The Off-Season Outlook is a team-by-team series that will look at all 32 NFL teams and give a quick snapshot of everything fantasy relevant position as we enter the off-season. All salary cap estimates are taken from sportrac.com which I can’t vouch for enough. They are my one stop shop for all things contracts and cap space related. Feel free to send any feedback to @robbyjeffries on Twitter.
Team: New York Giants
Cap Space: $22,312,568 (19th most)
Round 1 Draft Picks: 2nd Overall
Fantasy Relevant Impending Free Agents:
Geno Smith, QB
Shane Vereen, RB
Orleans Darkwa, RB
The second team in our series is a team that went from 11-5 last season, to a miserable 3-13 in 2017. The New York Giants fans have realized that a new age is coming soon as the Manning era looks to be in its twilight years. With 2017 a complete train wreck due to injuries, team dysfunction, and poor coach-team relations, the Giants look with anticipation to the 2018 draft where they have the 2nd overall pick. If they do decide to move on from Eli and draft a quarterback early, they will be one of the youngest offenses in the league with rookies and sophomores starting at all fantasy positions. New York doesn't have a ton of cash to toss around, so expect little action in free agency unless contracts are restructured.
QB: The secret is out for those who have been denying it: Eli Manning can’t throw the football anymore. Regardless, of the WR injuries, the Giants are making plans to move on from Manning. I fully expect the Giants to take either Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold with their second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Other options include taking a rookie QB later in the draft and hanging onto Eli for one more year as they pass the torch or simply giving 3rd round pick from 2017, Davis Webb, a shot at the starting gig. The Giants can’t realistically release Manning as he would count $12 million as dead cap in 2018 and $6 million in 2019 so he will either serve as mentor/backup or be traded. Retirement could also clear that cap space, but I think the most likely situation is the Giants draft a QB early and have Manning mentor for a mid-season debut.
RB: The Giants don’t have a ton of cap space so I don’t expect any major moves in free agency at the RB position. Only Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins are signed going into next season with Orleans Darkwa and Shane Vereen contracts being up. Vereen is still only 28 and could be signed to a cheap contract after having a subpar season. Darkwa, on the other hand, will most likely hit free agency and land a decent contract with another team. I could see them drafting a mid to late-round running back to fill out the depth at the position. Martez Carter (Grambling St) or Myles Gaskin (Washington) could compliment Gallman as a Vereen replacement if he leaves.
WR: This season showed the importance of depth at the wide receiver position and nobody knows that better than ex-GM Jerry Reese. Recovering from injury are starters OBJ and Brandon Marshall, who are signed through 2018. I could see the Giants taking the $1 million dead cap hit to drop Marshall’s $6 million salary if they can make a run at the bountiful free agency WR class. Regardless, Marshall will turn 34 in March and the Giants are in rebuild mode. The Giants will look to sign a young WR and I think Donte Moncrief would make sense here if the Colts decide to let him walk. He is cheap, young, and has potential if playing alongside a star in OBJ.
TE: A blessing in disguise came from the plethora of injuries the Giants suffered at the WR position in 2017. Evan Engram became a focal point of the offense, scoring in four straight weeks after the OBJ and Marshall injuries. Engram, a 2017 1st round pick, is of the Jimmy Graham ilk of tight ends, more receiver than end line tight end. With uncertainty at the QB position, Engram’s situation could be a tad volatile. Regardless, he is the tight end of the future in New York.
2018 Lineup Prediction:
QB – Sam Darnold
RB – Wayne Gallman/Myles Gaskin
WR – Odell Beckham Jr.
WR – Sterling Shepard
WR – Donte Moncrief
TE – Evan Engram