33-Year-Old Quarterback – New York Giants
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Although the Giants are standing by Manning as their starting quarterback, he's showing some serious signs of decline as he heads into his age-33 season. His throwing velocity has noticeably dropped o...
Eli Manning Contract Information:
Manning restructured his contract with the Giants in March of 2012 in a manner that will clear roughly $6.75 million from the team's 2012 cap figure. The current deal is for seven years and will run through 2015. It is worth $107 million.
Manning completed 1-of-4 passes for zero yards in Thursday's preseason finale against the Patriots.
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|Passing||Pass Distance||Big Pass Games||Rushing||Fumbles|
|2014 Proj||33||NYG||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Eli Manning|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Passing Stats||Red Zone Passes||Red Zone Runs|
|2014 Proj||33||NYG||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Eli Manning|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Passing||Pass Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Red Zone Passes||Red Zone Runs|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Eli Manning: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Coach Tom Coughlin won't make his decision official until Thursday's practice concludes, but Manning appears poised to garner at least one series Sunday. The Giants' appearance in the Hall of Fame Game affords Manning five exhibitions to prove the health of his ankle, which underwent arthroscopic surgery in April. After throwing a career-worst 27 interceptions last season, it remains to be seen if the procedure can cure what ailed him.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)"He feels good," Manning's brother Peyton noted. "He was doing some light throwing the other day, obviously just kind of upper-body stuff." While GM Jerry Reese indicated that the younger Manning would sit out the Giants' spring football activities, the quarterback's rehab seems to be going well. Last week, Manning relayed that he was off crutches and out of his walking boot, while adding that he started running.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)As the report notes, the Giants have already ruled Manning out for the team's spring football activities, but the continued expectation is that the quarterback should be ready for training camp. "We're not going to rush him back," GM Jerry Reese noted. "He'll be back for the summer. That's when we want him out there."
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)17 days removed from surgery on his left ankle, the report notes that Manning is already moving without any noticeable limp, but look for the QB to proceed cautiously in his recovery, with an eye toward being at or close to 100 percent for training camp.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Manning has been up and down over the past few seasons, but he's shown a high enough ceiling to warrant consideration once the top-10 options are off the board. Manning's biggest issue has been accuracy; it's already difficult to complete passes in Giants Stadium, but his 59.9 percent completion rate from 2012 needs to improve. So does Manning's interception total – he has averaged 17 during his eight years as a starter. With a healthy and talented group of skill- position players – Hakeem Nicks should be 100 percent after getting his knee fixed, Victor Cruz has re-signed and second-year man Rueben Randle showed promise as a rookie – and a potentially explosive running back in second-year man David Wilson, Manning could be set for a rebound year. The quarterback will need to limit the disastrous games, however. Manning had five games with at least two interceptions in 2012, but he also turned in five games with at least three touchdowns, including two with four and one with five. Manning's streaky play makes him a volatile choice, but that variance might be something beneficial if you pair him with a steadier backup.
Manning has been an above average starting quarterback since at least 2009, but it was not until 2011 - his eighth year in the NFL - that he actually arrived. He was particularly sharp in clutch situations as the MVP of the Super Bowl-winning Giants, but his all-around numbers jumped to a new level in 2011, too. His 4,933 yards were more than 900 more than his previous career high of 4,021, his YPA of 8.4 was half of a yard more than his previous career high of 7.9 and his 30 total touchdowns (one rushing) were the second-highest total of his career. With the selection of LSU receiver Rueben Randle in the second round of the draft, free-agent wide receiver Mario Manningham’s exit to San Francisco is not much of a concern, though Hakeem Nicks’ broken foot – which occurred just before press time – could be, should Nicks not be ready for Week 1. Moreover, Manning is unlikely to attempt 589 passes again in 2012 – as the Giants regular-season defense and running game will almost certainty be better – and reduced volume would cost him some yardage at the very least.
