Fantasy Football 2014: Giants at Lions 9/8/14 Week 1 Preview
New York Giants (0-0) at Detroit Lions (0-0)
Monday, September 8, 2014 7:10 PM ET
Kicking off the Monday doubleheader on “Monday Night Football” this week will be the New York Giants and the Detroit Lions. Both teams were ultimately unimpressive last season, so they’ll be coming out firing in 2014 to try and prove they belong among the NFL’s elite.
Both the Giants and Lions feature some notable fantasy football names, so let’s break things down by taking a closer look at some of the important players and see what we can be expecting on our rosters this week.
Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants: Once a high-end backup--or even a starter--in fantasy, Manning has fallen from grace over the past couple of seasons. He’s coming off a dreadful 2013, posting 18 touchdowns and an ugly 27 interceptions in route to a 69.4 QB rating. There’s really nowhere to go but up this season, but we’d still call him a low-end backup reliant on matchups in fantasy.
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Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions: On the other end of the fantasy spectrum, hopes are high for Stafford. He’s usually ranked at No. 4 among quarterbacks, behind only the “Big Three” of Manning, Brees and Rodgers. Surrounded by a bounty of talent on offense (which we’ll get to in a minute), Stafford has all the tools for success at his disposal. We see him hitting around 30 touchdowns, but we’re not as high on him as most.
Rashad Jennings, RB, New York Giants: You have to go pretty far down the draft rankings to find a Giants running back, and that guy is Jennings. Now that David Wilson is out of the NFL (neck injury), he’s the man in the Big Apple backfield--at least for now. Jennings has rookie RB Andre Williams breathing down his neck, but should get most of the workload in the early-going at least.
Joique Bell, RB, Detroit Lions: We could just have easily put Reggie Bush here, as both he and Bell are ranked around the same slot in fantasy. Bell, however, seems to be surrounded by slightly higher expectations. We see Bell getting a bit more carries, but fewer targets in the passing game. Really, you can’t go wrong with either him or Bush, as they’re both at the same level in a solid offense.
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants: There’s not much to get excited about in the Giants passing game, but Cruz carries at least some name recognition. He posted 73 scores for 998 yards last year, but only found the end zone four times. With Odell Beckham on the outside, Cruz should be able to stay consistent with his role this season, and that will help keep his chemistry with Manning intact. He’s not a bad pickup for his level.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions: For the past several seasons, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson has sat alone on top of the wide receiver rankings in fantasy. The guy is a machine; He simply keeps getting better with each year. He’s coming into this campaign healthy, and very well could threaten the 1,492 yards and 12 touchdowns he had last year. Far and away the best WR in fantasy.
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