NFL fantasy football: Eli Manning dissects Giants’ issues

Manning analyzes struggles: If you were a fantasy owner with Eli Manning on your roster, you’re well aware of the roller coaster that was his 2012 season. In a radio interview Friday, the Giants’ quarterback tried to explain some of his personal on-the-field struggles by tying it to the injury woes of Hakeem Nicks. Nicks missed three games and was limited in a handful of others with a slew of injuries, putting an added burden on Victor Cruz to be the primary playmaker in the passing game. While it’s not the only reason Manning failed to surpass 4,000 passing yards for the first time since 2008, it certainly doesn’t help to have your deep threat — and arguably most consistent — wideout playing at less than 100 percent for long stretches. With a full offseason to rest, Nicks should once again be a quality WR2 in 2013…and hopefully Manning’s fantasy value is buoyed by the bounce back.

Myers could return to Raiders: For a long stretch of the season, I was an unabashed supporter of Oakland Raiders tight end Brandon Myers. The fourth-year pass catcher from Iowa wasn’t always the most consistent (a common theme among fantasy tight ends in 2012), but he finished the season as Oakland’s leading receiver with 79 catches for 806 yards and four touchdowns. The numbers were good enough that the Raider coaching staff says they’d be willing to bring Myers back — at the right price. With a number of other changes coming in 2013 — notably at quarterback — the full makeup of the Silver and Black attack is unknown, but Myers production in 2012 means he has value as a sleeper at the position. He’ll likely come off the board in the late rounds in most fantasy drafts.

Woodhead joins 40-40 club: Thanks to Stevan Ridley, the presence of #Belitricks wasn’t as strong as it might have been in 2012. But thanks to Danny Woodhead, they never quite went away. That’s because Woodhead was so productive, becoming the first Patriot since 2008 to post 40 carries and 40 catches in the same season. Since joining New England in 2010, the undrafted back has proven to be multi-talented and a great utility for Bill Belichick’s offense. He’s also an enigma for fantasy owners. Woodhead doesn’t do enough of one thing to warrant spending a draft pick on him (116 total touches for 747 scrimmage yards in 2012), but he spent quite a bit of time in the end zone with seven total touchdowns — third-most on the squad behind Ridley and Rob Gronkowski. With Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden still on the roster, it’s unlikely Woodhead will ever be the legitimate No. 2 running back, but his value to New England’s roster should give him some value as a waiver wire prospect next season.

— Marcas Grant
Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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