After becoming the newest signee of Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, wide receiver Hakeem Nicks should be the recipient of a nice new contract.
Even though Nicks has only played five seasons in the NFL, he seems like he has been around for forever to fantasy football players. He was originally drafted to help fill the void left by Plaxico Burrress, and he was immediately involved in the offense of the New York Giants. Nicks first showed his promise as a rookie in 2009 by totaling 790 receiving yards and catching six touchdowns. Although he only played in 14 games, he was still able to have two games with 100 or more receiving yards.
From 2010 to 2011, Nicks really showcased his value. In those two seasons, Nicks averaged 80 receiving yards a game, accumulated 2,244 receiving yards, had seven games with 100 receiving yards or more, and caught 18 touchdowns. He was also a top-15 wide receiver in each of those seasons, and fantasy players thought the New York wide receiver would continue to be a dominant force in fantasy football.
Whatever the reason may be, Nicks’ productivity declined between the 2012-13 seasons. He has only caught three touchdowns in the past two seasons, and his receiving totals have drastically went down as well. Many people believe that this decline will continue, but this will allow fantasy owners to draft a productive Nicks at a super cheap price.
While much has been made about Nicks not catching a touchdown pass in 2013, some of the blame needs to be placed on Eli Manning. Compared to throwing 26 touchdowns in 2012, Manning had a very rough season in 2013, only throwing 18 touchdowns. Even though this may not completely excuse Nicks from producing a goose egg in the touchdown category, it does show that there were much fewer opportunities for any of the New York players to catch a touchdown pass.
Nicks is not only in the prime of his career, but he may find himself as the top wide receiver on a new team. If he is re-signed by the Giants or does not have the full trust of a team, Nicks could very possibly end up with a one-year deal. This would force him to have a career year in hopes of signing a huge contract, and fantasy owners who draft Nicks could be rewarded with another top-15 wide receiver performance.
Many people have been burned by Nicks, and I understand why they may not want to draft him. If he comes at the right price, however, I highly encourage you to make an investment in him. To recap, Nicks is in the prime of his career, he could end up playing for a more explosive offense and he may end up playing for a new contract. Even though he was a fantasy star in years past, Nicks could be one of the biggest sleepers in 2014.