Team Profiles- New York Giants 2015 by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
Team Profiles – New York Giants 2015. It’s been rumored that after he steps down from coaching in the NFL, Tom Coughlin has agreed to star in the 3rd sequel to “Grumpy Old Men”, but in the meantime, you have to think he wants one more Super Bowl before going into the movies. The often-cantankerous Coughlin has been the head coach in New York since 2004, and led the Giants to victories in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI. Prior to signing on with New York, Coughlin was also the first ever head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars, serving from 1995–2002 and leading the team to two AFC Championship games. After three straight playoff-less seasons, the Giant’s owner John Mara called Big Blue’s 2014 season an “embarrassment”, and admitted that at one point he almost fired everyone. The Giants closed the year by winning three of their final four games, so Coughlin still has a seat in New York for 2015, albeit a hot one.
2015 Team Outlook– The Giants are joined in the NFC East by Dallas, Philadelphia and Washington. Like the AFC West, it’s a very competitive division where all 4 teams can claim division victories at least twice, since 1999. Dallas had their best year since 2009 and won the 2014 season with 12 wins vs only 4 losses. The last time the Giants won the division was in 2011 with a record of 9-7. They also won the Superbowl that year. With Dallas & the Giants both facing major changes to their roster due to free agency, and Philadelphia & Washington have big question marks at the quarterback position, the Division is up for grabs in 2015.
2015 Fantasy Outlook–
QB– From the middle of the 2013 season to the middle of 2014 NFL season, I was convinced that their was something seriously wrong with QB Eli Manning’s throwing arm or shoulder. It looked extremely arduous for him to throw a pass farther than 20 yards, and I wasn’t sure he’d ever be 100% again. Through the first 6 weeks of the 2014 season, QB Manning managed to throw for 300 yards only once, and had only 11 TD passes vs 5 INTs. After his bye in Week 8, Eli looked like the old Eli again, and if you want to be kind and remove a disastrous Week 11, he threw 14 TDs and only 4 INTs for the remainder of the year. He also topped 300 yards passing in 4 more games after the bye, and had 429 yards and 1 TD Week 17. Thanks to his rebound (and thanks to a super-star receiver named Odell Beckham Jr) Eli ended the 2014 season as the 11th ranked QB in the league. The Giants have a promising young team coming up this season, and I like Eli (again) as a big sleeper for fantasy owners.
RBs– In 2014, Cleveland was excited to get RB Ben Tate, Jacksonville was excited to get RB Toby Gerhart, and the New York Giants were excited to get RB Rashard Jennings. Injuries however, forced all three teams to rely one someone else to run the ball, and in the Giants case, that was rookie RB Andre Williams. The Giants had wisely drafted RB Willliams in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. From Week 5 on, RB Williams became the Giant’s workhorse, carrying the ball 200+ times and scoring 7 TDs. He ended the 2014 season as the #23 running back in the NFL (Rashard Jennings ended the 2014 as the #30 running back, getting healthy and back into action Week 11.) Although currently listed as the Giants #1 RB, Jennings is a 29-year-old running back with a history of injuries, and it will be hard for him to be much more than a timeshare back with Andre Williams in 2015. UPDATE: Giants released RBs David Wilson and Hillis. Former Patriot RB Shane Vereen was signed to a 3 year deal.
WRs– The only thing Odell Beckham Jr really did in 2014 was rank as the #5 wide receiver in the NFL as a rookie, playing in only 12 games, and he received the Rookie of the Year Award. (A few more notes on Beckham are included below in “Did You Know”…) WR Victor Cruz has been the #1 wide receiver in New York since 2011, but On October 12, against Philadelphia suffered a torn patellar tendon prematurely ending his 2014 season. Cruz is five months removed from knee surgery and expects to be cleared for training camp. If Cruz can come back healthy, along with 3rd year veteran WR Rueban Randle, the Giants WR corps has become one the best in the NFL. UPDATE: WR Victor Cruz’ rehab is going slowly and he could possibly be released for cap room. Cruz says that he should be ready to play in preseason games. UPDATE 2: The Giants are raving about WR Rueben Randle early on this spring/summer and Eli Manning has already predicted a breakout year for Randle. Not good enough for me. I’ve heard this before. I’ll pass on Randle.
TEs– Giants re-signed exclusive rights free agent TE Larry Donnell to a one-year, $585,000 contract. TE Donnell hauled in 63 passes from QB Eli Manning for 623 yards and 6 TDs, which ranked him #11 among NFL tight ends. TE Daniel Fells was also a weapon for Manning especially in the red zone, catching 4 TDs in 2014. UPDATE: Giants re-signed TE Larry Donnell.
K– Josh Brown signed with the New York Giants on March 13, 2013, making the 4th team that he has played for since being drafted by the Seahawks in the seventh round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Brown only missed 2 field goals in 2014, but only attempted 26 total.
DEF– The Giants haven’t had a defense that’s even sniffed around the top 10 since 2011 (13th). Jason Pierre-Paul almost entered free agency, but the pass rush of New York still has serious roster problems, and it doesn’t help that they have at least 8 other defensive players that could be on the way out of town. The Giant’s top three safeties from a year ago were Antre Rolle, Stevie Brown and Quinton Demps and all have expiring contracts. I’m not done. The Giants fielded one of the league’s worst run defenses in league last season, so New York has a lot of work to do just to put a defense on the field in September. UPDATE: ESPN reports Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) “could” miss training camp and the start of the season. The Giants are still “awaiting more medical info” after Pierre-Paul almost blew off his hand in a 4th of July fireworks incident.
