug Martin out, Glennon and others at QB and Mike Williams early season injury. Even though everyone knew he was the only weapon he still put up big numbers. I think McCown’s willingness to take chances in 1 on 1 situations with big WRs and Doug Martin’s threat in the run game creating more play action opportunities could lead to a bigger year from him. I do think your projection for him is fair though. Cruz on the other hand is where I’m concerned. The Giants have a new offensive line and a new system to learn. In the long run I think it will be a better system but it could take 6-8 weeks or a year for the line and the offense to gel. Manning only has played in one offense and could’ve run those plays in his sleep. Now the game could get more complicated for him and everyone around him early on. New offense + new and shaky looking o-line doesn’t seem like a great formula for success. However, they do get to play Dallas Washington and Philly 6 times (5 in most leagues since philly is week 17). Cruz has 1 TD in his last 13 games and it may not get better so quickly in Giant town. I personally may be faced with this decision of Cruz v. VJax in round 1 of my upcoming keeper league draft and I’m weighing this decision as well. As of now they’re close but I think I go VJax b/c he just needs to be on the field to produce and can even produce at a high level in less than ideal circumstances like last year. Cruz faced adversity and was somewhat of a bust. To me thats the tiebreaker. On a side note, how do you feel about Crabtree vs. either one of them? Sorry for this being such a long comment.

    • No need to apologize, as I love the feedback!

      I’m a big fan of Crabtree, but have him ranked below both of them. Obviously, depending on the keeper rules the rankings do get changed a bit, though…

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