Eli Manning is trying to rebound from one of the worst years of his career, and hopefully he can put 2017 behind him and play at a high level. Manning had his fewest passing yards since 2008, the second-fewest touchdowns of his career and finished as the No. 22 Fantasy quarterback in standard leagues. It didn't help that Odell Beckham, Brandon Marshall and Sterling Shepard all battled injuries, and Manning is clearly near the end of his career at 37. Still, with Beckham and Shepard back at 100 percent, the addition of rookie running back Saquon Barkley and tight end Evan Engram in his second season, we should see Manning play better this year under new coach Pat Shurmur. The offensive line should also be better with the additions of Nate Solder and Will Hernandez. Manning may never be considered a weekly Fantasy starter in the majority of leagues, but he should have value as a bye-week replacement or streaming option. He's only worth drafting in deeper one-quarterback leagues with a late-round pick, and he's a mid-round selection in two-quarterback leagues.
Manning will collect a $5 million roster bonus, ESPN.com's Jordan Raanan reports. The Giants would've needed to release Manning by 4 p.m. Saturday to avoid paying him the bonus. This leaves no question he's part of the team's plan for 2018, though his presence on the roster doesn't preclude the use of the No. 2 overall pick on a quarterback. The Giants recently gave LT Nate Solder the largest contract for an offensive lineman in league history, perhaps making up for the losses of C/G Weston Richburg (concussion) and G Justin Pugh (back) in free agency. The team has an impressive group of young pass catchers and also signed G Patrick Omameh away from Jacksonville, but there's still work to be done along the offensive line before Week 1.
Head coach Pat Shurmer expressed confidence in Manning on Friday, Ralph Vacchiano of SportsNet New York reports. "I think he's got years left," Shurmer said. "How much? I don't know. But I think he has time left and I look forward to working with him." In addition to good vibes from the new head honcho, Manning was given a vote of confidence from another person in the Giants hierarchy, general manager Dave Gettleman, who said the quarterback has "plenty of arm talent and can win games." The comments come on the heels of a dismal campaign in which Manning's 210-start streak in the regular season came to an end, but his 80.4 quarterback rating was only his second-lowest since 2008, which may be on the mind of Giants brass. No matter, the Giants hold the No. 2 overall pick in the upcoming draft and are expected to address the QB room at some point, likely due to Manning's age (37), at the very least.
Manning completed 10 of 28 pass attempts for 132 yards, one touchdown and on interception during Sunday's 18-10 win over the Redskins. Manning averaged a paltry 4.7 yards per attempt and completed just 36 percent of his passes, but opportunistic touchdowns on the first two drives were enough to earn a win in the finale. The veteran certainly didn't benefit from numerous injuries to the skill positions and poor offensive line play this season, but he finished with his lowest yardage total since 2008 and his lowest touchdown output in any full season in his NFL career. Manning has two years left on his current contract, but the organization's actions earlier this season -- and comments from the player himself -- have led to speculation that he could soon be on the way out. Even if a mid-season regime change could keep him around next year, it is clear that Manning's time as the Giants' option under center is nearly up.
Giants interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said that his "hope" is that Manning will take every snap in Sunday's game against the Redskins, Ralph Vacchiano of SportsNet New York reports. Since it's ultimately up to Spagnuolo to decide if he wants to pull Manning from the contest at any point, it looks like the quarterback will see a full slate of snaps in the regular-season finale. With that in mind, rookie Davis Webb, who will be dressed as the backup over Geno Smith for the first time this season, probably won't be in store for a cameo in his NFL debut, as some have speculated. Changes are afoot for the Giants in 2018 with the team naming Dave Gettleman its new general manager Wednesday and a head coach set to be hired soon after, so it's uncertain if Manning, who is under contract the next two seasons, will be retained as the starting quarterback. There's a chance Sunday's game could be Manning's last one at the Meadowlands as a Giant.
Interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo said Manning will start against Washington in Week 17. Manning finished Sunday's dreadful showing against Arizona 27-of-45 passing for 263 yards and two interceptions in the embarrassing shutout loss. The Giants have nothing to play for and rookie third-round pick Davis Webb could use the evaluation reps, but as of Sunday, the team is saying it will be Manning to start against Washington. Spagnuolo's statement is far from binding, however, and ownership could weigh in to change his view on the matter prior to next week's game. For now, though, Manning appears more likely to start than not.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/30||New Orleans Saints||18||19.06|
|10||11/13||@San Francisco 49ers||27||21.00|
|11||11/18||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||14||18.56|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||62.4||3977||27||14||26||0||301|