Each year, Yahoo releases its Juggernaut Index. This is not a typical power ranking or prediction of how the league will finish that season. Instead, it is a listing of where each team ranks thanks to its fantasy football outlook for the year. The 2017 edition places the New York Giants right in the middle of the pack.
For fantasy purposes, folks are only concerned about the skill positions and the defense. New York should have fared better in such a discussion, except Yahoo is very low on quarterback Eli Manning. Look no further than this nugget:
“Eli, at 36, might be cooked…As Eli approaches the “Dancing With the Stars” phase of his public life — in which he will obviously shine — all we can reasonably hope for is another year of sporadic competence.
That’s a rough projection for a future Hall of Fame passer approaching 50,000 yards. Of course, the competition at fantasy quarterback is pretty severe. Manning, through a year of sporadic competence or something slightly better, is still just a borderline starting QB in standard fantasy leagues. It is hard to crack the top 12 in this day and age.
The rest of the Giants roster should be thought of more highly though for fantasy purposes. The wide receiving corps could be the best in the NFL, assuming Sterling Shepard returns healthy prior to Week 1. Odell Beckham Jr. may emerge as the top scorer (non-quarterbacks) in the entire league this season.
Paul Perkins is a lead back with little in the way of competition. That is ideal for fantasy owners. Shane Vereen is a viable receiving back in real life and fantasy, and could become useful for flex spots. Evan Engram could also break out as a rookie tight end with receiver skills, though Yahoo sites him as “strictly a dynasty target.”
And let’s not forget the defense, which was top five last year and brings back nearly the same group this season. That is a heap of useful and potentially elite fantasy players at their respective draft spots. So why the lackluster feeling surrounding this bunch?
Besides being down on Manning, the Giants’ 16th-place ranking probably has a lot to do with unknowns. Perkins has the job, but we don’t know if he can be a lead back for 16 games. Same goes for Engram at tight end. And though the wide receivers are super talented, we haven’t seen this trio play together yet. That’s a relatively pessimistic outlook for New York, but there’s a level of sense to it. Now, are there actually 15 other teams with better fantasy rosters? That feels doubtful.