Fantasy Football: Is It Time to Claim Odell Beckham?


Oct 5, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham (13) makes a touchdown catch in front of Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The New York Giants defeated the Atlanta Falcons 30-20.Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham played his first game on Sunday and showed well catching four passes for 44 yards and a touchdown.  It’s a good start for the rookie upon returning from a hamstring injury that has sidelined him all year.  But this kind of game may not be his last when considering comments made by his coach Tom Coughlin.

At this moment, Beckham is only owned in 30% of yahoo leagues and 6.4% of ESPN leagues.  It may only be one game, but might there be more to Beckham going forward.

Odell Beckham is a quick and speedy type of receiver who is able to present an open target on screen, short, and intermediate routes; besides his 4.4 speed, Beckham was also among the top performers in quickness and agility drills at his draft combine.  And because he is so quick, Beckham has the ability to take short passes and turn them into long gains.  This should be “music” to Eli Manning’s ears.  Beckham also is a great leaper, which he used when scoring his first touchdown this weekend (38.5 inches at the combine).  Cleraly Beckham has the skills to be an effective receiver in the Giants’ offense.

In fantasy it’s always important to consider the quarterback who is throwing the ball and Eli Manning has looked better of late.  After starting out the season with a poor performance against the Lions, Manning has played well since.  It should be noted that against the Cardinals, one of his interceptions was a forced throw at the end of the game with nine seconds left while the other was a play where the offensive line blew the blocking scheme and Manning was forced into a difficult throw where the ball was tipped while his receiver fell down.

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Either way, Manning has shown well in four of five games now.  He is sixth in the league in passing touchdowns (11), tenth in completions (112) and attempts (169), and has completed 69.1% of his passes since his opening game meltdown.  This all spells well for Giants receivers and Odell Beckham as his role grows.

It wouldn’t be a complete discussion without considering the possible downsides here.  The Giants do possess three talented receivers in Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle, and Odell Beckham.  This along with new tight end sensation Larry Donnell; as fantasy players, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of him.  Eli Manning does have a plethora of weapons at his disposal, so the ball could get spread around.

That said, there should be many opportunities for Beckham.  Reuben Randle is hardly blowing the top off the offense as he’s on pace for 73 catches, which is good, but only 605 yards, and six touchdowns.  This should allow the dangerous and talented Beckham to put his stamp on the offense, especially between the 20s.

In the redzone, Beckham can use his leaping ability and shiftiness to get open and score, but the Giants’ redzone offense presents a caveat.  Of the offense’s 16 touchdowns thus far, five have come on running plays and seven have gone to tight ends Donnell and Daniel Fells: The wide receivers have only produced four.  This is obviously concerning to fantasy owners who lose to see touchdowns.  If the Giants prefer these more classic ways of scoring touchdowns (surprise, Tom Coughlin), then Odell Beckham’s value could take a hit here.

At the end, the Giants selected Odell Beckham in the first round for a reason.  Tom Coughlin’s frustration over Odell Beckham’s early injuries show he probably intends to utilize him early and often (they later “cleared the air“).  If you’re in need of a wide receiver, Beckham makes for a very intriguing selection and one that may need to be claimed prior to this weekend.  If Beckham has another solid weekend, the claims will no doubt be in quickly.