Faceoff - TE Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants
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Upside - by Cathy Fazio
Jeremy Shockey is one of the more exciting tight ends to watch play the game. When he is on the field for the New York Giants, there is the anticipation that the unexpected is just around the corner. An amazing catch, a touchdown reception, Shockey is a playmaker with an ability to change the tempo of the game for New York. In 2004, Shockey made 61 receptions for 666 yards and 6 touchdowns.
What is encouraging about Shockey’s performance in 2004 was his increase in touchdowns. In his first two seasons, he made two touchdown receptions per year. But in 2004 there was a marked difference; he finished the season with six touchdowns.
The addition of Plaxico Burress to the Giants’ lineup is also a plus for Shockey. Burress will join Amani Toomer to provide Eli Manning with a far more consistent target at the wide receiver position than Ike Hilliard, who only made 49 receptions for 437 yards, was in 2004.
Another year of experience for Eli Manning will undoubtedly benefit Shockey as well. Manning played in only 9 games in 2004, and still finished with 95 completions for 1043 yards. Footballguys has Manning projected to make 280 completions for 3304 yards. That increase in production for Manning will spell greater production for Shockey.
So, expect the unexpected from Shockey in 2005. With a more experienced quarterback, a better receiving corps, and a continued end zone presence, things are only looking more positive for this talented tight end.
Downside - by Mike Herman
Shockey definitely has the talent to be one of the top fantasy TEs, which explains his recent average FBG Experts’ rank of TE3, and his ADP of 6.07 (TE6). The drawbacks of Shockey himself are occasional lapses in focus, and his tendency towards politically incorrect outspokenness. The latter could easily land him in less-than-tolerant Tom Coughlin’s proverbial doghouse. If he does perform below expectations however, it will likely be caused by the surrounding offense rather than his own shortcomings.
Last year, Shockey spent a significant amount of time blocking, as teams blitzed the stationary Kurt Warner and the rookie Eli Manning. The Giants have indicated they want to get him back to being more involved in the passing game. What the team wants to do, and what they can do could be two very different things. The offensive line is still a work in progress, and will include a new right tackle and probably a shifted left guard. Manning is still a work in progress. Being the top draft pick is no guarantee for success. Shockey’s production did drop slightly after Manning took over last year; 6.3 fantasy ppg as compared to 7.2 while Warner was the starter.
The development of fellow TE Visanthe Shiancoe could help or hinder Shockey. On one hand he could take over some of the blocking responsibilities, on the other hand he’s shown promise in downfield pass routes and could steal some targets. A bigger concern for potential loss of targets for Shockey is the team’s addition of WR Plaxico Burress. Shockey finally had a decent number of TDs last year, an area in which he disappointed his first two years. Burress is a big receiver and could easily become the featured red zone target for the team.