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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

Prediction: WAS 24, NYG 30 (Line: NYG by 6.5)

Players Updated: Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Pierre Garçon, Andre Brown

Players to Watch: Victor Cruz, Robert Griffin III

The 4-2 Giants have a one game lead over the NFC East and are 2-1 on the road. The 3-3 Redskins come off a big win over the Vikings but have yet to win two games in a row and are 2-1 in road games. Surprisingly, the Redskins swept the Giants (who would win the Superbowl no less) last year 28-14 at home and 23-10 in New York. But the G-men won the six previous games.

Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO 40-32 10 BYE -----
2 @STL 28-31 11 PHI -----
3 CIN 31-38 12 @DAL -----
4 @TB 24-22 13 NYG -----
5 ATL 17-24 14 BAL -----
6 MIN 38-26 15 @CLE -----
7 @NYG ----- 16 @PHI -----
8 @PIT ----- 17 DAL -----
9 CAR ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Robert Griffin III 80,1 200,1
RB Alfred Morris 80,1
WR Pierre Garcon
WR Leonard Hankerson 2-30
WR Josh Morgan 3-40
WR Santana Moss 2-40
WR Andre Roberts 4-50
TE Fred Davis 4-50
PK Kai Forbath 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Redskins are .500 but have gone through the easier portion of their schedule and the next two games are in New York and then in Pittsburgh before reaching their bye. This is the first time this season that they will face a divisional opponent thanks to a schedule that jammed five of the six meetings into the final seven weeks. This week is critical but the reality is that the Skins can have no idea how they stack up in their own division yet and will control their fate the most with those final seven games.

Robert Griffin III was shut down in Atlanta when he was knocked from the game but came roaring back last week with 182 passing yards and one score that was dwarfed by what he did as a runner. Griffin rushed for 138 yards and two scores on just 13 runs thanks in no small part to an 80-yard scoring run that put the game away with under three minutes left to play. He has truly become the next Cam Newton in the sense he has rushed in six touchdowns and yet only thrown for six as well. Aside from being knocked out of the Atlanta game, he has scored as a runner in each of the last four games.

Alfred Morris is not only the primary back but he shares very little if at all each week. He is losing some work to the legs of Robert Griffin but still has scored five times this year himself and until last week was gaining 80+ yards per game. He has almost no role as a receiver but gets pretty much every rushing attempt for the Redskins.

Fred Davis has an important role in the game plan and has been the lead target more than once but he has not scored this year and normally settles for around 50 yards on this offense that seems to throw less each week and run more. He is still marginally a more consistent player than any wideout.

Pierre Garcon was unable to play last week with inflammation in his foot before the game and while HC Mike Shanahan claims it is not turf toe, it might as well be. Garcon opened the year with a big 109 yard game against the Saints but since has never posted more than 24 yards in any game if he has even been able to play. I am holding him out of the projections this week.

There are no wideouts here of any fantasy relevance and though four scores have been thrown to the position, they are completely random. Most wideouts remain under 50 yards in games and the recent success running the ball only means worst times ahead.

The Giants feature a good defense that was roughed up in the first two weeks but has since been far better including crushing the 49ers last week. Their biggest weakness has been against the run and that will be exactly where the Skins will be attacking if only to keep Manning off the field.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 2 17 21 21 16 2
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 14 13 22 6 10 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Kirk Cousins, WAS @NYG 0000023012 ***
The Giants have given up multiple passing scores just twice in the past nine games, a stretch that included holding Robert Griffin III to 207 and 1. Cousins lit up Atlanta and looked ordinary against Dallas; with this matchup tending to be more on the tough side, Cousins' fantasy prospects are limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @NYG 5001100000 ****
Morris rushed for 26 yards and a score in the Week 13 meeting with the Giants, adding another 27 as a receiver. That marked the start of a four-game stretch in which the Giants allowed at least one RB TD, a total of six scores in that span. With Morris continuing to get the bulk of the carries in DC, and coming off 98- and 88-yard efforts the past two weeks, there's no reason to think Alf can't at least match that earlier output
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @NYG 005700000 ***
Garcon has seen double-digit targets in nine straight games, including 12 for 9-61 in the earlier meeting with the Giants and 18 for 11-144-1 last week. He's also scored and topped 100 yards in each of the past two games with Kirk Cousins at the helm; no reason to think he won't be Cousins' go-to guy once again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @NYG 005600000 ***
Jackson had his worst game of the season against Dallas earlier this year, catching just three balls for 21 yards. His second-worst came last week as he saw just five targets with Philly rolling to a 43-point win over Chicago. In between he's scored four times and topped 150 yards twice. With the division on the line, look for something much more compatible with your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Fred Davis, WAS @NYG 001101000 **
Davis is hoping to capitalize on some late-season appearances to drive the price up for his impending free agency. However, he's sharing looks with Logan Paulsen so it's a difficult process.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Logan Paulsen, WAS @NYG 003400000 ***
Paulsen scored in the earlier meeting with the Giants just a month ago, but with Fred Davis back in the mix and the two sharing looks you can't bank on either for a fantasy contribution.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @NYG 2211 ***
Forbath posted his first double-digit game in more than two months last week, and while the Giants are hardly defensive stoppers there's little reason to be optimistic about a repeat performance 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 17-19 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE 41-27 14 NO -----
6 @SF 26-3 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 330,3
WR Victor Cruz 10-140,2
WR Hakeem Nicks 5-80
TE Kellen Davis 2-20

