FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 Santana Moss 2-40
WR Andre Roberts 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 0000027021 ***
Cousins continues to thrive in Jay Gruden's offense. Don't be frightened away by a defense that has padded its resume by limiting Drew Stanton and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS NYG 901000000 ***
Morris has been solid thus far this year and that should continue against a Giants defense that has yet to have a back carry more than 15 times against them yet has still allowed games of 91, 78, and 51 yards to opposing feature backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS NYG 006901000 ***
After a one-week adjustment period Cousins figured out where to find Garcon and went to him again and again and again. He's the volume guy in this passing game, and seeing more than enough volume to be a solid fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS NYG 005701000 ***
Jackson probably shouldn't have played against his former team last week, and while he scored a long TD he may have aggravated his injury enough to prevent him from playing Thursday night against the Giants. Even if he's active it's a short turnaround and a bit of a risk for reinjury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS NYG 004400000 ***
Roberts has real fantasy value only if DeSean Jackson is out; much like Harry Douglas last week when Roddy White was scratched, if Jackson is inactive you could plug in Roberts and get some sneaky fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Niles Paul, WAS NYG 006700000 ***
The Giants haven't seen much in the way of tight ends to defend; in fact, Washington's TEs have seen almost twice the targets Giants opponents have. Paul is the beneficiary of the bulk of those targets and remains a reliable fantasy option--with benefits if DeSean Jackson can't go.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS NYG 2233 ****
Forbath's opportunities to swing the leg are on the uptick with Kirk Cousins at the helm--maybe even enough to make him a viable fantasy option.

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

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 0000024021 ***
Before you get too giddy about Eli's back to back semi-respectable fantasy efforts, consider that in 19 career outings against the Redskins he's had exactly one multiple touchdown game--and that came almost five years ago. Washington checked ordinary QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chad Henne before ceding 325 and 3 to Nick Foles; Eli is much closer to the former than the latter, so plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @WAS 5005500000 ***
Washington's run D numbers are a bit puffy; the Jags only ran the ball seven times against them, and while they did keep Philly's dynamic duo of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles bottled up they had no answer for Arian Foster. Jennings is more like Foster, a bruiser that will get 20-plus carries and forge a solid fantasy outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG @WAS 005801000 **
Signs of life from Cruz last week, and the surge should continue against a Redskins defense that has struggled to cover Jeremy Maclin, DeAndre Hopkins, and even Allen Robinson. Plus, in four career meetings with Washington Cruz has averaged almost 90 yards per outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @WAS 004400000 ***
Even with a couple improved weeks under their collective belt the Giants are still barely feeding one fantasy receiver--and right now that guy is Victor Cruz. Starting Randle here means crossing your fingers and hoping for a red zone look.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG @WAS 006601000 ***
Donnell is ceding touchdowns to Daniel Fells and facing a defense that, aside from one long Marcedes Lewis pass, has shut tight ends down cold. You can find a better fantasy alternative.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @WAS 1122 ***
Brown kicked his first field goal of the season last week, but this offense is still a work in progress and not nearly equipped to bring along a kicker fantasy-wise.

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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