The writing has been on the wall since the New York Giants drafted Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. It's now official; Jones will start his first regular-season game on Sunday, sending Eli Manning to the bench as his backup.
The two-time super bowl winning champion had been benched previously by former coach Ben McAdoo in favor of Geno Smith back in 2017. Before the benching, Manning had held the longest active streak for consecutive NFL starts with 210.
Although he appeared to be in decline, the move came at a time where all sides of the ball were playing poorly. Many felt the step was a last-ditch effort by McAdoo to save his job after an abysmal season. Unfortunately for McAdoo, it didn't do the trick. Manning found his way back to the starting job, and McAdoo was fired the following week.
In the preseason, Jones showed a willingness to extend the ball downfield for a 12.2 yards per attempt, a stark contrast to Manning's average 7.46 in 2018. The Giants rookie ranked first in NFL passer rating through the preseason among all QBs with 10 or more pass attempts. The Giants have been 5-13 in Manning's last 18 starts, and to say he's looked shaky is an understatement.
Despite being a bittersweet moment for the Giants franchise, Jones' hot jump in the preseason gives fans plenty to look forward to in the coming years. It's worth noting that he gets the start with a depleted wide receiver corps, as Golden Tate remains out on a four-game suspension and Sterling Shepard is questionable with a concussion. However, if they can make proper usage of RB Saquon Barkley and star TE Evan Engram, we might see a turnaround for the Giants sooner rather than later.
More Quarterback Slants
Panthers coach Ron Rivera met with the media on Tuesday, as news arose that quarterback Cam Newton reaggravated a foot sprain suffered in the preseason. Newton has lost his last eight career starts and looked shaky during his appearance on Thursday Night Football. Rivera was not forthcoming about a timetable for Newton's return. He did say that if Newton is unavailable to play, Kyle Allen would be their starting quarterback. He was the QB20 for fantasy football in his two starts in 2018. ... ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Drew Brees plans to undergo surgery on his injured thumb Wednesday. Bridgewater will get the start for now, but QB Taysom Hill an intriguing add in dynasty leagues if available. Hill has mostly been used on gadget plays, whether rushing or receiving, but New Orleans may look for more opportunities to get him involved after some nice preseason appearances. ... After nasty ankle injury on Monday Night Football, the Jets placed backup quarterback Trevor Siemian on season-ending injured reserve. Sam Darnold is aiming for a Week 5 return against the Eagles, but in the meantime, third-string Luke Falk gets the nod. RB Le'Veon Bell saw nine targets with Falk under center. ... Coach Freddie Kitchens says he wants to get the ball out of Baker Mayfield's hands quicker after he's taken 13 hits and eight sacks in just two games. If he can make it happen, this could be good news for Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry owners. ... After popping up on the Titans injury report for Week 3 (quad), Marcus Mariota practiced in full Tuesday. He is good to go for Thursday Night Football but is merely a play in superflex leagues, if you desperately need him.
Running Back Slants
After seeing 25 total touches as a Kansas City Chief, running back LeSean McCoy exited Sunday's game versus the Raiders. McCoy had an MRI of his ankle today that came up clean, and he has a chance to suit up for Week 3 versus the Baltimore Ravens. His running-back-by-committee counterpart, Damien Williams, is currently dealing with a knee contusion and his availability is also questionable at this time. Rookie RB Darwin Thompson should be added if left on waivers but faces a difficult matchup against the Ravens Defense even if he got the start. The Ravens held David Johnson to just two yards per carry in their second outing of 2019. ... The Lions released RB C.J. Anderson on Tuesday. Anderson saw 16 total carries as a Lion in the regular season, averaging 2.69 yards per carry.
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Wide Receiver Slants
Eagles WR DeSean Jackson is dealing with a groin injury that will likely keep him out of this week's versus Detroit, and possibly beyond. With Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey sidelined in Week 2, Nelson Agholor reeled in eight receptions for 107 yards and a touchdown. ... According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the NFL met with Antonio Brown's accuser, Britney Taylor, for 10 hours on Monday. Taylor filed a civil lawsuit against Brown last week, accusing him of sexual assault. It remains to be seen whether Brown will or will not be placed on the commissioner's exempt list. Brown saw eight targets in his first game as a Patriot. ... NO WR Keith Kirkwood was placed on the injured reserve with a hamstring injury today. ... Titans slot receiver Adam Humphries says that he is still working on chemistry with QB Marcus Mariota. He ranked fifth in the number of targets from the slot in 2018 and has a long way to go if he hopes to sniff a mark like that again this season. Humphries has seen just three targets in the Titans first two outings. ... Wide receivers Marquise Lee and DJ Chark were upgraded to full participants in Tuesday's practice and should be good to suit up Thursday night against the Titans. Chark leads the Jaguars in receiving yards, while Lee is no more than a backup after returning from a torn ACL in 2018.
Tight End and Kicker Slants
Bucs coach Bruce Arians continues to lead fantasy owners down the TE OJ Howard rabbit hole in search of his long-lost production. After stating last week that "he can play a heck of a lot better than he's playing," Arians met reporters with a different tune. "The balls will come." Howard started his season with some mental mistakes that might have contributed to his lack of targets in their Thursday night matchup. A nod from Arians might be just the thing to get Howard back on track; however, fantasy owners would be wise to keep him on the bench until they see some consistency. ... Veteran kicker Adam Vinatieri continues to struggle to start the 2019 NFL season. He's missed two field goals and three extra points in just two contests for the Colts, causing speculation that he might be close to retirement. He denied those claims, and meanwhile, Indianapolis held kicker tryouts on Tuesday. Vinatieri will try to piece it together for Week 3, but if he can't, we may see one of these free agents sooner rather than later.