Victor Cruz's 2013 Fantasy Outlook Following Breakout Week 1 Performance

Chris RolingFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 08:  Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants makes a touchdown pass reception against Orlando Scandrick #32 of the Dallas Cowboys in the second half at AT&T Stadium on September 8, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Victor Cruz keeps finding a way to Salsa dance up the fantasy football rankings.

After 168 receptions for 2,628 yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons, many owners figured Cruz's value had reached its peak.

That doesn't seem to be the case.

Cruz and the New York Giants took the field against the Dallas Cowboys for an NFC East matchup on Sunday Night Football to open the 2013 season, and as Peter Schrager of Fox Sports elaborates, Cruz brought his A-game:

Cruz's best may be an understatement as he reeled in five receptions for 118 yards and three scores. He consistently got past the last line of defense for Dallas and burned them to the endzone. His touchdown total matched a career high, although his yards tally fell short of his 179 personal best.

Some don't consider Cruz the best fantasy option on his own team, with that honor going to Hakeem Nicks. That also does not seem to be the case. While Nicks also caught five passes for 114 yards, he failed to reach the endzone.

The past two seasons Cruz has recorded more receptions, yards and touchdowns than Nicks as he has clearly developed into quarterback Eli Manning's favorite target and the No. 1 receiver in New York.

At the end of the day, Cruz scores with relative ease and consistency. In the confines of the New York offense and as one of the NFL's premier slot receivers, Cruz is all but a lock to surpass 1,000-yards receiving each year.

Even better for Cruz's immediate future is his slate of games. Week 2 is a matchup with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in a game that could easily turn into a shootout with plenty of scoring opportunities.

After that it's matchups against weak defenses like Carolina, Kansas City and Philadelphia in which teams will be forced to focus more on the bigger Nicks on the outside.

Cruz is silky smooth with his routes and is the most consistent contributor on the Giants offense, not to mention possibly the entire realm of fantasy football. In no league is Cruz not a No. 1 receiver, and it has reached the point where Cruz should never be benched no matter what the matchup forecast looks like.

The now-infamous dancer is too explosive to be contained as the premier player at his position out of the slot.  He is on pace to shatter all of his personal bests in 2013 in what is truly only his third year of significant playing time.

He's not Calvin Johnson of A.J. Green on the real field, but Cruz is his own blend of special that will allow him to produce with the best of the best in fantasy this season.



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