On the bright side for Hakeem Nicks, things can only get better.
So far, 2012 has been a season to forget for the talented New York Giants wide receiver, mostly because the injury goblin refuses to leave him alone.
Not only has Nicks missed three of New York's nine games, but because of a lingering knee, foot and pretty much anything below the waist issue, he's been hobbled for the other six.
As a result, the stats are underwhelming: 47 targets, 27 catches, 390 yards and one touchdown. On a per game average, that's 7.83 targets, 4.5 catches and 65 yards. Certainly not numbers to be embarrassed of, but also far from what owners were expecting when they drafted him.
Moreover, if you take away Nicks' Week 2 explosion against Tampa Bay, in which Eli Manning threw approximately 274 times and Nicks pulled in a healthy 10 catches for 199 yards and a touchdown, his numbers are rather Donald Jones-like:
17 catches (3.4 per game), 191 yards (38.2 per game) and zero scores.
And yes, I'm telling—nay, urging—you to trade for that pile of stinky production.
First of all, he's getting healthier and should be much more involved in the coming weeks than he was during last week's one-catch, 10-yard debacle.
From the New York Post's Paul Schwartz:
Hakeem Nicks says swelling in knee is gone and he's playing Sunday. #NYG— Paul Schwartz (@NYPost_Schwartz) November 8, 2012
Nicks may quickly be turning himself into the Grant Hill of the NFL, but this positive development coupled with New York's Week 11 bye means top health is just around the riverbend.
Besides, remember that he walked all over Aqib Talib, Ronde Barber and company with essentially one leg. Nicks, who has outstanding strength, elite hands and premier route-running ability, is better at 75 percent than most guys are at full strength.
And considering his upcoming schedule, he might not even need to be at that level to appease owners.
Over the rest of the season, where will Hakeem Nicks rank among fantasy WRs?
After the Giants' bye week, they get Green Bay (11th in the NFL in yards per pass allowed), Washington (26th), New Orleans (31st) and then Atlanta (22nd) and Baltimore (18th) in Weeks 15 and 16 of the regular season. That's just one top-15 pass defense remaining and two beatable secondaries in the fantasy playoffs.
I assure you that better fantasy days are coming for Hakeem Nicks. The only thing left to do is low-ball his owner, and you'll find yourself in much better shape for the fake postseason.