Friday, October 18, 2013
Why Eli should rebound this season
By Tom Carpenter
2013 has been an unfettered mess for Eli Manning. His New York Giants are 0-6, his 32.1 QBR is the lowest mark of his career, his 52.7 completion rate is the lowest it's been since his second year in the NFL, and his 9:15 TD:INT ratio is flat out embarrassing. Even with a plus-matchup versus the Minnesota Vikings' beatable secondary Monday night, he ranks behind a backup (Nick Foles) and a QB who has no WRs (Matt Ryan) in our ESPN fantasy rankings this week.
There is hope for Manning to turn things around statistically as the season progresses, though, in large part due to a friendly schedule. Most of Manning's struggles to date have come against good secondaries. In games against the Carolina Panthers, Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears, he has averaged 191.6 passing yards with 2 TDs and 7 INTs. In games versus beatable secondaries (Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles), Manning has averaged 382 passing yards with 7 TDs, 10 INTs.
It's hard to ignore his propensity for interceptions, but clearly he has had much more success when facing weaker secondaries, something of which he will see plenty during the Giants' next seven games (MIN, @ PHI, OAK, GB, DAL, @ WAS, @ SD). In fact, all but the Raiders (15th) rank among the bottom nine in the NFL against the pass this season. And the Packers, Vikings, Cowboys and Eagles are five of the bottom six teams versus the pass.
Time will tell whether the Giants can whip their O-line into shape and get some semblance of a rushing attack going in order to aid Manning, but fantasy owners who can accept the likelihood that Manning will keep throwing the ball to the wrong team should be rewarded with plenty of big yardage and touchdown totals over the next two months of games. Despite Manning's flaws, his favorable schedule makes him a quality buy-low option for fantasy owners.