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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

Prediction: GB 27, NYG 23 (Line: NYG by 2.5)

Players to Watch: Eli Manning

The 6-4 Giants lead the NFC East but are on a two game losing streak and the offense struggled before they went on their bye. The 7-3 Packers are 3-2 on the road but are on a five game winning streak. The Packers won 38-35 when they played in New York during week 13 last year. The Packers are bound to lose soon and the Giants are not as bad as they seemed the last few games. This game comes down to which Eli Manning shows up.

Green Bay Packers
Homefield: Lambeau Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SF 22-30 10 BYE -----
2 CHI 23-10 11 @DET 24-20
3 @SEA 12-14 12 @NYG -----
4 NO 28-27 13 MIN -----
5 @IND 27-30 14 DET -----
6 @HOU 42-24 15 @CHI -----
7 @STL 30-20 16 TEN -----
8 JAC 24-15 17 @MIN -----
9 ARI 31-17 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
GB @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Aaron Rodgers 10 290,3
RB James Starks 60
WR Randall Cobb 6-80,1
WR Jordy Nelson 4-70,1
PK Mason Crosby 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Packers are on a nice run this week may be their toughest remaining game depending on who is still hurt in Chicago in week 15. The Packers defense held their last four opponents to 20 points or less and the offense has been back to their productive ways. As of last week they drew even with the Bears in the standings and four remaining divisional games can lock it up, particularly if the Bears continue to struggle at quarterback.

Aaron Rodgers is still plenty prolific with 27 passing scores on the year but his yardage has waned in recent weeks. They've still won their games and he did throw at least two scores in each but Rodgers throwing for 186, 218 and 236 yards in three consecutive games is low for anyone and in particular for him. He faces a secondary this week that has allowed two or more scores to every visiting quarterback.

The rushing effort here is the worst in the NFL with only two touchdowns scored by a running back all year - Cedric Benson and John Kuhn. No runner has gained more than 65 yards since Benson left and while James Starks was given 25 carries last week, he only gained 74 yards and HC Mike McCarthy said he was going to go back to a committee. In fairness, nothing is going to change and the only help in sight potentially is if Benson can return before the season ends. Then the Packers can rise up to mediocre in their rushing offense.

In week 13 last year, the Packers visited the Giants and Rodgers passed for 369 yards and four touchdowns. Both Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings gained 94 yards in that game and Jermichael Finley scored on his six receptions for 87 yards. Donald Driver scored twice as a true surprise and the rushing effort was nearly nonexistent in that game of course.

The Giants seemed to be running down in recent weeks and even their defense was letting up. All the same fantasy plays are good this week since the Giants weakness - the pass - is the Packers strength.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points GB 3 32 1 14 29 12
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 27 7 26 26 16 7

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Aaron Rodgers, GB @TB 0000028020 ***
Maybe Rodgers relaxed a little too much last week, as he was blanked by the Bills in Buffalo. It's another road date, and we have more than enough evidence at this point to see that Rodgers is far less effective away from Lambeau. Moreover, the Bucs have been solid since their Week 7 bye, especially at home where they've allowed an average game of 212 passing yards and one passing score. If you survived Rodgers' goose-egg last week your team should be stocked enough to absorb a better--but still not elite--outing here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @TB 8012200000 ***
So much for a bum hip and sharing touches; Lacy looked perfectly fine last week and should be good to go against a Bucs D that over the past five games has given up an average of 140 combo yards and a touchdown to opposing backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @TB 0061001000 ***
Nelson's last road TD came in Week 6, giving him a three-game scoring drought on the road heading into Tampa. Tough to bench an elite receiver, but the numbers suggest Jordy's just another guy away from Lambeau... and Tampa's a long ways from America's Dairyland.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB @TB 007901000 ****
Cobb's productivity has held up better on the road than his receiving corps mates; witness his 96 yards last week in the loss to Buffalo. While it's been bigger receivers having the most success against the Bucs they've surrendered stats to some speed guys as well, and Cobb should carve out another fantasy helper in Tampa Bay this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB @TB 002300000 ***
The Packers still haven't received anything resembling a fantasy helper from a third receiver on the road, and there's nothing in the Bucs' pattern of stats surrendered to wideouts to suggest that changes this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @TB 002200000 ***
The Packers continue to split TE snaps, cutting into any chance at fantasy stats either Quarless or Richard Rodgers might have.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @TB 2233 ***
Mason has multiple field goals in three straight and six of seven, with double-digit points in five of those seven outings. He should get his kicks again against a Bucs defense that, after a brief and unexpected three-game bout of competency, is back to giving up double-digit points to opposing kickers.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN 13-31
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 27-23 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL 29-24 17 PHI -----
9 PIT 20-24 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs GB Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 260,1
RB Rashad Jennings 10 2-10
WR Victor Cruz 6-90
WR Kevin Ogletree