Pregame Notes: The reigning Superbowl champs were looking weak when they were 2-2 coming off a loss to the Eagles. But after bombing the Browns and then crushing the 49ers, the Giants are looking like a team coming back together. The offense is finding a rhythm and the defense has come together after giving up 58 points over the first two games. The Giants schedule is tough with this game, then in Dallas and hosting the Steelers. Already down one loss in the division, the Giants cannot afford another and this will likely be the easiest divisional game left to play.

Eli Manning scored in every game this year and while he only needed to throw for 193 yards and one score in the 49ers rout, he has been good for multiple touchdowns in most games along with solid yardage as high as the 510 he posted on the Buccaneers. If there was ever a week you want to start Manning, this is it. The Skins have never allowed fewer than 299 passing yards in any game this year and that was facing STL, CIN, TB and MIN.

Ahmad Bradshaw has pushed Andre Brown completely out of the picture and taken over almost the entire workload for the backfield. He ran for 200 yards on 30 carries against the Browns and then ran 27 times for 116 yards against the normally stout 49er defense. He scored in each game which makes the primary back for the Giants having a touchdown in five of the six games played.

Hakeem Nicks was back after missing three games but was still bothered by his knee and only produced 44 yards on three receptions in San Francisco. He admitted after the game that his knee was still an issue and it will take time for him to reach 100%. Domenik Hixon (4-78) helped out but has lost fantasy value with Nicks back in the picture. Victor Cruz has been the best part of the offense with six touchdowns on the season while on a hot streak for the last three games. As the Giants continue to look better, it is Cruz who shows up the most. Five of his touchdowns came in the last three games.

Martellus Bennett was apparently yet another tight end with early season success but then slips back into obscurity (See "Dennis Pitta! Star Tight End!"). Bennett has not scored since week three and has twice turned in just one catch for a game.

The Skins defense against the pass is horrible. Delightfully so. Every team throws for 300 yards. Every team! All but one had multiple touchdown passes allowed. The rushing defense is above average but that only prompts opponents to scorch the secondary. Manning and Cruz should end with crazy big numbers this week judging by the incoming trends for both teams.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 14 11 3 19 2 18
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 28 9 31 31 24 1

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG WAS 0000022021 ***
Manning continues to dribble easy matchups down his leg, so no matter that only four teams have given up more passing scores than Washington; Manning's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4005300000 ***
Jennings has been far and away the most productive back on the Raiders' roster; as a thanks for salvaging their ground game following yet another Darren McFadden injury, he got a kick-in-the-teeth score vultured by McFadden last week. No reason to think he'll do anything of note against a Denver defense that's motivated to lock down the top seed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
The Redskins have allowed only two WR TDs in the past month, none to the Giants in the earlier meeting. Between Eli Manning's foibles and the underachieving, injury-depleted Giants receiving corps, the frequently targeted Jernigan might be the best/only fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, NYG WAS 006800000 ***
Nicks is making a late push for free agency money, but it's not a particularly forceful push--certainly not one that warrants fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG WAS 00000000 ***
Randle continues to be frequently targeted, but with the Giants' passing game struggling mightily there just isn't enough here to bank on fantasy help. UPDATE: Randle did not practice Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable. Not enough upside to offset the risk of using him in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 1133 ***
Brown has been all-or-nothing this year: four double-digit games, yet he ranks 30th in kicker scoring. He managed six points against the Redskins a month ago, no reason to expect a significant uptick here.

WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

a d v e r t i s e m e n t