Fantasy Football: Teams Trending In The Wrong Direction

manning giants
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In an ideal world, every franchise in the NFL attempts to make improvements during the offseason to give them a shot at winning. However, that would be impossible to pull off, so there are always at least a few teams due for more rough patches. Here are three teams who have had recent success that may struggle in 2013.

New York Giants

Eli Manning and the New York Giants have two Super Bowl rings in the last few seasons, but this team certainly doesn’t look like a true contender on paper and their players look destined to be late round picks in fantasy football leagues this year. The good news for them is that there is no dominant team in the NFC East, so it might only take nine wins to get into the playoffs.

Last season, they struggled to compete against the Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles despite several injuries that affected those teams. If they all get healthier, the Giants might find themselves in the cellar.

Ahmad Bradshaw, Martellus Bennett, Osi Umenyiora and Kenny Phillips are all gone, and no true standouts have been added to the roster. It will take a great season from Manning to get this team into contention.

That may become more difficult with Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz both out of minicamp with contract issues.

A caveat though, with Jerry Reese at the helm. The Giants GM has more than once pulled a rabbit out of his hat, and with such free agent pickups as DTs Cullen Jenkins and Mike Patterson , TE Brandon Myers, and LBs Aaron Curry and Dan O’Connor, you never know what might happen.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Just about everyone saw this coming, and they were really not that great in 2012. Things in 2013 could be worse, as they lose starters Willie Colon, Mike Wallace, James Harrison, Max Starks, Rashard Mendenhall and Keenan Lewis. Mike Wallace’s departure left the team with a bit of a black hole at WR. Additionally, Heath Miller is hurt at TE, so they only have backups there. Who’s big Ben going to throw to? And Ike Taylor is one shutdown cornerback, but who will man the other side of the field?

General Manager Kevin Colbert gambled on rookies with serious medical concerns in the draft. For the Steelers to have any success, they will need to stay healthy and get production from their young players right away. Big things are expected from newcomers like Jarvis Jones and Le’Veon Bell, but the Bengals and Ravens seem like the clear-cut AFC North favorites.

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were one of the best teams in the regular season, but they fizzled out in the playoffs. That could be the beginning of the end for this core, as the rest of their division improved dramatically.

The team did not address offensive line needs int he draft, and other than Sam Baker, who is really solid on this line? Guards Justin Blalock and Peter Konz were up and down and is Lamar Holmes ready to be the starting right tackle?

Atlanta really didn’t do much wrong in the offseason, but the Saints should be significantly better. The Panthers and Buccaneers are young teams on the rise. They might still sneak into the playoffs, but 13-3 is not happening. Expect anywhere from nine to 11 wins in 2013.

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