- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Yes, there are more fantasy roundtable discussions that have to do with NFC East players. This one in particular focuses on New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, who was probably undrafted in your league last year but turned out to be one of the highest-scoring fantasy wide receivers in the entire game. The question is whether you can count on Cruz to repeat his incredible 2011 performance, or whether there are good reasons to doubt it.
Christopher Harris is skeptical, and rates Cruz "more as a low-level No. 2 receiver" for fantasy purposes. He points out Cruz's relatively small size and says that makes him easier to take out of games than it is to do the same to a Hakeem Nicks or an Andre Johnson. And he lists the lengths of some of Cruz's touchdown catches -- 74, 68, 72, 99 and 74 yards -- as something that is historically difficult to repeat, year over year.
KC Joyner counters by pointing out that Cruz is a threat in the vertical passing game as well as a threat to take a short pass and turn it into a long touchdown, and thinks that may make those long touchdowns a more repeatable phenomenon than they might be for someone who's not as multi-talented. And he also thinks highly of the additions of Martellus Bennett and Rueben Randle as passing-game options that will help prevent defenses from focusing on taking Cruz out of games.
My take? I think if Cruz is your No. 1 fantasy receiver this year, you can win. I don't imagine he'll replicate the dazzling numbers of 2011, but he's in a situation that should continue to bring the best out of him as long as he remains healthy. He's incredibly fast. He plays in a passing offense. He plays with a top quarterback. He has a fellow wide receiver, in Nicks, that commands attention and also works all the time behind the scenes to help make him better. He's smart. He's driven to get better. He's still looking down the road toward a potentially big future contract.
If Cruz and Nicks are still on the board and I'm taking a receiver, I'd still pick Nicks because they're both fantastic and we've seen Nicks produce for a longer period of time. But I'd have no reservations about taking Cruz fairly high in fantasy drafts this year. I think he's legit.