Fantasy Football Start Or Sit Week 2: Eli Manning


Fantasy football owners that were relying on the New York Giants to carry their teams against the Dallas Cowboys Week 1 probably came away disappointed and with a loss. The Giants offense was unable to get into any sort of rhythm, as the Cowboys milked the clock right from the start, keeping the Giants off the field and out of the flow.

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The person this seemed to affect the most was Eli Manning, who had a dud of a game. Anyone who started Manning on their fantasy football team came away with very little consolation outside of Manning not turning the ball over. He completed 20-of-36 passes for only 193 yards; very underwhelming numbers no matter if you play fantasy football or not.

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While that performance was a forgettable one, that doesn’t mean you should avoid Manning this week. Everyone deserves a second chance, and Manning certainly does in what will be an easier matchup and at home.

Manning will be taking on a Falcons team that started off strong against the Eagles, but faded in the second half. The Falcons were able to pick up the win, but the defense didn’t do the team many favors as they failed to keep up with the Eagles fast-paced offense once they got into a rhythm and got things moving. The Falcons lack anything resembling a pass rush, which should give Manning time in the pocket to look downfield, something he didn’t do against the Cowboys; according to Pro Football Focus, the Falcons had a bottom-five pass rush in Week 1.

More From Empire Writes Back: Giants’ Team Grades vs. Dallas Cowboys Week 1

The Giants may not play at the speed of the Eagles, but who does? They still like to move fast, and should find more success doing it against the Falcons Week 2 than they did Week 1. Las Vegas has confidence in what the Giants offense can do against the Falcons defense, setting their total at 26.75 points, which is the fourth-highest total of Week 2. In addition to the poor pass rushing grade from Pro Football Focus, the Falcons also received a poor coverage grade, finishing bottom-ten in that category.

While Manning will still be without Victor Cruz, the Giants still have some weapons for him to throw the ball to, namely Odell Beckham Jr. Beckham Jr. should be able to find the same success Jordan Matthews did in Week 1, when he racked up 10 receptions on 13 targets for 102 yards. Darren Sproles and Zach Ertz also had success against the Falcons out of the backfield and up the seams respectively. The Giants also have players at their disposal in Shane Vereen and Larry Donnell that can exploit the same areas of the field and find success.

Also, recent history suggest Manning will have a solid game against the Falcons. Against them last season, in Beckham’s first career game, Manning completed 19-of-30 for 200 yards and two touchdowns; which equals 16 points in standard fantasy leagues (25 passing yards = 1 point, passing touchdown = 4 points).

In their first home game of the year, the Giants will undoubtedly be fired up to play in front of their fans. Fantasy football owners should ride that wave also and get Manning into their starting lineups if they have the chance. The Falcons will play much faster than the Cowboys did last week, and the Giants cannot afford to lag behind. If the Giants are to keep up, Manning will be a big part of it. Don’t let his performance from Week 1 sway your decision; Manning is easily a top-12 quarterback in Week 2 and should be started with confidence in fantasy football lineups.

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