The biggest reason Hixon is getting a chance to shine right now that Hakeem Nicks is out with a knee injury, and according to the New York Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano, things don't look good on that front for the foreseeable future:
Coughlin said Hakeem Nicks' knee isn't any better. How concerned is he? "How much concern can I show you?" the coach said. #NYG— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) October 1, 2012
Hixon looked like a legitimate starting wide receiver against the Eagles—a team with a solid, if not great secondary, and he's going to continue getting chances to make plays for a while.
So, what does he bring to the table, and what kind of fantasy impact will he have going forward?
Hixon is a five-year veteran who's had a bit of success in the NFL before.
At 6' 2" and approximately 200 pounds, he has good size for a receiver, though he isn't physically imposing. He possesses decent speed (4.48-second 40-yard dash, according to NFLDraftScout.com), is a good route-runner and has good hands.
His best season as a pro came in 2008—his second year—when he caught 43 passes for 596 yards and two touchdowns for the Giants.
Hixon was a little-known player out of Akron where he started for two years and accumulated 141 catches for 2,092 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Until Nicks' knee heals up and he's ready to go full time, Hixon is going to get plenty of opportunities to make plays for the Giants.
The Giants are a pass-first team, Eli Manning is an indiscriminate quarterback, and as long as Hixon gets open, Manning will find him.
Hixon caught six passes for 114 yards in Week 4 while Ramses Barden struggled to get into the flow of the game. Of the two of them, I trust Hixon to be the more consistent producer from week to week, and if I had to chose one of them for my fantasy team, I'd choose Hixon 10 times out of 10.
Next up for Hixon and the Giants are the Cleveland Browns. The Giants are hosting this one, and the Browns are one of the worst pass-defending teams in the NFL (ranked No. 28 with 1,144 yards allowed).
Week 6 provides a particularly intriguing challenge for the Giants, though, as they will travel across the country to face the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park. The 49ers have the No. 6 ranked pass defense in the NFL, and through four games they have only given up five touchdowns.
Hixon has the experience and chemistry with Manning to make a positive impact for the Giants and for your fantasy team in the short term.
I'd start him in Week 5 against the Browns. They'll be without Joe Haden, who is out one more week to finish off his four-game suspension, and Manning is likely to shred their depleted secondary.
Week 6? That's a different story. I wouldn't start any receivers except Victor Cruz in that game against the vaunted 49ers defense.
We'll have to keep a close eye on Nicks' recovery for the next couple of weeks to determine whether or not Hixon will be a good fantasy option for the second half of the season.
For now, he's a good flex/No. 3 WR option for your fantasy team.
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