The New York Giants have simply underachieved over the past two weeks, and Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and the offense are no exception. Considering how consistently efficient Big Blue's offense performed last season and in January, 2012 is quite surprising.
Week 10 of this season offered a bit more optimism strictly regarding Nicks, because he did make nine catches for 75 yards. On the downside, Nicks was also targeted 14 times and New York had issues making catches for Manning all day long.
Here, we look at what to expect from Nicks moving forward in fantasy football. With the fantasy season winding down, let's hope Nick's production can find another level.
Impact Thus Far in 2012
Through 10 games this season, Nicks has caught 27 passes for 390 yards and only one touchdown.
At this point last season, the Giants receiver had already compiled 772 yards on 50 catches, four of which went for touchdowns. So we're currently looking at an impact that's basically 50 percent less than 2011; obviously, part of that is also due to him missing three games.
Interestingly enough, the Giants were also 6-4 a year ago from here as well.
Nicks and the rest of Tom Coughlin's offense have just been sluggish all season. Only once has Nicks gained over 100 receiving yards this season and only twice has he caught more than five passes. Clearly, his own impact continues to be lackluster, otherwise the Giants would be moving the ball more consistently.
Fortunately, time still remains to turn things around. And that's something Big Blue has been known for in recent years.
Where the Production Can Get Back on Track
Manning's pass protection is fine, but Nicks and the receivers are simply dropping too many passes. The running back tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw and Andre Brown are faring well, as they combine for 874 rushing yards and a 4.6 per-carry average.
Therefore, provided the Giants slam more on the ground, it will take pressure off the receivers in getting open. Opponents have adjusted nicely to Manning and the receivers, because that has been the offensive strength—especially last season.
So for Nicks to get back on track, New York just needs to emphasize more balance.
That's a big part of what allowed for a late run to win another Super Bowl, but Big Blue wasn't as consistent all year. Now, though, Manning has an even better ground game and the receivers can benefit if its utilized more.
Looking at the remaining schedule and using the run to set up the pass is required.
What Lies Ahead For Nicks and Co.
Up next are the Green Bay Packers, followed by the Washington Redskins and New Orleans Saints. All three may be better against the run as opposed to the pass; however, the Giants can't afford to become one-dimensional.
Still, the Packers are much better against the pass this season and also present a stronger pass rush. Washington minimized Manning's aerial assault early on and played well except for Victor Cruz's late big play.
And the Saints displayed against the Falcons how stellar they can be when backed up inside their own red zone. As a result, Nicks and the receivers must become dominant run-blockers so the passing game can then make a stronger and more consistent impact.
In terms of fantasy, he's still worthy of a No. 2 receiver/flex spot. Although don't anticipate much from Nicks or the Giants' passing game, as it's been virtually non-existent the previous three games.
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