New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has had many highs and lows during his 10 years in the NFL. He went from having a low completion percentage and a high interception total to winning a pair of Super Bowls. In a year in which his big brother, Peyton Manning, is having his best season ever, Eli is having his worst. Is it time for fantasy football owners to dump Eli Manning?
Manning struggled with his accuracy in his first four seasons, averaging a percentage of 54.7 during that span. In the next five years Eli stepped up his game, averaging a 61.3 mark. He has fallen back to the early days this year, sporting a 53.7 completion percentage through six games.
Interceptions have always been an issue for Eli. In his first 137 games, Eli threw 144 picks. He has thrown at least 15 interceptions in eight of his nine full seasons. Technically, this year isn’t a full season, but he already hit that mark. In fact, he’s on pace to throw 40 interceptions this year.
Eli’s passer rating on the year is 64. He has not posted a number that low since his rookie season. No matter how you slice it, he’s having a terrible season.
There have been some bright spots. He is averaging 286.8 yards and 1.5 touchdowns per game. That puts him on pace for 4,589 yards and 24 touchdowns.
There is reason to believe that he will continue to throw for a lot of yards. The Giants don’t have much of a running game or a capable defense. They will have to rely on Eli’s arm out of necessity. They will also have to throw often to keep pace with the competition.
Manning has the weapons to succeed. Victor Cruz is one of the best in the game. He simply makes explosive plays. He already has 541 yards and four touchdowns. Hakeem Nicks is returning to form. You have to worry about injuries with Nicks, but he has 442 yards. Rueben Randle has emerged as one of the best third receivers in the game. He has 333 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Brandon Myers has 208 yards and a score. Eli will produce big numbers with this quartet.
He’ll need to cut down on the mistakes. I’m not expecting him to take care of the football like his brother, but he needs to cut his interception rate in half. Given his track record and the amount of work he puts in, I expect improvement.
The schedule works in his favor. Other than a date with the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15, the Giants don’t face any elite defenses the rest of the way.
The only reason I would consider dropping Eli Manning is the amount of capable options at the position this year. I’m not saying you have to start Eli, but he should at least be on fantasy rosters at this point.
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