With Hakeem Nicks ruled out for the New York Giants' game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, expect Domenik Hixon to pick up the slack.
Jenny Vrentas of the Star-Ledger tweeted on Thursday:
Coughlin said there is NOT a chance Nicks will play this week. Said combo of foot/knee. #nyg— Jenny Vrentas (@JennyVrentas) October 4, 2012
When Nicks was held out of the Giants' game against the Philadelphia Eagles last week, Hixon caught six balls for 114 yards. That was despite the presence of Ramses Barden, who is listed as "questionable" after a concussion against the Eagles, per USA Today.
Hixon started as the No. 2 receiver opposite Victor Cruz against the Browns. While Cleveland has allowed a middle-of-the-road 7.1 yards per pass attempt this season, they've given up the second-most fantasy points to receivers, as Rotoworld.com noted.
While the Giants have had issues in several areas this season, one area that is still a strength is the passing game behind Eli Manning.
Quarterbacks like Manning find ways to get others involved when players go down, as he exhibited when he passed for 309 yards and two touchdowns against Philadelphia last week. Before he connected with Hixon, he had a big game with Barden, who caught nine balls for 138 yards against the Carolina Panthers in Week 3.
Now, if Barden is held out of the game or is limited against the Browns, Hixon's targets will likely go up. That is after getting 11 targets last week, second-most on the Giants by far.
Hixon has shown he can step up for the Giants when called upon. He caught 43 balls for 596 yards and two touchdowns in the 2008 season. There's a reason New York has kept him around since 2007.
The 27-year-old out of Akron is set up to post nice fantasy numbers in Cleveland in Week 5.