2014 New York Giants Fantasy Surprises– No one was really talking much about WR Odell Beckham Jr before the 2014 season started, but he was almost everyone was talking about him when the 2014 season ended. If anyone tells you that they thought in September 2014, that Odell Beckham Jr would be the NFL 2014 rookie of the year, I hope their pants caught on fire when they told you that. I have to admit that even though I knew of RB Jennings previous injury history, I was “All In” on him as the starter for the Giants and shouldn’t have been surprised when he got hurt in Week 5.
2015 Free Agents that New York Needs to Address– FB Henry Hynoski- RB Hillis (released)- WR Jerrel Jernigan- G James Brewer- G John Jerry (re-signed)- Center J D Walton (released)- DE Mathias Kiwanuka- OL Spencer Paysinger- OL Jacquian Williams- ILB Mark Herzlich- CB Zach Bowman- CB Walter Thurmond- S Stevie Brown- S Quintin Demps- S Antrel Rolle- DE Jason Pierre-Paul (franchise tag).
2015 NFL Draft– The immediate needs of the Giants are trying to fill the holes that will be left in their defense after free agency and like every other team in the league except Dallas, they need help on their O-Line. The Giants have 3 safeties entering free agency (S), New York couldn’t stop the run (LB) and New York’s 2014 line play was atrocious (OL). UPDATE: New York Giant’s entire 2015 NFL Draft can be seen at this link- NEW YORK GIANT’S DRAFT
Did You know – In his shortened 2014 NFL season, Odell Beckham Jr had New York Giants franchise records in…
• Most receiving yards in a season, Rookie: 1,305
• Most receptions in a season, Rookie: 91
• Most receptions in a game by a WR, rookie: 12, December 14, 2014
• Most receptions in a game, any position, Rookie: 12
• Most consecutive games with 90+ receiving yards: 9
• Most 100 Yard games, Rookie, Season: 7, 2014
• Most 125+ Yard games, Rookie, Season: 6, 2014
• Most 150+ Yard games, Rookie, Season: 2, 2014
• Most games with 10+ receptions, Rookie, Season: 4
• Most games with 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards, 1+ TD, Rookie, Season: 4, 2014
• Most games with 2+ receiving TDs, Rookie, Season: 4, 2014
• Most games with 6+ receptions, 90+ receiving yards, Season: 9
• Most touchdown receptions of 35+ yards, Rookie, Season: 4
• Most all-purpose yards (rush, rec, return yardage) by a WR, Rookie, Season: 1,326
• Most receiving yards at home, Rookie, Season: 767
• Most receptions at home, Rookie, Season: 51
• Highest average receiving yards per game, Season: 108.8
• Highest receiving yards per catch (min. 50 catches), Rookie, Season: 14.34
• Only Giants rookie WR to have 50+ receptions in a season
• Only Giants rookie to have 10+ receptions, 125+ receiving yards, 2+ TDs in a game
• Only Giants rookie to have 3 receiving touchdowns in a game
• Only Giants rookie to have consecutive games with 10+ receptions
• Only Giants rookie to have consecutive games with 11+ receptions
• Most Receiving Yards In 12 Games By A Rookie with 1,305 Receiving Yards
and NFL Records in…
• Most consecutive games with 90+ receiving yards: 9, 2014-ongoing
• Most consecutive games with 130+ receiving yards, 1+ TD: 4
• Most games with 10+ receptions, Rookie, Season: 4
• Most games with 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards, Rookie, Season: 4
• Most games with 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards, 1+ TD reception, Season: 4
• Most 125+ Yard games, Rookie, Season: 6
• Most consecutive games with 6+ receptions, 90+ receiving yards: 9
• Most receptions in a seven-game span by a rookie: 61
• Most receptions at home, Rookie, Season: 52
• Most receptions in month of November, Rookie: 38 (2014)
• Most receptions in month of December, Rookie: 43 (2014)
• Most touchdown receptions in month of December: Rookie, 7 (2014)
• Most receiving yards in any calendar month, Rookie: 606 yards (December 2014)
• Highest average receiving yards per game, Rookie, Season: 108.8
• Only player in NFL history with 75+ receptions in 11 games to begin a career
• Second player in NFL history with 90+ receptions while playing in 12 or fewer games in season
• Second player in NFL history to have 1,100+ receiving yards in 11 games or fewer in season
• Only rookie with 75+ receptions, 1,100+ receiving yards, 10+ TD’s in a season
• Only player in NFL history to have 1,300+ receiving yards while playing in 12 or fewer games in season
• Only rookie with 90+ receiving yards in 5 games in a calendar month (November 2014)
• Only rookie in NFL history to have multiple games with 10+ receptions, 125+ receiving yards, 1+ TD in a season (4)
• Only rookie in NFL history to have 12+ catches, 140+ receiving yards and 3+ TDs in a game
• Only rookie in NFL history to have consecutive games with 11+ receptions, 130+ receiving yards, 1+ TD
• Only rookie in NFL history to have 10+ receptions in consecutive games
• Only rookie in NFL history to have 11+ receptions in consecutive games
• Only rookie in NFL history with 50+ receptions at home in a season
• Second rookie in NFL history to have multiple games with 10+ receptions, 100+ receiving yards, 1+ TD in a season (3)
• Second rookie in NFL history with 700+ receiving yards in a 6-game span
• Second rookie in NFL history with 10+ receptions and 3+ receiving TDs in a game
• Second rookie in NFL history with 700+ receiving yards at home in a season
• Third rookie in NFL history to record 10+ receptions, 125+ receiving yards, 2+ TDs in a game
• Fourth rookie in NFL history to have 90+ receptions in a season
• Fourth rookie in NFL history to have 1,300+ receiving yards in a season
• Youngest player in NFL history with multiple games of 10+ receptions in a season: 4 (22 years, 53 days)
All team reports can be seen at this link- TEAM REPORTS
Team Home Page: www.giants.com