The Giants have released controversial wide receiver Plaxico Burress, ending his four-year tenure with the organization.
Best known for catching the winning touchdown against the the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, Burress was a valuable option for fantasy owners.
He hauled in 133 passes for 2,013 yards and scored 22 touchdowns from 2006-07, but his value fell last season after an incident at a New York nightclub caused him to miss six games.
With Burress (not to mention Amani Toomer) now out of the mix, fantasy leaguers are now looking at different options at the team’s wide receiver position that include Domenik Hixon, Mario Mannigham, Sinorice Moss and Steve Smith.
Hixon showed flashes of potential in Burress’ absence last season, and he now figures to replace him atop the depth chart. While he won’t produce on the same level as Burress, Hixon is now a viable sleeper in fantasy circles.
Smith will become the team’s possession receiver and figures to see statistical increases across the board. He’ll be worth a late-round selection in drafts.
The Giants are high on Manningham and will look to utilize him as a deep threat, but he’ll be hard pressed to make a consistent fantasy impact. The same holds true for Moss, who should be the favorite to see time in the slot.
While there is some upside with this core of receivers, the absence of Burress is certain to hurt the value of Eli Manning.
His numbers were noticably worse without Burress in 2008, so don’t expect him to rebound and become a viable No. 1 fantasy quarterback this season.
That is, unless the G-Men pull off a trade for either Anquan Boldin or Braylon Edwards.
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