Update: we’re seeing a lot of search engine traffic into this article, and, given that it was published three weeks ago, it needs a bit of a face lift. Clearly Wilson’s health is a mitigating factor, but, despite Brandon Jacobs’ strong outing in Week 6 the Giants aren’t looking for him to carry the mail all season. If Wilson is able to get back on the field – and right now the team is projecting him to miss another 3-4 weeks – he’s worth having on your roster. He flashed the talent necessary to contribute to your fantasy team down the stretch. If you’ve got a truly actionable drop (i.e. adding a player like Keenan Allen in Week 6) then maybe it is time to cut ties, but, Wilson maintains promise.
The reaction in the wake of New York’s ugly loss to the Panthers has been harsh, as warranted. New York has looked lost on offense all season posting nine interceptions and three fumbles lost to date. This week was their worst effort yet as they managed just 150 yards of total offense, turned the ball over three times, and allowed seven sacks of QB Eli Manning. If you started anyone on the Giants in their 38-0 thrashing at the hands of the Panthers, you went home disappointed.
All is not lost, however. I’ll save the discussion of the rest of season merits of Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and others for another time. For now, I’d like to focus on David Wilson. Much of the hostile reaction has focused on a second year running back who was expected to lead the charge for a dynamic offense. Scrolling through the morning after tweets this morning I saw numerous discussions about whether or not Wilson should be dropped for (insert underwhelming FA RB here). Gems like this are common in the world of morning after overreaction:
@Michael_Fabiano is it time to trade Cruz and Nicks? Even David Wilson or drop him?
— Mattchoo Chao (@MattDerpson) September 23, 2013
The short answer is no. Should you temper your expectations about Wilson? Yes, absolutely. But then, Andre Brown, not David Wilson, is the Giants back to draft – I’ve been saying that for months. The box score won’t tell you much, but this was actually Wilson’s best game from a value relative to the rest of the RBs perspective.
After a week in which he split carries 7/7/7 with newly signed Brandon Jacobs and uninspiring backup Da’Rel Scott while playing 15 fewer snaps than the latter (39 to 24 to 14) the arrow was pointing decidedly further down on Wilson. In Week 3 he carried the ball 11 times as compared to one rush for Scott and three for Jacobs. The backfield decidedly belonged to Wilson and had New York been more efficient on offense in general (let’s give the Panthers defense some credit, of course, they’ve given up just 36 points this year) we might be speaking about his breakout game rather than debating dropping him.
According to Pro Football Focus Wilson played in 49% of New York’s offensive snaps yesterday (26 of 53) up from 30.3 and 39.3% the previous two weeks. Jacobs saw just six snaps and Scott played 21 – the first time all season he’d registered fewer than Wilson. These are all positive trends for last year’s first round selection and should not be discarded.
While still lower than you’d like it to be Wilson’s 3.5 YPC on 11 totes is his best such total of the season, plus the box score doesn’t show you that he had a touchdown called back on a run. If the score stands, we’re spending time this morning talking about how Wilson has finally arrived this season. Instead, it’s time to get him off your roster? Lets be real. You invested a high pick in Wilson just a month ago, and while that means your team is likely off to a slow start you picked him because you believed that he could offer something of value to your team. So did the Giants, it’s why he was in the mix for the starting job before Andre Brown’s injury. He’ll get his work, Sunday’s carry distribution showed that and as the offense rises – it will have to get better than it did this weekend – so will Wilson’s stock. So, hold serve and hope that in a few weeks we’ll all be having a good laugh at the do I drop David Wilson phase.