The 2013 season probably can’t end soon enough for the New York Giants, with a 5-8 record heading into Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. Fantasy football owners that drafted any of their most notable players have surely been left disappointed as well, either due to injury (David Wilson) or poor performance (Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks and to a lesser degree Victor Cruz).
One fleeting bright spot has been wide receiver Rueben Randle, who has 37 receptions for 571 yards and a team-leading six touchdowns so far this season. Nicks is headed for free agency after the season, and the Giants are virtually certain to not make a serious effort to re-sign him. If the team chooses not to make any notable additions at wide receiver via free agency or the draft, Randle should get the first chance to take Nicks’ place in the starting lineup and become a prominent target for Manning alongside Cruz.
Randle has had some good moments through his first two NFL seasons, but his role has been fairly inconsistent and he has taken some criticism for a lack of refinement in the technical aspects of his game. But he has the size (6’3″, 210 lbs.) to at least be a proficient red zone weapon with more playing time, and another offseason of work will only benefit him heading toward next season.
A lot of Randle’s appeal as a fantasy option for next year rests on the assumptions that Nicks is allowed to sign elsewhere and the Giants don’t make a big move to replace him. But as things look now Randle will be draftable as a WR3 or WR4 in all fantasy league formats in 2014, and his upside is terrific in dynasty leagues since he will not even turn 23 until May.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.