Fantasy Football Week 2: Top New York Giants Starters vs. Tampa Bay
Eli Manning and the Giants struggled against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 1, but after a week's worth of practice to workout the kinks, the "G-Men" should get back on track this Sunday against a Tampa Bay defense that allowed more than 300 yards through the air in Week 1 to Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.
Last season, Giants offensive players were a goldmine for fantasy users.
So, can they get back to that in 2012?
Here are my top-five New York Giants fantasy players for Week 2.
*Stats= 0.1 points per yard; no points per reception; 6 points per touchdown
No. 5 Hakeem Nicks
Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
Week 1 Result: 3.8 points
Anytime Hakeem Nicks takes the field, he's an offensive threat for an opposing defenses, but his status for Week 2 is still a bit cloudy.
Nicks missed practice on Friday, as he's still working toward healing his surgically repaired foot, according to ESPN New York.
He finished Week 1 with four receptions and 38 yards, but couldn't find the end zone for fantasy users, as the Dallas D was too much for the injured wideout.
Nicks has a favorable matchup in Week 2, facing a Tampa Bay defense that surrendered more than 100 receiving yards to Carolina's Steve Smith last Sunday.
Monitor his status as 1 p.m. ET approaches on Sunday.
No. 4 Martellus Bennett
Al Bello/Getty Images
Week 1 Result: 10 points
Martellus Bennett had an impressive debut in New York against his former squad, hauling in four receptions for 40 yards, including the only receiving touchdown for the Giants.
This doesn't apply to fantasy users, but Bennett did an excellent job of protecting Eli Manning and opening up holes in the running game, which should get him more playing time, which in return will please fantasy owners.
The Buccaneers defense allowed Panthers tight end Greg Olsen six catches for 56 yards last Sunday, showing that Bennett will have plenty of opportunities to make an impact for his fantasy owners.
Eli Manning loves his tight ends, and going off of what we saw between he and Bennett in Week 1, it's going to be another solid season for Giants tight ends, with Bennett being the leader.
No. 3 Ahmad Bradshaw
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Week 1 Results: 15.3 points
With David Wilson fumbling in his NFL debut, head coach Tom Coughlin relied heavily on his starter, Ahmad Bradshaw, to carry the load against Dallas in Week 1.
Bradshaw finished the night with 78 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries and also caught two passes for 15 yards in the passing game.
He'll be the leading back in Week 2 against Tampa Bay, whose run defense wasn't tested much against Carolina in Week 1.
The Panthers ran the ball just 13 times as a team, and I'm expecting Bradshaw to see nearly double that amount of carries alone this Sunday (probably somewhere between 18-23).
He's got a great combination of speed and power, making him one of the most elusive backs in the NFL, which should make fantasy owners happy in Week 2.
No. 2 Victor Cruz
Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Week 1 Results: 5.8 points
Victor Cruz suffered from a case of the drops in Week 1, but I'm expecting him to come out ready this Sunday.
Cruz will be playing with a heavy heart, as his abuela (grandmother), who helped raise Cruz and is the inspiration behind his infamous touchdown celebration, passed away on Monday, according to Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN New York.
Cruz is a player who has faced enormous amounts of adversity throughout his career and has always battled to make his way to the top, and this Sunday will be one of those times.
Despite dropping three passes against Dallas, Cruz still led the Giants wideouts with six receptions and 58 yards.
The Bucs' defense allowed 303 receiving yards to the Carolina Panthers last Sunday, so look for Cruz to have a big day in Week 2.
No. 1 Eli Manning
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Week 1 Results: 12.5 points
Eli Manning isn't going to let his Giants start the season off 0-2 after winning the Super Bowl last season.
Manning played well against Dallas, completing 21-of-32 passes for 213 yards and a touchdown, but was plagued by an offensive line that didn't protect him and couldn't open up holes in the rushing game.
Tampa Bay allowed Cam Newton to throw all over them in Week 1—303 yards and a touchdown—and Manning has more offensive weapons to work with than Newton does.
We saw Manning pick apart opposing defenses in 2011 on his way to 4,933 yards and 29 TDs and establish himself as a top fantasy quarterback, and that's not going to change in 2012.
The Buccaneers defense allowed 30 passing touchdowns to opposing quarterbacks in 2011, which tied for 29th-worst in the NFL.
Expect big things from Eli Manning and the New York Giants offense in Week 2.
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