Giants Fantasy Update: Week 16 Giants vs Vikings

Adam Nardelli | Fantasy Football Contributor

Week 16 of the NFL Regular Season means championship weekend for most fantasy footballers.  It all comes down to this weekend to snag some nice pocket change, or some cash for your car payment.  Regardless, decision-making in terms of who to put in your lineup will be as important as ever come this weekend.

To get into the Giants, they head to Minnesota for a Sunday night showdown with a Vikings team primed to make the playoffs.  It’s a tough spot for the Giants, and undoubtedly got tougher due to Odell Beckham Jr’s suspension.  Without Beckham, the number of Giants offensive players that are viable to be started in fantasy becomes even more grim.

Eli Manning is of course the one member of the offense that can be started for just about anyone that has him.  However, a realistic drop-off from his 245 yard 4 TD performance from last week should be expected with no Odell Beckham Jr. in the lineup.

Beckham is not only Manning’s most dangerous weapon, but his mere presence opens up opportunities for other receivers or Tight Ends on the field to make plays.  (See Will Tye’s touchdown from last week).

I mentioned last week to expect a possible disappointing day from Eli due to the top-notch Panthers defense, but obviously I was a bit off on that.  Well, that disappointing game from Eli looks a lot more probable this week for a multitude of reasons, with the first of course being the lack of OBJ.

The Vikings are also 7th in the league in passing defense, and with Eli throwing to a list of fairly unimpressive and un-threatening receivers, that’s not a good combination.

Worsening the outlook for Eli, Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer mentioned that three of his best players on defense, Linebacker Anthony Barr, Safety Harrison Smith, and Defensive Tackle Linval Joseph (former Giant), should all play on Sunday night.  The three have been battling various injuries over the past month, but each has the ability to make Eli’s life miserable in their own way.

If your fantasy football team is in the championship and Eli Manning helped you get there, it doesn’t seem viable to make a QB change at this point.  Most QBs you can add to your team at this point would not be worth starting over Eli, but if somehow Kirk Cousins, Ryan Fitzpatrick, or even Teddy Bridgewater are still available in your league, grab them quick and then you can ponder over who to start.  Eli has had an impressive year overall, but because of the matchup and the loss of Odell Beckham Jr. taking a glance at the free agent QBs in your league won’t hurt.

Again, in most cases stick with Eli if you’re in the championship because he helped you get there, but if you can manage to grab one of the hot commodities out there at QB right now, like Kirk Cousins, then by all means do that and you’ll have two more than solid options at the position to choose from in the biggest fantasy week of the year.

Switching to the skill positions, Rashad Jennings has come on the last two weeks and has finally shown he should be getting the majority of the workload in the backfield.  In the past two games Jennings has a combined 188 rushing yards, by far the most rushing yards in a two-game span this season, as well as a nice 38-yard touchdown run against Carolina.

The return of DT Linval Joseph for Minnesota won’t do anything to help spark the Giants running game, but if you’re not confident in the running backs you’ve had in your starting lineup and are looking for a guy that has been on a hot streak, Rashad Jennings fits that role perfectly.  Jennings is nothing more than an RB2 or a FLEX, but he could benefit from the Giants attempting to get more out of the running game this week in case the passing game takes a nose dive without Odell Beckham Jr. on the field.

As I foreshadowed, none of the Giants receivers particularly attract me this Sunday, especially with it being championship weekend for most fantasy leagues.  We’ve yet to see this receiving corps without Odell Beckham Jr. all year, and the championship game isn’t the time to take chances on guys like Rueben Randle or Hakeem Nicks.

Tight End Will Tye, however, has been consistent over the past two weeks and could be worth a shot in a daily fantasy league where it’s important to have a player in your lineup that many of the people you’re competing against won’t have.  He has two touchdowns over the last two games and a combined 13 targets in that same time period.  Those targets should only go up without OBJ in the lineup and he