ODELL BECKHAM JR.
I could literally end my article there, and I would probably get the most hits on my website. And therein lies my problem. His fanbase … to me … far outweighs his Fantasy Output, in my opinion. But, maybe my opinion is a bit bias due to the DFS lineups I had with OBJ as my high-end WR.
Every Sunday that I took OBJ, I watched the game with my chest puffed up knowing he would deliver an amazing performance or at least a showy one-handed catch. But, none of that happened for me in my Fantasy Lineups. In fact, just the opposite happened.
Each time I took OBJ I paid somewhere in the realm of $8,600 from my $50,000 for a winning lineup, and each time he was the weak link that caused the difference between $35 and $50 payout. Not breaking the bank, I know (hey a win’s a win). But you can’t tell me that wouldn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth about a Fantasy player.
If you just look at his playing stats, OBJ is a valuable receiver. You can’t take away the fact that even though he had some questionable moments to his career this past year, he still was able to pull 101 receptions, over 1300 receiving yards, and 10 TDs. If you are just a football fan, a Giants fan, or simply an OBJ fan, for sure you are pleased with how the season ended for our dearest Beckham. But if you play DFS and happened to have OBJ when he scored 5.3 (thank you Xavier Rhodes), 9.4 or 11.3 on your Fantasy lineup, you may have a swayed opinion.
Recently, I commented on Twitter about OBJ having a “subpar” season so he shouldn’t ask for a better contract this year. Why, oh why did I do that. No sooner did I send it then I was LITERALLY bombarded with all his defenders. Nonetheless, I still feel the exact same way as I did last season. I’ll believe the hype train of OBJ when I see some consistent Fantasy Points.
With the moves the Giants made this offseason, I am of the strong belief that OBJ won’t be receiving as many targets as he did last year, and dare I am so bold as to say that OBJ may not be as huge a fantasy factor as many would have you think.
Manning’s completion percentage seems to be on the decline. As a franchise owner, I’m going to push a few pieces around and hope it pans out. Not only did the Giants make out in the draft with TE sensation Evan Engram and with veteran WR Brandon Marshall in free agency, but they also have a steal with Wayne Gallman at RB.
One thing the Giants needed last season was to establish the run game. No one seemed to be able to get it going. Could be more the Oline’s fault for not opening up the run lane, or it could just be the RB not able to find those holes. Wayne Gallman was a pivotal player in the offense of the NCAA Championship Team, Clemson.
But, as football is a more about pass game, Manning needs those BIG body targets to connect with. While OBJ may be a top WR, and clearly the WR1 options for the Giants, his talent is in his feet more than his hands. He is a speed demon, to be effective he has to obtain that straightaway. Marshall and Engram both will create the separation from the defender and be a large leaning target to complete the pass. In my humblest opinion, a QB has to be more effective than Manning for OBJ to be as effective a WR as he can be with his skillset.
Picture OBJ running down the field full speed for an Aaron Rodgers Hail Mary pass. He’s probably one of the few in the league that could actually beat the ball down to the end zone. To me, OBJ needs a more dynamic passer. Like that of 5.3 damn Fantasy points.
Also, offenses are learning from the Shanahan playbook to spread that offense around. The days of always throw it to your WR1 is gone. After the impact every NFL fan saw on the Atlanta Falcons offense, I’m confident the Giants will spread that ball around to more of their receiving targets. While defenses used to play Atlanta as only guard Julio Jones, the Falcons showed they have more talent than a little bit at getting in the RedZone.
Shephard will get an increased percentage of targets. The fact of the matter is when OBJ was dropping the ball in his performance, Shephard was right there to make up that lost ground. He trailed OBJ by only 2 TDs. As a WR3 option on the team, that’s not bad considering he had about half as many yards.
OBJ needs to perform better. Period. For all the attention he is dawning, on the field, off the field, and on the sidelines with his kicking net antics and school-aged tantrums, at times you have to wonder if he has the ability to keep his head in the game and grind it out when they are on the losing side. One of the most impressive things about an athlete is that ability. Can he generate some impressive numbers? Yes. But how much more effective could he be if his mental fortitude was all in? And how much would that affect my dang DFS lineup?
Many people have told me that playing Dynasty Fantasy is different and that you can’t bet against OBJ when playing that way, so I’m going to go ahead and test the waters (as I was GIVEN OBJ in an auto draft lineup). If he fails me again this year, I’ll treat him like Voldemort, and never speak his name again.