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Disaster Recovery Week 6: Odell's Angry Evening

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds.

This isn't a place to find out why you should have benched a player for somebody on your bench. Disaster Recovery is to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about benching, and deciding if you should be panicking at all about their value moving forward.

This season we'll be covering one dud per week. There will be two major qualifiers: the player must have performed well below expectations without an injury, and the player must be considered a must-start in most formats.

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Rankings System

I'll also be implementing a new panic meter ranking system this year. It goes as follows:

  1. This week was a fluke. Don't panic!
  2. I still have full faith in this player, but there are some red flags. Be cautiously optimistic moving forward.
  3. There are genuine concerns here. Consider selling on name value, but don't panic too much unless you receive an offer you can't refuse.
  4. This player will not be the player you expected him to be. Regardless, his value may be too low to trade, and his ceiling is going to be better than anything you can get in return. Panic, but hold tight.
  5. Absolutely abandon ship. We're not coming back from this.

Week 5 had one dud that stood out well above the rest: Alvin Kamara, fantasy's number one player through the first four weeks of the season.


Odell Punched a Fan!

Not a football fan... a literal fan. Odell Beckham's Week 6 stats: six receptions for 44 yards on 10 targets.

The Worst Show on Turf

The New York offense had a ton of hype heading into the season, and for good reason. They drafted an elite running back prospect second overall, added some strength to their offensive line, and brought back their elite young receiving trio, led by the enigmatic Odell Beckham Jr. With a fringe Hall of Fame quarterback like Eli Manning, what could possibly go wrong?

As it turns out, a lot. The Giants rank 24th in yards per game and 27th in points per game. The passing offense boasts a mediocre ranking of 18th in yards per game, but is tied for 24th in total passing touchdowns, behind quite a few teams that have played fewer games than the Giants. The only constant in the offense this year is rookie Saquon Barkley, who piled up half of the Giants' 400 total yards in Week 6.

Who's to Blame?

The ugly start to the season for the Giants offense falls firmly on the shoulders of Eli Manning and the offensive line.

Let's start with Eli. Despite being on pace to have the highest completion percentage of his career, Eli has played far from memorable. His play in Week 6 was abysmal. He constantly missed receivers, many of them being very open, and his age showed. If the Giants offense comes around this season, it will likely be in spite of Eli, not because of him.

But it comes back to the team's absolutely atrocious offensive line. They've shown flashes in run blocking, but the pass protection has been nonexistent. The Giants are tied for fifth in the NFL in sacks allowed with a total of 20. Eli has taken an average of 2.61 seconds to throw the ball this year, tied for ninth amongst current starting quarterbacks. The protection isn't there for Eli to succeed. Sometimes, quarterbacks can overcome a lack of protection, like what we've seen from Aaron Rodgers. Eli Manning isn't Aaron Rodgers. He's never been Aaron Rodgers.

Pro Football Focus ranked the Giants offensive line as the 24th best unit in the league after five weeks of the season. They aren't likely to rise following this performance.


Calm Down, Beckham

Not All is Lost

The good news for Odell and Odell owners is that if he's on the field, the Giants have to try and get him the ball. That's something that has held true all season. Despite being the overall WR17 this year in terms of per game PPR numbers, Beckham ranks fourth overall in targets per game, only trailing Davante Adams, Antonio Brown, and Adam Thielen.

Let's revisit that WR17 ranking. Odell has scored one receiving touchdown this season, had three games of 60 or fewer yards, and still ranks in the top 20 receivers on the year. Obviously, you didn't draft Odell to be the WR17. But he's not out there putting up scrub numbers. He still has over 100 yards in half his games and may have very well won you a game by himself in Week 5. Things should get better for Odell.

Are we sure things will get better?

I mean, they should. The Giants don't play a defense that gives me pause on Odell for the rest of the season. The 25-year-old is one of the most talented offensive players in the NFL. Perhaps even the most talented. He makes dazzling play after dazzling play and has left the fans in awe many times during his short career.

But the issues around Odell haven't gone anywhere. He's a hot-head. That isn't always a bad thing. We saw it in the past with Terrell Owens. When the team is hot, a hot-head receiver can become the hottest player in the NFL, torching defenses week after week and leading the offense. When a team cools off, well, we saw what happened with Owens. There's a reason Owens played for five teams in his career. There's a reason (albeit a stupid one, in my opinion) he failed to make the Hall of Fame in his first two years on the ballot.

Beckham isn't Owens in the locker room, but he does wear his emotions on his sleeve. If the Giants continue to struggle, and they probably will, Beckham may continue to act up and tensions may begin to flare. We need to hope that the Giants can find ways to keep Beckham involved and active even if the team continues to struggle. There's no reason to believe they won't keep him involved.

Panic Meter: 2.5/5

Odell Beckham is a buy-low candidate for me should his owners become frustrated with his play. He's not going to be an elite WR1 this year given how the Giants' offense has performed, but I still expect him to creep back into WR1 territory, and at the very worst be a high-end WR2.

I have no concerns about his reception or yardage totals this year. He should be fine in that regard. The biggest concern is touchdowns. Beckham has just one touchdown this season and only has one red zone reception this year. He's seen eight targets in the red zone. Catching one reception on eight targets is a major red flag, especially if you can't convert on them in the red zone. The blame on most of these throws falls on Eli, but it certainly isn't helping Odell owners either.

Still, Odell is too talented to not creep closer into top-ten receiver territory this year. The Giants are aware of this. They invested big time in him. The receptions will come. The touchdowns are up in the air, but still, players have produced without them. Just look at Julio Jones.

What To Watch For

Two major things to look out for in an expected shootout against Atlanta next week: Odell's body language should the team fall behind, and the accuracy of every pass thrown at Beckham, especially the ones he doesn't catch. Every receiver needs a quarterback's help to get the ball. Eli Manning is going to half to step it up somehow for the Giants.

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