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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 Devery Henderson 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 Robert Griffin III, WAS DAL 0000026011 ***
RG3 threw four TDs in his first game against the Cowboys, back in November 2012; in 57 attempts he hasn't thrown one since, though he did run for one in the back end of the 2012 series. Colt McCoy couldn't crack the Cowboys for a scoring strike (though he did run one in) in the earlier meeting this season; sensing a theme here? RG3 came close to a rushing score in Week 15, but he'll need one to be a fantasy factor this week--and he hasn't had one since that 2012 Week 17 game against Dallas.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS DAL 701000000 ***
Alf has scored in all five of his career meetings with the Cowboys, including a TD in the earlier meeting which, at 18-73-1, was actually his least productive effort against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed seven RB TDs in the past five games, so Alf should have ample opportunity to extend his streak here--unless Darrel Young swipes his scores again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS DAL 0051101000 ****
Jackson dropped 136 yards on the Cowboys in the front end of this season series, but he hasn't caught a touchdown pass against them since December of 2010--and he's been in their division for years. Bank on the yardage--DJax just posted 126 on his former mates from Philadelphia last week--but don't count on a touchdown.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS DAL 003500000 ***
The last time Roberts had fantasy value was right after the Redskins signed him to start opposite Pierre Garcon. Much has happened since then, none of it beneficial to Roberts' fantasy value.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS DAL 004500000 ***
Garcon has shown moderate signs of life, but his biggest outing came when DeSean Jackson was out of the lineup so when the Redskins are at full strength he's clearly a second banana. Look for a first banana before settling this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS DAL 005500000 ***
Reed split 67 yards with Niles Paul in the earlier matchup with Dallas, but he's made the tight end position his own over the past month. That makes him the most likely to take advantage of a Dallas defense that's allowed 10 TE TDs on the year as well as six games of 50-plus yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS DAL 2222 ****
Forbath has actually been adequate of late, if you're into something in the eight-point neighborhood. That seems to be the ceiling, however, so you can likely do better elsewhere.

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 Josh Freeman 10 270,2
QB Eli Manning 330,3
RB Chris Ogbonnaya 4-20
WR Victor Cruz 10-140,2
WR Kevin Ogletree 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 PHI 0000026021 ***
The last time Manning saw the Eagles it didn't go so well. In fact, he hasn't thrown a touchdown against Philly in either of his two previous meetings. With nothing for either team to play for except pride, expect Manning to have a game more in line with his last two home dates with the Eagles: 334 and 2, 208 and 5.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG PHI 5011100000 ***
No reason for the Giants to risk the banged-up Rashad Jennings here, and Williams is coming off an impressive 26-110 showing against the Rams last week. He handled the load the last time the Giants met Philly, rushing for 58 yards on 16 carries; expect an uptick against a defense that's allowed at least 80 to three straight feature backs.
Update: Turns out Williams is also banged up, as he was limited in practice all week by a shoulder injury. If he can't go, the Giants may just throw all game--or give meaningful carries to Orleans Darkwa.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG PHI 00101202000 ***
Beckham's lone dog during his remarkable rookie season came in Philly back in Week 6. Now he's sporting a three-game streak of 100-yard games, an eight-game streak of 90-yard games, and a three-game scoring streak with six TDs in that span. You gotta think he'll bounce back against an Eagles secondary that's given up more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other team in the league.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG PHI 003500000 ***
Not since the Packers in Week 11 have multiple receivers posted fantasy helpers against the Eagles; it's been pretty much one guy each week doing the bulk of the damage. And in New York, that one guy is Odell Beckham Jr.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Preston Parker, NYG PHI 003300000 ***
Parker's the third wheel in a Giants' passing game that's somewhere between unicycle and one of those old-fashioned bicycles with the hugh front tire and the much smaller rear tire. In other words, look for fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG PHI 003200000 ***
Giants tight ends amassed 75 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly, but only six of them went to Donnell. Also working against Larry this week: the Eagles have allowed only one TE TD all year, none in their past 13 games. You're bound to find more favorable trends elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG PHI 1133 ***
Brown didn't even swing the leg in the earlier meeting with Philly, and he has just two field goals in five NFC East contests this season. Get your fantasy kicks elsewhere.

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

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