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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: NYG 23, PHI 24 (Line: PHI by 2)

Players to Watch: Ahmad Bradshaw, Brent Celek

Players Updated: Jeremy Maclin, Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Ramses Barden

This is a game where you can throw out records. The Giants won 29-16 in Philly last and then lost 10-17 at home. That was their only win in the last five trips to Philadelphia. The Eagles have won seven of the last eight times they met. For whatever reason, the Eagles matchup well with the Giants who are looking better as long as they stay in the NFC South. Flip a coin here.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN -----
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB -----
4 @PHI ----- 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE ----- 14 NO -----
6 @SF ----- 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ PHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 260,2
RB Peyton Hillis
WR Victor Cruz 7-90,1
WR Mario Manningham 2-20

Pregame Notes: The Giants are 2-1 but Eli Manning has only posted one big game - his 510 yard effort in the comeback win over the visiting Buccaneers. Otherwise he has just one score per week and only moderate passing yardage. Hakeem Nicks sat out last week because of his foot but plans on playing this week even if he only practices once. In his place Ramses Barden had a career best nine catches for 138 yards versus the Panthers. Nothing is ever so motivating as watching your backup look great.

Martellus Bennett remains the newest weapon that has caught a touchdown in every game and turns in around five catches for 70 yards in recent weeks. Bennett is supplying a needed and valuable additional outlet for Manning beyond the wide receivers. The Giants don't throw to the backs much so Bennett fills that shorter, over the middle role. So far he's been one of the best fantasy tight ends and a must start each week.

Ahmad Bradshaw has been cleared to practice after missing last week with a neck injury. Until he has a week of full practices and looks strong, you have to assume that Andre Brown remains in the rotation if not remains the primary back. Brown has shown power unlike anything that Bradshaw can provide even when healthy and as the only "big" back on the roster, should remain mostly on the field no matter what is done with Bradshaw and David Wilson. The problem of course is that we cannot know how much work Bradshaw gets and how much is taken away from Brown. Figuring that Wilson still gets a few token touches as well means those two nice games by Brown may end up his best of the season.

Domenik Hixon has been cleared to practice after suffering a minor concussion.

The Eagles have a top ten defense in almost every category and will be back at home. This is a game where previous performances are less indicative because the two teams know each other so well. The one main carryover that should be reliable is that Nnamdi Asomugha will cover Nicks who he handled last season when Nicks was healthy.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 7 12 2 9 1 13
Preventing Fantasy Points PHI 3 9 6 5 26 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG HOU 0000026012 ***
Sad to say, but Eli's 277 and two against the Cardinals last week feels like his ceiling for the season. A date with a Houston defense that's given up just one passing score in two games and an average of 265 yards certainly isn't favorable.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG HOU 6014500000 ***
Jennings has 205 combo yards in two games and is easily the best thing going for the Giants' offense. Houston has allowed the likes of Darren McFadden and Darrel Young to find the end zone while giving up better than six yards per touch to opposing backs, clearing the way for another solid fantasy showing for Jennings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG HOU 005701000 **
Well, the Giants heard Cruz's plea for more looks and doubled Victor's targets. But it's still not the offense that made Cruz... well, Cruz. The good news is, receivers targeted double-digit times against the Texans have been productive--combining for 19-189-1. So at least there's a chance here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG HOU 004500000 ***
Randle is too inconsistently targeted and the Giants' offense too moribund for him to be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG HOU 007700000 ***
Shockingly, Donnell has been the most consistent contributor in the Giants' passing game with 12-137-1 in two games. As tight ends go, you could do worse for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG HOU 1122 ***
Tacking on points for an offense that's averaging 14 points per game is not exactly fantasy fodder.

