Ranks reaction: In the Giants I trust 

September, 7, 2011
I always enjoy seeing the weekly fantasy football staff rankings for the first time each week (it's Wednesday, ba-by!). One can hear whispers around the office, such as oooh, he really likes this guy or what does he have against this fellow? In truth, I can safely say none of the four rankers -- Matthew Berry, Christopher Harris, Tristan H. Cockcroft and myself -- discuss our personal rankings beforehand. We're moving a mile a minute here, especially leading into Week 1. Still, it's interesting when one ranker seems to like a certain player or team much more than the others.

For this week, I suppose, the New York Giants are that "it" team for me. I've been talking up wide receiver Mario Manningham all preseason as someone who could vault from outside our top 20 at the position into the top 10, even with Hakeem Nicks as a teammate. I truly believe that. Manningham was good last season, and he finished strong, averaging 115 receiving yards -- with 100-plus yards each week -- and scoring four touchdowns over the final three weeks. And this team doesn't seem to have a reliable No. 3 receiver, especially with Steve Smith now on the Philadelphia Eagles.

[+] EnlargeMario Manningham
AP Photo/LM OteroMario Manningham was tough to bring down last season, averaging 15.7 yards per catch and scoring nine touchdowns.
Manningham can duplicate these feats in more games this season. It's a fallacy that he was able to do this simply because Nicks wasn't around; in truth, Nicks was pretty good in Weeks 16 and 17 as well, scoring a touchdown in each game and totaling 27 fantasy points. And Eli Manning might not be in your top 10 for the season -- he just made mine -- but only two quarterbacks have thrown for 4,000-plus yards each of the past two campaigns, and he's one of them. The interceptions will go down to more normal, credible levels. And when his big brother misses Week 1, it's little brother that will take over the longest consecutive starts streak among quarterbacks.