Manning has been a nice bargain for his fantasy owners the last two years, emerging as a cheap but effective fantasy starter after spending most of his career as a backup-type. After failing to post a figure any better than 6.8 yards per attempt in his first five seasons, Manning finished 2009 with an average of 7.9 and last year with an average of 7.4. That increased efficiency allowed him to finish those two seasons above 4,000 yards while posting successive career highs of 27 touchdowns in 2009 and 31 in 2010. Of course, last year’s TDs came with a league-leading 25 interceptions, but an inordinate number of those were on tipped passes, and that number will almost certainly decline significantly. If Steve Smith recovers from his microfracture knee surgery, Manning will once again have a loaded group of receivers, with Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and even rookie Jerrel Jernigan providing big-play potential. In any case, it seems as if this improved version of Manning is here to stay, and he should continue to be a solid option at quarterback.
After becoming the league’s highest paid QB during the summer of 2009, Manning performed like one with his best season by far when measured by fantasy performance or any other reasonable criteria. The team wasn’t good, though, which helped Manning rack up yardage. The running game was very inconsistent with the offensive line looking mediocre for long stretches and with Brandon Jacobs seeming uninterested and slowed by myriad minor injuries. Manning’s got production out of a very inexperienced cast of wideouts. Steve Smith became a poorman’s Reggie Wayne, and Hakeem Nicks looks like a future star. Alas, the Giants are looking to make more of a commitment to running and defense. So consider last year’s level of fantasy achievement a ceiling not likely to repeat, irrespective of his ability. While Manning has not yet peaked as a player, his yardage level is likely to regress to the 3800 range. Combine that with fewer TDs due to our presumption of a stronger running game, and Manning becomes the marginal starter/ideal backup he was heading into 2009.
He had his best year in terms of QB rating, but it was still a modest 86.4. The YPA was sub par at 6.8. The TD rate also mediocre, and he didn’t toss a single one to a wideout after Plaxico Burress shot himself Thanksgiving weekend. The Giants at press time have decided to forgo a veteran solution to Burress’s departure. The draft picks are promising, of course. Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina) has Anquan Boldin-type skills. Frankenstein Ramses Barden (Cal Poly) has Burress-type size. And Travis Beckum is a receiving TE/H-Back who can provide the receiving skills run-blocking-titan Kevin Boss lacks. But Manning is never going to take a quantum leap and become a Peyton-type of player. He now is all he’ll ever be: a good-enough NFL QB with little explosiveness to entice fantasy owners unless he’s surrounded by premium skill talent, which he is not. Plus, the Giants have a very good defense and will not need to play too aggressively, especially with their great running game (even with the loss of Derrick Ward to the Bucs) and rock-solid offensive line. You can get away with Manning as a starter at times in deeper, 12-team leagues as long as you are very strong at WR and RB, as you should be because Manning will not require anything higher than a late, mid-round pick. He’s a useful selection here because you know he will not lose his job, and he’s unlikely to get hurt, because, like his brother, he rarely takes sacks, and the Giants also rarely allow clean rushers to break through. Ideally, though, you want to back him up right away with a QB with higher upside because this Manning will not be a significant factor in any fantasy championship.
He was a great game manager in the playoffs, the antithesis of what he was in the regular season, when he finished near the bottom in interception percentage – 20 picks in 529 attempts. Manning is the toughest call in the QB class this year. The numbers say forget him and that the postseason was a fluke that only proved he could avoid mistakes and make a couple of big plays when his defense is carrying the day. And that profile never won anyone a fantasy championship. But so much about playing the position is mental. And Manning now is a champion. If it only takes confidence to unlock natural talent then Manning is primed for takeoff. But since NFL scouts are so bad at figuring out who can play the position, what does being a No. 1-overall pick at QB really mean? Probably a lot less than we think. On the plus side, he was sacked only 27 times in 529 attempts. The Giants have a good offensive line. The receivers are top notch, with Plaxico Burress now upper echelon even when hampered by an ankle injury that is now fully healed. There are a bevy of other weapons, too, including a multi-dimensional stable of capable running backs. And the Giants are very aggressive in throwing the ball, at least during the regular season. They grade above average on first downs in the first half of games and in throwing inside the red zone. Manning is a solid option if you opt for our preferred strategy of being among the last teams to take a starter and the first to take a backup in 12-team leagues. That means drafting Manning about the eighth or ninth round. If the glitz of the Super Bowl win has blown his cover or if you're drafting with Giants fans, don't sweat it. There's not enough evidence here to justify a reach.
