Eli Manning recently made waves with his declaration on a radio show that he belongs in the same echelon as Tom Brady and other elite quarterbacks in the league. This assertion was met with collective scorn, scoffing at the notion that the Giants’ field general belonged in the same class with Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Eli’s brother Peyton.
While most of the discussion on this statement centers on Eli’s merits (or lack thereof) for induction into this group in real-life, is the one commonly referred to as “the other Manning” deserving of this rank in the fantasy forum?
The first thing that jumps off of Manning’s stat sheet is his 25 interceptions from last season, which as Brady backers would quickly point out is 21 more picks than the New England QB had in 2010. But Brees threw 22 completions to the wrong team last season, and Peyton wasn’t far behind with 17 interceptions of his own.
Subtract the turnover trouble (albeit, a fairly big issue) and Eli’s numbers favorably compare with the NFL’s best. Manning was one of five quarterbacks to toss for over 4,000 yards last year, and his 31 aerial scores were second-most in the NFC. Manning won’t run for many yards, but only Michael Vick, Josh Freeman and Rodgers offer much on the ground from the position.
Manning has lost Steve Smith and Kevin Boss to free agency, and projected starting tight end Travis Beckum hasn’t impressed in training camp. Still, if Manning is able to cut down on his miscues, he will have an argument for inclusion into the position’s top tier. More importantly, he could be a fantasy steal, as Manning is ranked in the mid-teens in the quarterback forecasts.
- Joel Beall