The Jets and Giants have both had an interesting free agency period. The two teams were involved in the swapping of some familiar faces within state. The Giants obtained both Brandon Marshall and Geno Smith from the Jets this offseason. Marshall was cut from the team and Geno Smith was on his way out as a restricted free agent. The Jets also lost Darrelle Revis via release and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick due to a voided contract.
The Giants increased their offensive firepower by bringing in the two former Jets. The Jets seem to be content with an entire rebuild, as they continue to clear house. The only question left is: what fantasy impact will this have for both squads? Below we’ll detail that situation for both teams and discuss what options seem the most attractive for the 2017-18 Fantasy Football season.
The Giants have been the primary off-season beneficiaries in the 2017 off-season. Placing Brandon Marshall across from Odell Beckham Jr. is going to be a nightmare for secondaries across the NFL. Few secondaries will be able to match-up against these two without exposing vulnerability to other offensive threats. Either is a viable fantasy target at wide receiver, but don’t count out Sterling Shepard in this conversation.
With just under 700 receiving yards to go with 8 touchdowns, Shepard posed as one of Eli Manning’s primary targets. When Odell was heavily guarded, the door was opened for Shepard to shine. The team has now put opposing defenses in a bind having to account for both Marshall and Beckham, which paves the way for Shepard to own and dominate the slot receiver position. The payday that’s on its way for Odell is one that most of us wouldn’t even know how to spend, so let’s all hope he has a year big enough to warrant the massive contract that will likely bankrupt the Giants in years to come.
As for Eli Manning, it is easy to say that the addition of Marshall should elevate his play, but should that also mean his fantasy value has increased? The common rule of thumb is to wait on quarterbacks, as you can get quarterback production almost everywhere in the league. However, if you are huge Giants fan and fully believe Eli is poised to have a monster year at the age of 36, it will be hard to resist pulling the trigger a little earlier on him in fear of missing out.
The Giants also cleared house at the running back position. The team released Rashad Jennings, opening opportunities for guys like Paul Perkins and Shane Vereen. Perkins looks to be the starter for now, but that shouldn’t diminish Vereen’s opportunities as a 3rd down and long distance back. Vereen has shown glimpses of brilliance through his years in New England. He is primarily a receiving back, which opens the offensive potential for this team even more. Both backs are good speculative adds, with Perkins holding more upside than Vereen due to age concerns.
The Jets have started their rebuilding process, taxing their team’s fantasy values. The team has released their biggest defensive and offensive threats, leaving areas for a few players to step up. The team, amongst all of their big losses, brought in a few key performers on both sides of the ball. They signed quarterback Josh McCown and cornerback Morris Claiborne. Both hold a one-year contract, with Claiborne offering the most upside for the team. The McCown signing is seen as a mentor position that allows him to shed some knowledge on the younger arms the team possesses. Pending draft results, McCown could be the guy they go with as their starter come the first game of the season.
There are two receivers that benefit from losses and openings in the Jets’ offense: Eric Decker and Quincy Enunwa. Decker has quietly comprised some very solid seasons with the Jets in the shadow of Marshall. His numbers have remained steady and consistently good each season, which makes him a good target for a WR1 or WR2 position. The most intriguing face that comes out of this receiving core is Quincy Enunwa.
Enunwa is a very versatile player who can line up as a tight end or wide receiver in given sets. This dual capability makes him one of the most attractive fantasy options on the Jet’s offense. He will have to become a model of consistency and continue to develop his ability to keep defenses on their toes. Enunwa is the best speculative add for a fantasy flier that the Jets have.
Most people will hear about the Jets’ losses and immediately turn to Matt Forte. Use caution in this decision, because it does come with some factors to consider. One of those factors is age. Forte is 31 years old and will turn 32 in December. He has done the heavy lifting wherever he has gone and has put a ton of miles on his body. Forte was drafted in the same year as Jamaal Charles, and fantasy owners know what kind of frustration Charles caused last year. Forte has a ceiling and he should not be expected to carry the RB1 title for your team. Do not reach for him and proceed with caution on this veteran running back. He seems like a jewel for a team that is struggling to find their way, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t bring in a younger talent to steal his shine.