Despite the 24 TD passes in each of the last two years, his upside appears limited. Almost any QB who’s great peaked before the 40-start mark of his career. Manning attempted 69 percent of his passes of 10 yards or less. And you know he has a strong arm because he obviously passed all those silly scouting combine drills with flying colors. Should Manning throw deeper more often? From 11-to-20 yards, he had a 58 QB rating and completed 42 percent of these throws. He also had seven interceptions on just 36 throws 21-to-30 yards from scrimmage. He did very well on throws of more than 30 yards, but good luck if that’s your offensive bread and butter. You can’t call Manning a choker because he’s the same in the fourth quarter of close games as he is overall: mediocre. Same for the last two minutes of a half. The only stat we can find supporting a bullish stance on Manning is 11 TD passes in 22 attempts inside the opponent’s 10 yard line. When viewed within the context of all the other signs of mediocrity, this screams sample-size fluke and may even justify adjusting those 2007 TD projections downward. The bulls see Manning’s 24 TD passes as a floor. They shrug off the loss of Tiki Barber and expect second-year pro Sinorice Moss to stay healthy this year and show the explosive playmaking he flashed at the University of Miami. They buy into Plaxico Burress as a dominant, king-making receiver. And they cross their fingers on Jeremy Shockey’s health. All of this is needed for Eli to step into the class of the fantasy elite. We’d say the chance is one-in-three, at best.
Who is Eli? The QB who made great strides the first half of ’05 or the mediocre signal caller he became in the second half? After a 14-5 TD/INT ratio the first eight games (84 QB rating), he finished 10/12 (69 QB rating). Things then got much, much worse in the home playoff loss to the Panthers. Manning’s struggles seem certain to give Tom Coughlin a rationale for being more conservative to start the year. Fantasy owners have learned not to trust Coughlin with their QBs. In ’05, the Giants were 26th in first down pass percentage, 15th in overall pass percentage and 15th in red-zone pass percentage. Manning was average in converting red-zone passes into TDs despite the emergence of Jeremy Shockey into a major weapon and addition of Plaxico Burress, who, admittedly, is a streaky talent. So why count on him? The weapons are plenty, with the dynamic Tiki Barber catching the ball out of the backfield. We also like the addition of Sinorice Moss as a slot receiver, which should increase the already very good 30 passing plays of more than 25 yards. The 90.5 QB rating on 69 late/close throws gives us hope that Manning will ultimately respond and continue his early ’05 development path. He’s proven he can handle the blitz, with an 88.5 QB rating and 13 TDs against it last year (168 attempts). The 87.5 QB rating on 116 11-to-20 yard throws shows the arm strength is there. But he must improve his accuracy, which was sub-par last year with 17.1 percent poor throws, many on easy, shorter ones where he often looked like he had the yips.
After a rocky start against some very tough defenses, Manning seemed to turn the corner against the Steelers in Week 15. In that game, Manning completed 16-of-23 passes for 182 yards (7.9 YPA) and two touchdowns with just one interception and nearly led the depleted Giants to a win against the AFC’s top playoff seed. Manning’s numbers over the final two games weren’t pretty (5.4 YPA), but he threw for three touchdowns in a Week 17 win over Dallas and cemented his status as the team’s leader. Manning has good, but not exceptional, arm strength, nice touch on his passes and good pocket awareness. He’ll also have a decent stable of receivers now that the Giants signed Plaxico Burress to fit in among Amani Toomer, Jeremy Shockey and Tiki Barber coming out of the backfield. And if the speedy Tim Carter can recover from a hip injury, or if Jamaar Taylor can take the next step, Manning should have more than enough skill players in place for a productive second season. The Giants need to do a better job of pass protection, but the signing of free-agent right tackle Kareem McKenzie and the return to health of second-year right guard Chris Snee should help on that front.
Eli is no Peyton (who tossed an impressive 26 TDs his rookie year), and in any event, he’ll likely begin the season on the sidelines behind the recently acquired Kurt Warner. Were Manning able to beat out Warner in training camp, quality receiving options like Jeremy Shockey, Amani Toomer and Tiki Barber out of the backfield would help. But the Giants’ line specialized in “look out” blocks last year, and coach Tom Coughlin has never created an offensive environment conducive to success for fantasy QBs.