NFL DRAFT DIAMONDS

If Eli Manning has a decent season he should win Comeback Player of the Year

Eli Manning was horrible last year, and it was hard to watch. If Eli Manning plays just half way decent it will be hard not to give him comeback player of the year.

Manning is coming off back-to-back sub-par seasons. 2013 was his worst fantasy season since 2004 (his rookie year in which he only appeared in nine games). The two-time Super Bowl champ did not manage to reach the 3,900-yard mark for the first time since 2008. The most alarming statistic of all was Manning’s 18:27 touchdown to interception ratio. His 27 interceptions were enough to lead the NFL. He threw five more picks than both Carson Palmer and Joe Flacco. While Manning cannot be let off the hook for his poor performance, other factors did however come into play.

The Giants had a putrid offensive line. He was sacked 39 times and hurried into many bad throws. In addition, his WR corps was uninspiring to say the least. Victor Cruz was struggling to gain separation, while an always banged-up Hakeem Nicks appeared disinterested. There was no running game to speak of, so the focus was always on the passing game.

Manning needs time in the pocket and a running game that can create play-action opportunities down the field. The former first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft is not one of the Top 20 quarterbacks coming off draft boards according to his current ADP (179.91). There should be no doubts Manning can be a Top 20 fantasy QB. Confidently draft him as your backup because he will be a fringe QB1 starter in 2014.

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