Last season, Giants QB Eli Manning made a fantasy star out of WR Steve Smith. This year, he's going to do the same thing with Hakeem Nicks.
Pegged as a breakout candidate in the offseason, Nicks did just that in Sunday's win over the Panthers, catching four passes for 75 yards and three TDs. Showing as a rookie that he was a dangerous big-play threat, he was the guy Manning looked to when the Giants were in scoring position. And Nicks delivered by hauling in three balls in the endzone.
While Manning won't forget about targets like Smith and Mario Manningham, Nicks is the one with the most fantasy potential. He won't pile up a ton of receptions, but he'll make long gains and score plenty of TDs, which is all fantasy owners care about.
The other development in New York Sunday was in the backfield, where Ahmad Bradshaw finally supplanted Brandon Jacobs. Bradshaw started and had a career-high 20 carries, running for 76 yards and a TD. He also had 17 yards receiving. It wasn't a prolific opening week, but the sheer amount of touches is a positive sign for fantasy managers.
While Bradshaw looks like an every-week play, Brandon Jacobs, who had 12-44-0 on Sunday, belongs on fantasy benches for now. He may vulture away some scores from Bradshaw along the way, but he'd need an injury to have serious fantasy value.