We, the fantasy football crowd, pay a lot of attention to quarterback and running back battles during training camp, and for good reason. The most important battles often take place at those positions. But we've also got a crucial contest to watch among two wide receivers this August. New York Giants wideouts Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham will have to fight for the right to start alongside Steve Smith, according to ESPN.com. Nicks' rookie season got off to a slow start mainly due to a sprained foot that forced him to miss two of the first three games. But he found his groove as the season continued and finished with 47 catches for 790 yards and six touchdowns. Nicks recently confirmed that he has completely recovered from offseason toe surgery. He will be ready to go when the Giants begin training camp Aug. 1. Manningham, who is smaller and less physical than Nicks, also had his ups and downs in 2009. While he had a statistically better year than Nicks, he was not as consistent and tied for the league lead in dropped passes.
Nicks should win this job. He has has more big-play ability. He is two inches taller and 30 pounds bigger than Manningham. While his hands weren't fantastic either last season, Nicks has certainly more dependable mitts than the butterfingered Manningham, who will probably end up as a No. 3 receiver. Nicks surpasses him in talent and is currently being drafted as a No. 2 receiver in 12-team leagues, just outside of the top 15 at the position. The potential for him this year is huge. Manningham is more worthy of a late-round selection.