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Stock Up: Giants offense, especially Rashad Jennings, on the rise

Fantasy football is all about chasing points, and the fastest way to points is explosive offenses. The juggernauts who frequent the red zone, take deep shots, and sustain lengthy drives. Though the Giants were generally considered a top-half NFL offense anyways, we could easily see them rise to top-five scoring status in their third year of continuity under now head-coach Ben McAdoo, making all pieces of this scoring pie worthwhile investments.

According to nj.com, this third year of system continuity has resulted in an increased focus on the no-huddle and pushing the pace. McAdoo has no restrictions now as the head honcho, and the ball is being slung all over the field.  Appearing on Inside Training Camp live, Eli Manning said he’s expecting to score 28 points, at a minimum, per game; with an even more uptempo attack and the second softest 2016 schedule in the league, his goal is highly attainable.  Though Eli might be ranked as my current QB11, I would have no surprise if he finished the year closer towards the top five. This is more a testament to the depth at the position rather than a knock on Eli himself.

All ships rise with improved quarterback play and a higher-paced offense, and the aerial weapons all deserve their appropriate boosts. Ranked at #2 overall behind only Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham doesn’t necessarily have room for ascension, yet these reports cement his status as the clear cut option after Brown; the LSU product appears bound for production more in line with his historic rookie outburst as compared to his very solid, but less captivating sophomore season. In fact, he might be the lone wideout with a ceiling that could top Brown’s.

Meanwhile, secondary receiving threats Sterling Shepard and Will Tye (if he wins the starting job) both become highly viable fantasy bench options with the potential for dependable starter status. Since cementing his status as the #2 wideout despite Victor Cruz’s return to health, Shepard has done nothing but draw positive praise. According to beat writers the second round pick has the looks of an “instant impact” player, while McAdoo has publicly stated he trusts Shepard and has every intention to use the smooth route runner. These positive developments have Shepard rocketing upwards alongside the Saints’ Michael Thomas as an upside WR4 or 5 who’ll likely be highly startable as they develop.

On the tight end front, the aforementioned Tye has yet to outright claim the starting job as the Giants rotate in a number of options at the #1 spot; as the best athlete and someone who caught everything thrown his way in OTAs, Tye is by far the most appealing option from a fantasy perspective. Until he is the clear cut guy, though, Tye holds minimal value as a fringe TE2, but he remains well worth a late stab with the high chances he does claim this role.

Saving the best for last, Rashad Jennings appears prime for a stock boost up into startable RB2 territory:

Last year’s four-headed committee was like a fantasy torture chamber and rendered the entire backfield meaningless.  Yet, now being looked upon as the clear “No.1 back,” Jennings could become one of fantasy’s best bargains.  When looking at muddy backfields a month back, I gave some insight as to what a featured Jennings could look like. His four games as the clear guy to end 2015:

Week 14 @ Mia: 22 carries 81 yds, 2 catches 21 yds

Week 15 Car: 16 carries 107 yds, 1TD, 1 catch 0 yds
Week 16 @Min: 14 carries 74 yds, 2 catches 62 yds
Week 17 PHI: 27 carries 170 yds, 1TD, 1 catch 2 yds

Once featured, he scored above 15 PPR points in three out of four contests, and never dipped below 12 points. Jennings is on record as saying he’s entering his prime, a bit bold for a 31 year old back who’s never finished with above 200 carries in his seven year career. Still, Jennings has produced when fed enough volume, and there’s a real shot he emerges as a 15+ touch guy in an explosive offense

Overall, the emphasis on the no huddle and pace boosts Jennings even further, as the goal will likely be to minimize substitutions. If the team does explode for a 28 points per game average, you have to consider Jennings a weekly coin flip, at worst, for a TD while he starts. He jumps up to RB32 from RB36, and over 10 spots on my Big Board, which seems fairly minor, yet he is jumping a whole tier from bench fodder to starter-quality talent. He’s a bit lower still because of health concerns, but with proper handcuffing, the New York backfield is far more enticing to own with the four-headed dog mess scrapped. There’s higher ceiling lottery tickets for the becnch, but if you’re searching for some dependable numbers late, Jennings is a low-cost, high-floor guy with some under appreciated upside.

To summarize, with the Giants promising to be a high-octane force on offense, all the surrounding pieces should be more prominent on your fantasy radars as raft season approaches.

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