It wasn’t the greatest off-season start for the New York Giants as CB Brian Witherspoon suffered another season ending ACL tear and standout wide receiver Hakeem Nicks fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, which basically means he broke his foot. There’s no way to look at those injuries other than to think OUCH! Witherspoon is now an ex-Giant after being waived and that’s the last we’ll be talking about him in this article, as his fantasy relevance is minimal.
As for Nicks, initial prognosis was that he would be out about 12 weeks, effectively putting him out until the end of training camp, which would give him enough time, hopefully, to be ready for Week 1 of the upcoming NFL season, even if head coach Tom Coughlin thinks that’s too optimistic. Other reports have emerged putting a 4-6 week time stamp on the injury, which would have Nicks returning for the beginning of training camp. But whatever way you look at it, Nicks right now is out with a broken foot and we can’t do anything than hope for a speedy recovery.
For a player that hasn’t been able to play a full regular season yet in his NFL career an injury of this magnitude is going to put doubts in the minds of those getting their fantasy football rankings ready so all we can do for now is talk about Nick’s fantasy value at this very moment.
Before the injury if I were to have set my rankings for a standard 12-team non-PPR league format draft Nicks would have been in my top ten WR rankings; probably even top five. Now? Will, if Nicks is out closer to the 4-6 weeks rather than the 12 weeks I would probably have Nicks drop down a bit but stay in my top 20. A foot injury for a wide receiver is never a bad thing and if Victor Cruz were to step into the role of the #1 WR on the Giants, just like he did when he took over the slot receiver role, essentially becoming the Giants second best WR option, Eli would be hard-pressed not to keep looking Cruz’s way.
Then there’s rookie second round draft pick Rueben Randle, who up to this point in OTAs has been pretty impressive. The Giants have depth at the wideout position so an injury to Nicks isn’t the worst thing in the world for the Giants but it might be bad news for Nicks whenever he’s ready to come back to action on the gridiron. A player of Nicks’ caliber won’t just lose his spot but when he has so many other talented players to compete with he might see less targets than he normally would have before the injury.
That’s the argument Brad Evans over at Yahoo! fantasy sports makes but his reaction is a little drastic, as he sees Nicks tumbling down 20-30 spots further than his current Yahoo! WR draft average, which is 5th amongst wide-outs. So by that logic Evans would rank Nicks anywhere from 25-35th amongst WRs. That’s pretty low for a guy that could be a top flight #1 fantasy football WR and I wouldn’t be ready to drop him that far down my rankings.
Like I said earlier, I think he’s still a top 20 WR when it comes to fantasy football but if for some reason he were to slip in your draft beyond that he would be a steal. Conversely, Victor Cruz must now be put higher in your WR rankings, and Randle should be given some consideration as well.
What do you think GMEN HQ readers? Where would you take Nicks if you were to hold a fantasy football draft today? Let us know in the comments section.