manning bad2

There are soon-to-be depressed and lost souls who will be forced to use Eli Manning as their starting fantasy quarterback in Week 6 against the Bears tonight, most likely because Matt Ryan’s bye sucks. In fairness, you could do a whole lot worse for a bye-week replacement (HI, Matt Cassel). But if you get even average, OK-ness from Manning tonight, that’s an accomplishment.

Both Manning and his targets (of which there are many between Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, the emerging Rueben Randle, and Brandon Myers) could be vacuumed downward by the supreme lack of run support tonight with David Wilson absent. That means Brandon Jacobs is honestly, seriously an NFL starting running back again for at least one game.

But that’s where the excuse gravy train halts for Manning, because he’s contributing to his own demise in a rather unique and creative way.

Although he still has plenty of arm strength to connect with Cruz on balls that travel great distances (they’ve combined for receptions of 70, 69, and 51 yards through five games), Manning’s general inaccuracy is deeply concerning. Overall this season he’s completed only 53.7 percent of his passes, a rate that gets worse when we look at it in single-game chunks. Here’s his sharp downward plunge since Week 2: 57.1 percent, 52.2, 48.6, 46.2.

That’s horrifying enough, but the way Manning has gone about turfing footballs is where it gets worse. He’s a right-handed quarterback, and although I won’t pretend to be an expert on the matter or a high-level thinker when it comes to quarterback mechanics (I throw a mean Nerf ball), quarterbacks should have a higher completion rate to the side of the field that corresponds with their throwing hand. Manning is right-handed, so when he rises to throw his body often naturally faces the right side of the field first, whereas a throw to the left requires twisting and/or moving in the opposite direction while avoiding pressure.

Throwing to the right should be easier then, yes? Well, no, not if your name is Eli Manning…

manning grafFrom ESPN Stats and Information, the most alarming drop in Manning’s completion percentage compared to last year comes on the right side, a tumble of 14.3 percent. It’s also the same side where he’s thrown five of his 12 interceptions.

There will be yardage available for Manning tonight against a defense giving up 8.3 of them per pass attempt, which gives you hope for at least that average, replacement-level fantasy night. Despite his overall waywardness, accumulating passing yards hasn’t been a problem for Manning, mostly because the Giants are trailing so often (they’ve been outscored 182-82). That’s led to three games with 330 yards or more, highlighted by 450 passing yards with four touchdowns during a Week 1 loss to the Cowboys, which added up to 28 fantasy points.

Trouble is, because of his inaccuracy that Week 1 kaboom still represents nearly half (44 percent) of Manning’s overall fantasy points (63) four games later.

Again, you could do worse tonight. I guess that’s a compliment?

More notes, stray thoughts, and other such randomness

All NFL uniforms will be outfitted with these by the year 2072

Chris Johnson is an innovative and experimenting sort of guy. So to amuse himself during the offseason the Titans running back was cleansed through a Mexican fish bath, because sure, why not. And then he raced a cheetah that wanted to eat him, because that also sounded like fun.

Now he’s leading all NFL fashion trends with this turtle shell backpack. Laugh it up, but eventually when the NFL starts shrugging its shoulders to head injuries again in a few decades and  the league embraces being a modern day gladiator sport, these spikes will be required on all uniforms.

Stream them away, boys

All the dedicated readers around these parts (yes, all nine of you) know that on Friday I run through the top fantasy team defense streaming options. Unless you own one of the league’s top D units (think Seattle, Chicago, and Cincy), stubbornly holding on to one defense all year and trotting them out each week is a good way to lose valuable points.

So here’s a sneak peak of that fountain of word knowledge coming tomorrow: Cleveland Browns. The Browns host Detroit, and yesterday linebacker Jabaal Sheard returned to practice on a limited basis. Add that to Barkevious Mingo also practicing and looking just fine, and Calvin Johnson not doing that at all yet in Detroit (he’ll be a game-time decision) so Kris Durham is possibly an NFL starting wide receiver with Nate Burleson also out, and suddenly much of the punch is zapped from what’s usually a Lions offensive punching machine.

I’ll kindly elaborate on this a little more tomorrow for those with a paid 100 Yards and Running yearly subscription (winter Christmas is coming), but let’s also note here that Reggie Bush and Joique Bell will be contending with a run defense that’s allowed only 3.3 yards per carry (tied for second).

All hail Peyton

In what could be another rare at least remotely close Broncos game, Peyton Manning will travel to a place where he once played a lot of football for a primetime Sunday night game in 10 days. You remember his Indianapolis days, yes? Good, because although our smartphones may inhibit the ability to detect an impending murder, surely memories haven’t become that short.

Although the specific details aren’t known yet, the Colts plan to have a Pey Pey tribute likely prior to that Week 7 game. What say you, Jim Irsay?

 “We’re going to have a great tribute to him. It’s going to be something where you go into it wanting to have a lot of fun, where you love Peyton as a Colt fan, but now we’re competing against him.”

One request, Jim: can you please dig up the Boyz II Men tribute video/Internet mashup that’s sadly been erased from our lives and play it? Failing that, this will suffice…

Confirmed: awfulness

The few truly unique individuals who are capable of seeing sunshine during monsoons were hoping that the second opinion Julio Jones was seeking on his foot injury would bring pleasant news. Not so, according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen yesterday afternoon, and he’ll be placed on the injured reserve shortly.

If you owned Jones on your fake team, here’s to hoping that Harry Douglas (or Keenan Allen) waiver claim went through fine. And if you’re in a keeper league, do whatever you need to do to appease the football gods and ensure that Jones’ injury isn’t a chronic one, and it isn’t related to the screw he had placed in his foot two years ago.

Important injury thing for this evening’s football contest

This will be elaborated upon later too, but there are only a few absolute must starts in tonight’s Giants-Bears game, and they’re named Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, and Victor Cruz. However, even though he hasn’t scored since Week 2, Martellus Bennett has been pretty alright as a second tier tight end who was drafted late (value!) and is averaging 56.2 receiving yards per game.

So please be kindly advised of his game-time decision status heading into tonight due to a knee injury, though he’ll likely play after getting in some limited practice time this week.