Pregame Notes: Perhaps it was just a lack of a bye week and the Giants were getting tired. Not only did they drop their last two games, but they barely beat the visiting Redskins in week seven and had to thank Dez Bryant for having long fingers in week eight. This week needs to answer if the Giants can bounce back from the level of play that fell since week six.

Eli Manning is certainly culprit in the downturn with no touchdowns in the last three games and only one each in the two previous that those. That's not only two scores over the last five games but he topped 215 pass yards only once. Manning threw at least one interception every week. He is getting sacked each week as well. Speculation was that his arm was "tired" and he needed the rest to get the zip back on the ball. This week should answer that since the Packers are sure to encourage plenty of passing.

Manning threw for 347 yards and three scores when these teams met in the regular season in 2011 and he passed for 330 yards and three touchdowns in the playoff meeting. This week should make it very apparent if Manning is back to form or still struggling.

Ahmad Bradshaw is expected to play this week but suffered a neck injury in the Cincinnati game. Bradshaw has been phased out as a receiver in recent weeks and he's even fumbled three times this year. His yardage remains marginal thanks in part to Andre Brown who has not only rushed better on his six or so carries per week, but he scored in each of the last four games. Brown currently stands at seven touchdowns on the season though his yardage remains below 25 yards in almost every game. He just takes away the scores from Bradshaw who has lost almost all fantasy value.

Hakeem Nicks is healthy now but hasn't scored since his big game in week two. He's remained below 50 yards in all but one game since and should see an uptick from here on out if Manning indeed is healthy and is rested. Victor Cruz was on a hot streak all year until after week seven when Manning's passing woes finally included him. Cruz scored seven times in the first seven weeks with three games over 100 yards. The last three games only averaged 39 yards and not included any scores.

This game is critical since the Giants lost the last two games and the offense seemingly has started to come apart. By the end it should be very apparent if the Giants buck their recent trend or if a repeat trip to the Superbowl has really no chance.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 22 12 8 22 1 5
Preventing Fantasy Points GB 15 10 23 8 17 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG @STL 0000025011 ***
It's not a particularly favorable matchup for Eli, as the Rams haven't allowed a touchdown pass in three weeks and haven't served up multiple scoring strikes to a quarterback since Week 7. But with Rashad Jennings hobbled and the Rams stiff against the run, what other options do the Giants have?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG @STL 4003100000 **
Rashad Jennings pulled himself early from last week's matchup, so this week expect all Andre all the time. However, with the Rams sporting a solid run defense there may simply be nowhere for Williams to go.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham, NYG @STL 007901000 **
30 targets, 23 catches, 273 yards, four touchdowns. Those are totals from Beckham's last four games so, yeah, he's hot. He's also Eli Manning's go-to guy and as such a solid fantasy play, even in a matchup that looks to be a bit on the tough side.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @STL 005600000 ***
Randle has battled some injury issues which have pushed him to the side in the Giants' WR depth conversation, but he's a big target that plays nicely opposite the smaller, speedier Odell Beckham Jr.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Preston Parker, NYG @STL 002300000 ***
Parker hopes to carve out some fantasy value at the bottom of the food chain, but he's too inconsistently productive to warrant a fantasy play here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG @STL 003300000 ***
Not a particularly favorable matchup for Donnell, as the Rams haven't allowed a Te TD since Week 7. And Donnell has been sharing looks with Daniel Fells and generally avoiding fantasy contributions, making him even less worthy of a fantasy start here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @STL 2211 ***
Like clockwork, Brown returned to his usual one field goal last week on the heels of his five-trey outburst against the Rams. Which trend you gonna believe, his five-FG game or the six one- or zero-FG games that preceded it (and the one-field goal game that followed it)?

WEEK 12
2012
HOU at DET (THU) *BAL at SD *MIN at CHI *SF at NO
NE at NYJ (THU) BUF at IND *OAK at CIN *STL at ARI
WAS at DAL (THU) DEN at KC PIT at CLE TEN at JAC
*UPDATED *ATL at TB GB at NYG SEA at MIA *CAR at PHI (MON)

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