Welcome to the 2011 debut of “My Fantasy” and this week’s breakdown of the Giants-Redskins game from a fantasy perspective. I’ll also try to help some of you with your fantasy dilemmas as well.
As always, I title my Start, Monitor and Sit categories after songs and this week will be Mary J. Blige, who was supposed to sing the national anthem to the Jets-Cowboys game on Sunday night. Since we won’t get to hear her on Sunday night, here are some of her songs:
“REAL LOVE” (START)
QB Eli Manning –- Manning did not have the best preseason, failing to throw a single touchdown. He has a new center and new left tackle and has to find replacements for tight end Kevin Boss and wide receiver Steve Smith. Also, Manning has only thrown more than one touchdown in a game against the Redskins once in 13 meetings against Washington.
Still, Manning has Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham at his disposal. While the Giants will try to establish the run, Manning will have opportunities to throw and makes for a decent quarterback option if you don’t already own a top-10 quarterback.
WR Hakeem Nicks –- Basically, I’ll keep this short: Nicks is a must-start every week no matter what the matchup. He could see safety attention without Smith around but he’s on the brink of becoming an elite wide receiver. Start him.
WR Mario Manningham –- Manningham tore it up in the last three games of last season with 100 yards or more and at least one touchdown in all three games. Start him as a WR2/WR3/flex option.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw –- Bradshaw had a back injury suffered in the second preseason game but he is good to go against the Redskins. Last year, Bradshaw had 97 yards and two touchdowns at home against the Redskins but managed only 22 yards on 15 carries in the season finale at Washington. The Redskins defense should be improved but Bradshaw is still a good option as a RB2 or flex option.
RB Brandon Jacobs -– Jacobs says he is feeling better physically than ever and could receive more carries this season. Last year, he had 103 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a game against the Redskins at home. He scored another touchdown while rushing for 49 yards in the season finale in Washington. Jacobs looked good in the preseason (look up the YouTube video of his run against Chicago) so give him flex consideration in some bigger leagues RB2 consideration as well.
Giants defense –- Perry Fewell’s unit has been decimated by injuries. The Giants don’t have Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck is questionable. They also will start a rookie middle linebacker in Greg Jones. Still, Fewell has enough weapons to get pressure on Rex Grossman. And it’s Rex Grossman. If you do not own a top-10 fantasy defense, start the Giants.
Redskins –- Start RB Tim Hightower, WR Santana Moss.
“YOU REMIND ME” (Monitor)
WRs Domenik Hixon and Victor Cruz –- Hixon likely could get the nod as the third wide receiver. Even if so, Cruz could still see some snaps in the slot. Right now, it’s best to monitor this situation and see how it shakes out. If you are desperate for a receiver, you could go with Hixon but it’s hard to say what he and Cruz will produce on Sunday.
Redskins –- TE Chris Cooley is questionable. TE Fred Davis is a solid option if Cooley is limited or out.
“NOT GON’ CRY” (SIT)
TE Travis Beckum –- Beckum is questionable with a hamstring injury. When healthy, he’s the best pass-receiving option at tight end for the Giants. However, the Giants don’t use their tight ends in the passing game a ton and Jake Ballard and Bear Pascoe could see more snaps because of their blocking ability. Best to find another tight end option this week.
WR Devin Thomas –- Only really an option in leagues that give return yardage.
RB D.J. Ware –- Might be the third-down option out of the backfield but he’s not going to get enough touches to be worthy of starting.
Redskins –- QB Rex Grossman, WR Jabar Gaffney, WR Donte Stallworth.
Normally, we answer your questions in this part of “My Fantasy.” But this week I posted a blog on Thursday so you guys can post your questions there and there are a lot of questions. So I will answer them there, click here to see the answers and good luck everybody! Keep it tuned to the Giants blog and follow me on Twitter @NotoriousOHM for where to post questions next week.