After a tough loss to the Miami Dolphins at home to start the preseason, the New York Giants traveled to New Era Field to face off against the Buffalo Bills. While the first game of the preseason was a quiet affair for the Giants, the second was completely silent as they were shut out by the Bills by a score of 21-0. Despite Eli Manning starting with the rest of the first string this time around, Big Blue converted just three first downs and committed numerous errors down the stretch. The dismal performance by the Giants leaves fantasy football managers with little insight, but therde were still a few takeaways from the game.
Once again there is not much to say at the quarterback position. While Eli Manning did not play at all in the first game of the preseason, head coach Ben McAdoo elected to start him for the second. Manning was in until midway through the second quarter, at which point Ryan Nassib entered the game and played nearly as bad as in his first game.
Manning completed just four of nine passes for 44 yards, and was sacked one time. While it was a lackluster outing for Eli this should not affect your decision of whether or not to draft him. For a better look at Manning and his potential as your QB1 please check out my other article, “Can Eli Manning Be a Top 5 QB?”
Another preseason game is in the books and the Giants backfield situation remains extremely unclear. The most notable play of the day came when Bobby Rainey broke off a 70 yard run from within the Giants 10-yard line, taking the ball into Bills territory before being pushed out of bounds. Despite this, Rainey doesn’t have any real chance to claim the starting job in New York, and he had just one carry for no gain the rest of the game.
The Giants back with the most carries of the day was Andre Williams with six. Sadly he squandered these opportunities, amassing just 15 yards for an unimpressive 2.5 YPC. Rashad Jennings was next up with four carries, but also did little with them, running for just 10 yards. Finally fifth round pick Paul Perkins had five yards on three carries, with his longest being for four yards.
Overall not much has changed after this game as each running back failed to distinguish themselves from the rest of the group. If I had to guess I’d say that Jennings still has the best shot at the starting job, but it’s just as likely we see a committee, at least to start the season.
New York’s passing game almost surely disappointed both Giants and fantasy fans, both of whom were eager to see more targets for second round pick Sterling Shepard, who has been climbing up draft boards. Surprisingly the rookie got just one target the entire day, and not a single catch. However I do not believe this to be an indicator of Shepard’s potential or the Giants willingness to feature him in the passing game. Personally I think this will be good for any manager set on drafting Shepard, as his ADP should not shoot up and could even remain where it currently is in the 8th-10th round.
Other than that there isn’t much to say in terms of the passing game, as Odell Beckham Jr. played very little and Victor Cruz was sidelined yet again. Tight end Will Tye had two receptions for 14 yards, but the most notable thing about Tye was the other Giants tight end, Larry Donnell. Donnell did not have a single target the entire game and seemed to be pretty lazy in the blocking game. This should be great news for Tye owners. We’ll have to wait and see but don’t be surprised if he takes over the starting role when the season begins.
Giants fans were very surprised this past week when kicker Josh Brown was suspended for the first game of the season due to what we have now learned was a domestic violence incident from 2015. It has since come out that there have been claims of numerous other incidents, and an arrest in 2001 when the kicker was playing for Nebraska. Brown was a kicker that I was planning to take off waivers after my drafts finished, but now it appears that there is a chance that he may be cut.
Luckily for the Giants they already have a kicker on the training camp roster, Tom Obarski, but less luckily he shanked his only field goal attempt of the game. At this point just steer clear of anything to do with kicking when it comes to Big Blue.
The one bright spot for the Giants in their game against the Bills was their first string defense. The Big Blue D held the Bills first stringers to numerous three and outs and shut them out in the first quarter. While LeSean McCoy put up good numbers in the receiving game, including a touchdown, the defense shut him down completely in the rush. Overall he had five rushes for a zero yard net gain.
The Giants defense is very intriguing, especially considering that they will not be drafted in most leagues. Look for them to be a good streaming option, and possibly even worth having as your starting D. I think they are going to surprise a lot of people this year.
My main advice after this game is to not freak out. Yes, the Giants offense looked terrible. However it is just the preseason, however cliche that might sound. While you should continue to steer clear of any Giants running back, this game should not change your opinion of Manning, Beckham, or Shepard at all. I strongly believe that once they work out all the kinks the Giants will have one of the best offenses in the league.