Philadelphia Eagles
Homefield: Lincoln Financial Field
Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 17-16 10 DAL -----
2 BAL 24-23 11 @WAS -----
3 @ARI 6-27 12 CAR -----
4 NYG ----- 13 @DAL -----
5 @PIT ----- 14 @TB -----
6 DET ----- 15 CIN -----
7 BYE ----- 16 WAS -----
8 ATL ----- 17 @NYG -----
9 @NO ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
PHI vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Mark Sanchez 210,1
RB LeSean McCoy 110,1 3-20
RB Darren Sproles 10 6-50,1
WR Jeremy Maclin 4-60,1
TE Brent Celek 6-80,1

Pregame Notes: The Eagles finally found a way to not win by just one point. Instead they were waxed in Arizona where all the same problem with Vick still existed. He finally did not throw any interceptions but held the ball too long and coughed up two fumbles - one of which was returned for a 93-yard touchdown by the Cardinals defense. Vick only managed 217 passing yards there after at least throwing for over 310 yards in the first two games. In fantasy terms, Vick has been a disappointment with never more than 34 rushing yards in a game to help counteract those turnovers. He scored in his one home game so far though.

LeSean McCoy was only used for 13 runs (70 yards) last week and HC Andy Reid admitted that he should have run McCoy more. After 25+ touches in the first two games, he was only given 16 touches in Arizona and that should prove to be a low spot in the season. McCoy should be relied on more ongoing since the offense has long revolved around what he does.

Jeremy Maclin was out because of his hip last week but is expected to return. His presence helps balance the passing game which will be very important against the Giants. DeSean Jackson was held to only 43 yards on three catches versus the Cardinals in part because the defense really focuses on him with Maclin out. Jason Avant cannot seem to break 40 yards in a game whether he is the replacement starter or just the #3 called in occasionally.

Brent Celek left his monster 157 yard game at home against the Ravens to only come up with 36 yards on two catches in Arizona. For what it may be worth, his only big game was at home this year and the Giants just watched Greg Olsen go nuts with 98 yards last week.

This game could turn on more Vick turnovers but the Giants are not getting as good a pass rush as last season and have only six sacks on the season. The rushing defense has been decent but McCoy brings in their first real dual threat back. So far the weakness of the Giants remains in their secondary which could help Vick from making more mistakes. In the last ten games, the Eagles are 7-0 when Maclin plays and 0-3 when they do not.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points PHI 9 24 16 7 28 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 19 10 26 8 5 17

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Nick Foles, PHI WAS 0000030020 ****
Impressed at the Redskins' pass D numbers? Maybe don't be, as they've faced Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chad Henne. Foles has faced them three times, including his second NFL start; the two more recent meetings have yielded 345 and 298 passing yards. Foles has topped 320 yards in both outings thus far this year and should blow up Washington's stats with a big game this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB LeSean McCoy, PHI WAS 7014400000 ***
In two meetings with the Redskins during the Chip Kelly era McCoy has racked up 339 yards from scrimmage and scored three times. He's also hit triple digit yardage in both games this season. What's not to like?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Darren Sproles, PHI WAS 5005401000 ***
Sproles has 263 combo yards and two TDs in his new gig in Philly, part of Chip Kelly's 1-2 backfield punch. The Redskins won't know what hit 'em.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Maclin, PHI WAS 006900000 ****
Maclin has hit triple digits each of his last three meetings with the Redskins--and that was before Chip Kelly brought the circus to town. He's scored in each game this season, so whether your scoring system is TD- or yardage-heavy Maclin has you covered.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Riley Cooper, PHI WAS 002300000 ***
Cooper has yet to recapture his glory days of last year, with just 37 yards to date. He didn't do much against the Redskins last year anyway, so no reason to change expectations here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Ertz, PHI WAS 004601000 ****
No question Ertz has stepped up his game this year, seeing 11 targets and producing 163 yards and a TD in two games. The Redskins haven't seen much in the way of tight ends thus far; Ertz might catch them off guard.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Cody Parkey, PHI WAS 3333 ****
Big-legged kicker tacking on points for a squad that's hit 30 in both games thus far; gotta like them odds.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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