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 Robert Griffin III, WAS @MIN 30000026020 ***
Sounds like this is RG3's gig if he makes it through the practice week unscathed. He's still looking for his first TD of 2014, passing or rushing. The latter might be tough to get against a Vikings defense that's allowed only 11 QB rushing yards on the season, and the former is no lock either against a Minnesota D that's given up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, WAS @MIN 8011100000 ****
RG3's return would be a boon for Morris, as his two best showings came with the threat of RG3 in the same backfield. Morris has 12 or more carries in every game; the seven backs to hit that mark against Minnesota average 70 yards a game and have accounted for four TDs as well. Give those numbers the RG3 boost and this is at minimum a solid opportunity for Alf.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR DeSean Jackson, WAS @MIN 006901000 ***
The Vikings typically have trouble with speed receivers--like Sammy Watkins, who torched them for 9-122-2 a couple weeks back. That bodes well for DJax, as done the return of RG3 to the helm.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, WAS @MIN 006700000 ***
Garcon saw enough early-season volume with RG3 at the helm that his return bodes well for Pierre's stats in PPR formats; also doesn't hurt that the Vikings have allowed multiple WRs to score and/or top 60 yards in four of their last six games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Andre Roberts, WAS @MIN 004300000 ***
If the season opener is any indication, Roberts runs a distant third in Washington's WR pecking order when RG3 is at the helm. No reason to reach for him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jordan Reed, WAS @MIN 004501000 **
Mike Zimmer has tightened up a Vikings D that traditionally was torched by tight ends; this year they've allowed only two TE TDs and no tight end to top 56 yards against them. Those aren't fantasy-friendly numbers for Reed; add in the fact he's still sharing looks with Niles Paul and he's a fringe fantasy play at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Kai Forbath, WAS @MIN 2133 ***
Won't be easy for Forbath to get his kicks against a Minnesota defense that either rolls over and gives up PATs (zero field goals, 13 XP attempts Weeks 3-5) or shuts the door altogether (just 47 points allowed total over the past three weeks). Plus, his fantasy prospects are a bone to be chewed when the gales of November come early.

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 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 IND 0000026020 ***
The shutout in Philly is looking more and more like the exception rather than the rule after Eli and the Giants hopped back in the saddle with 248 and 3 in Dallas in Week 7. Considering the once-vaunted Indy D just gave up 522 and six to Ben Roethlisberger, it wouldn't be out of line to expect Eli to come up with half those numbers this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG IND 600000000 ***
Doesn't look like Rashad Jennings will be back so it's still Andre's show. Unfortunately Andre hasn't been particularly impressive with additional carries; after scoring the first two times his workload ticked into double digits he's laid a pair of road eggs at a shade over three yards per carry. At least he's back home this week, but keep your expectations low against a Colts defense that has shut out Giovani Bernard and Le'Veon Bell in back-to-back weeks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG IND 006801000 **
Randle remains the most targeted Giants receiver, and while Indy's overall passing game stats are impressive they did just allow 5-83-2 to similarly sized Martavis Bryant last week so Randle's at least worth a look-see here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG IND 004500000 ***
Beckham has three TDs in as many games since making his NFL debut. With an extra week to acclimate to the offense--and give Ben McAdoo an opportunity to figure out how to take advantage of his skills--there's no reason to think his role reduces. It's not a favorable matchup on paper, but the Steelers showed last week Indy's secondary isn't infallible so Beckham remains in play fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG IND 007801000 ***
Indy's allowed five TE TDs and five games of 70-plus yards to the position already this year; so long as Daniel Fells doesn't keep swiping Larry's scores he's a solid bordering on spectacular fantasy play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG IND 2222 ***
Brown has been in double digits the past two home games, but an Indy D that hasn't allowed a kicker to top 10 points since Week 2 likely holds him in check this week.

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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