Eli Manning poised for bigger things

Updated: October 8, 2010, 1:19 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

I've ranked New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning eighth at his position this week, up a spot from earlier in the week, mostly because the Houston Texans' pass defense he will face Sunday has been awful this season, and I guess I hadn't realized the extent of the mess. I admit I had been starting to wonder whether the normally safe and reliable Manning is, well, safe and reliable. In the past two seasons, Manning has thrown 48 touchdown passes against 24 interceptions. Through three games this season, Manning had five touchdowns and six interceptions.

Watching the other Manning play, the results are deceiving. This is not really the 22nd-best fantasy quarterback, though his standard scoring through a month says otherwise. Manning's wide receivers certainly haven't helped him out on a few of those interceptions, and Manning is on pace, after four games, for another 4,000-yard passing season. His completion percentage, which has risen each of the past two seasons to the 60 percent mark, is actually at a career-best 64.4 so far. And I can't judge him too harshly on the Week 4 performance against the Chicago Bears, when he provided three fantasy points. Why throw? The Bears were not going to score points.

Eli Manning is supposed to be a top-10 fantasy quarterback, and I'm still buying low on this fellow, especially this week. The only NFL team allowing more fantasy points to quarterbacks than the Texans is the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Giants' Week 12 opponent. The Detroit Lions, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, also future Giants foes, are also in the bottom 10. Things will get better for Manning, starting with this weekend. Donovan McNabb and Bruce Gradkowski had big games against the Texans. Watch Manning and Matt Schaub have a nice little shootout as well.