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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 @CHI 0000025020 ***
Rodgers has thrown for multiple TDs in four of his last five full games against the Bears, including 318 and 2 in his triumphant Week 17 return last year. Chicago hasn't surrendered a multiple TD outing thus far this season, but they've faced EJ Manuel, Colin Kaepernick, and Geno Smith; it would be folly to lump Rodgers into that group, so don't bet against him here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @CHI 6012100000 ***
After three straight fantasy duds against stout run Ds Lacy has to be salivating at a Bears defense that's surrendering 4.9 yards per carry, a deense he took for 216 yards and two TDs in last season's series. Lacy may not make it all up to you in one week, but this game should be a good start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @CHI 0071101000 ***
Nelson was a destructive force in his last meeting with the Bears, rolling up 161 yards on 10 catches. He's hit the century mark in two of his last four against Chicago, averaging 106 yards per game in that span; after being held in check by the Lions last week, he's poised to bust out here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB @CHI 005601000 ***
Cobb's last two meetings with Chicago have been big-time fantasy helpers: 2-55-2 last December and 6-115 the previous season. He's been taking a back seat to Jordy Nelson thus far this season, but he's still a major factor in this passing game and the matchup isn't so difficult as to suggest he's bench fodder.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @CHI 003300000 ***
Quarless found the end zone last week against a Lions defense that largely ignores tight ends; he's not targeted consistently enough, nor is the Bears' D similarly soft, so as to warrant fantasy consideration this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1133 ***
Crosby has eight or more points in three of his last four meetings with the Bears, and while he's coming off a one-point effort last week he should bounce back nicely against a Chicago defense that's allowed at least eight points to every opposing kicker and a league-high nine field goals thus far this season.

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 Mario Manningham 3-40

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 @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 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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