By Adam Harris-
(CBS) Eli Manning never seems to get enough credit. It’s bad enough being the younger brother of future Hall of Famer Payton Manning, but after throwing for nearly 5000 yards and 29 touchdowns last year and then winning his second Super Bowl, many fantasy owners are currently panicking.
There are claims of Manning’s “tired arm” in New York, and the Giants, obviously, continue to deny those reports. Manning has thrown for zero touchdowns in his last three games, and he has thrown six interceptions in his last four games. In his last three games, Manning has scored five, four, and six fantasy points in standard leagues.
All of this is reason to panic, but I am here to tell you to relax. While this is by far the worst Manning has looked in his recent career, I want people to understand that he has been through slumps before. Each of the last two years, Manning has gone through a three game stretch where he averaged only one touchdown a game. In 2010, Manning had six games of under 200 yards passing.
Manning has been here before and the criticism he is facing is nowhere near what he heard last year, where while playing sub-par, Manning’s Giants were busy losing four in a row.
The Giants have a bye this week, which will give Manning a much needed rest. He will not throw a football during his off week, and some reports even have Manning completely disengaging from football all together. This will be good for the quarterback who’s back is always against the wall.
In the last four seasons, Eli Manning has averaged 22 fantasy points coming off a bye. Despite his recent struggles, Manning is still on pace for over 4200 yards and based on his upcoming match-ups, he should throw for more than that. His touchdown production should average what it did last year over the Giants’ last six games as well.
Week 12, the Giants host the 20th ranked Green Bay passing defense. Then the G-Men travel to Washington DC and see the 30th ranked pass defense. After that, the fantasy playoffs begin for the Giants by hosting New Orleans (31st vs pass), traveling to Atlanta (19th vs pass) and traveling to Baltimore (26th vs pass).
Eli Manning owners couldn’t ask for a better way to finish the season, and while Manning might be troubling fantasy owners now, I am sure the quarterback punching bag will spring back as always.
In all fairness to Eli, he has faced some very tough passing defenses during this season’s slump. In Week 8, he faced an eighth ranked Dallas defense against the pass, in Week 9, the Giants hosted Pittsburgh’s No. 1 ranked pass defense, and last week Manning just crumbled against Cincinnati’s mediocre pass defense.
Remember what I always say. Fantasy is about a players’ potential, not what they have done. With the favorable matchups, and Manning’s history against adversity, my fantasy advice is as follows:
If you own Manning, don’t make a panic trade for another quarterback, and if you are looking to unload a prime quarterback to fill your roster full of running backs and wide outs, don’t be afraid to take Manning in a package.
Follow Adam on Twitter at @AHarris670 and ask him #FantasyFootball questions. You can hear Adam give fantasy advice on 670 The Score every Friday night with Joe Ostrowski at midnight. Email fantasy questions to nerdherd670@Gmail.com.