2015 Fantasy Football Value Profile: Eli Manning







By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

In 2013, Eli Manning had one of the worst seasons in his career as he completed just 57.5 percent of his passes, threw just 18 touchdowns - a career low - and also threw a whopping 27 interceptions - a career high. After that abysmal season, the Giants hired the Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo to take over as offensive coordinator.

McAdoo had been the Packers tight end coach from '06 to '11 and then their quarterbacks coach '12-'13. He may not have been the person to mold Aaron Rodgers, but he sure learned plenty from Green Bay's west coast offense and how Rodgers commands it. The results in the win column didn't show up for the Giants last season, but the improvements to the offense and Eli Manning sure did.

After McAdoo took over last year, Manning went on to put up his best ever completion percentage at 63.1 percent along with his most pass attempts (601) and completions (379). He still had 14 interceptions, but it was a huge decrease from the 27 the year before, and nine of 2014's 14 picks came in just three games, with four in the first two games of the season as Manning was learning McAdoo's offense. Will Manning still have meltdown games? I don't think he'd be Eli without them, but is he going to have another meltdown season in this offense? I don't think so.




Eli ended up as the 10th-ranked fantasy quarterback last season with a fairly up and down year. But this season, he'll have immersed himself in a full season and offseason of McAdoo's offense, and this time he'll start the year with super sophomore Odell Beckham Jr. in the fold. When Beckham was in the lineup, Manning averaged 285 yards passing to 243 when the rookie was out of the lineup. A full season with Beckham won't hurt Manning's numbers any, and he'll also be getting Victor Cruz back, as well as the new acquisition of Shane Vereen, who fits this pass-happy offense well out of the backfield.

Manning will still have Eli-esque tendencies, but the quick-hitting, high-percentage passing game brought from the Packers is perfect for squashing his brain-cramp throws, while also giving the offense plenty of opportunities to score. Last season, the Giants ranked second in red-zone plays with 180 (only Green Bay had more with 187) and third in passing plays inside the red zone with 104 (Green Bay 105, Denver 110). Those numbers, of course, expand across the whole field as the Giants ranked third in total plays with 1,054. Yes, scoring efficiency needs to get better for the 6-10 Giants of last season, but there is hope for that in the second year in this offense.

The offensive skill-position players as a whole are stacked. The return of Victor Cruz in the slot can only help. Rueben Randle showed signs of life in the last two games of the season last year with 12 receptions for 290 yards and a touchdown. Larry Donnell proved to be a viable red-zone target and is a stable force at tight end. Rashad Jennings, Andre Williams and Shane Vereen all have good upside in their roles, and the offensive line should get better with first-round left tackle Ereck Flowers coming into the fold.




When looking at players like Eli Manning, I want to feel safe in the amount of volume they will have. If Eli Manning was playing for the Titans, I'd worry that even if he played well, he just wouldn't have enough total plays to put up fantasy numbers. I also like to see some reason to believe his fantasy numbers could get better. For Manning, I believe both of these things to be in our favor. His floor should be his total from last season, while his ceiling should be in the top-five range in his second season in this offense.

Manning is going off the board in mock drafts as the 13th quarterback taken. That gives you a lot of value and upside for that slot. I'll take that and run when I get a chance.

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