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Mario Manningham Leaves the Giants for San Francisco: A Fantasy Owner’s Take
Mario Manningham couldn't quite fulfill his promise as a New York Giants wide receiver. With gifted hands and decent speed, the third-round pick out of Michigan never appeared to gain favor with quarterback Eli Manning. That resulted in some very odd looking offensive plays through the years. To say Manningham frustrated Giants fans and fantasy owners with his route running ability is an understatement.
With the departure of Steve Smith prior to the 2011 season, Manningham had an awesome opportunity to firmly assume starting wide receiver duties as a member of the Giants along with Hakeem Nicks. He was quickly pushed aside by the surprising Victor Cruz. Therefore, last year's Super Bowl hero was an expense the Giants had little desire to pursue this offseason.
Enter the new-look but somewhat chaotic San Francisco 49ers. With the recent additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, the receiving core will be considerably upgraded as Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis obtain much needed compliments.
The 49ers averaged an anemic 183.1 passing yards per game in 2011.
However, the impending free agency of perturbed quarterback Alex Smith isn't helping matters in San Francisco. The 49ers will need to dig deep to aggressively seek veteran help at the position, could test-drive second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, or have to find a way to soothe their relationship with Smith in order to maintain their dominance of the NFC West.
Regardless, it's difficult to believe that Mario Manningham has wound up in a better position for fantasy owners with the 49ers than he was with the Giants.
In leaving New York, he also says goodbye to one of the game's most underrated passers in Eli Manning. Despite similar QGRat's (82.9 to 90.7), Manning threw for 4,933 yards while Smith managed just 3,144.
For the Giants, the loss of Manningham is of little consequence. From a fantasy owner's standpoint, unless the 49ers attain an elite quarterback, Manningham loses value despite his elevated stature on San Francisco's depth chart at receiver. He will enter the season 26 years of age, a fourth-year pro.
Even before camp, it's a safe assumption he should be ignored by owners on draft day,
Perhaps more intriguing is the open completion that will develop on the Giants for the third receiver option. Owners should keep tabs on 2011 third-round pick Jerrel Jernigan as a possible option. More likely, watch for veteran help in the form of a reasonably priced free agent (Ted Ginn, Jr.?) as a short term stop gap while the Giants pursue a receiver or two at the draft.
Sources: Yahoo! Sports
Robert Watkins is former investment professional and partner. A native New Yorker until 9/11, he considers Pa. his adoptive home. A passionate Giants fan, fantasy football fanatic, and Pennsylvania sports enthusiast, Robert is a frequent contributor to Yahoo! Sports and News.
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