Eli Manning sits at the back of the fantasy football QB1 ranks, alongside other platoon guys like Philip Rivers and Matthew Stafford. Last week, we anticipated Matthew Stafford rising to the top of this heap as he took on a depleted Colts secondary. This week, it’s Eli Manning who will take on a secondary that leaves plenty to be desired. He takes on New Orleans at home this week, a team that just gave up 35 points to Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders.
The Saints will be without their best CB, Delvin Breaux, who suffered a fractured fibula last week, which means that the Giants will have plenty of opportunities to score through the air. Given the Giants’ strength on offense is their passing attack led by Odell Beckham, Victor Cruz, and Sterling Shepard, expect that to be their game plan this week. A game plan that New Orleans will likely be able to do little to nothing about. Their secondary was already a mess, and without Breaux, they may be left with nobody capable of stopping this pass defense.
Playing New Orleans means you’re going to pass. A lot. Since 2011, Saints’ opponents have averaged ver 35 passing attempts a game because that’s what the game script when you play the Saints demands. In games where Eli Manning has at least 35 passes since 2011 (44 games), he averages over 300 passing yards, nearly two touchdowns per game and of course the requisite Manningception. This comes out to 22.82 fantasy points per game. In his first game this season, Eli was much more efficient from the yards to touchdown front; he passed for three Sunday against Dallas while only passing for 200 yards. Eli will not only take advantage of the yards given to him but will score at an accelerated pace.
Last season, New Orleans allowed the most points to QBs (24.54 per game), and Jameis Winston, Brandon Weeden, and Brian Hoyer were the only players to get fewer than 18 fantasy points. 22 fantasy points are Manning’s floor this week as he takes on a horrendous pass defense that will have no ability to stop the bevy of receiving options at his disposal.
Start Eli Manning this weekend ahead of most quarterbacks out there, excepting the true studs like Cam, Brees, Luck, and Rodgers. He’s a shoo-in for top-five production, but you have to have some massive cajones to sit those studs. Otherwise, roll with Eli.