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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
TE Jermichael Finley 4-50
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 DET 10000030020 ***
Rodgers was abysmal in the earlier matchup--162 yards, one TD--and he's actually been awful in three straight against the Lions. That run includes two home dates, so it's not just a home/road split. Rodgers hasn't been much of a fantasy helper the past fortnight, and expectations should be kept in check this week as well.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB DET 8013300000 ***
Lacy has averaged 60 yards from scrimmage per game against the Lions, with no TDs to boot. Doesn't help when Aaron Rodgers attempts to pad his stats by throwing at the stripe rather than giving Lacy a shot, though Lacy has scored in three straight and five of the last six. It's taken burly backs to crack the Lions' code at the stripe--Matt Asiata, LeGarrette Blount, Steven Jackson--and Lacy certainly has the bulk, if given the opportunity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB DET 006902000 ***
Subdued passing numbers for Aaron Rodgers mean subdued numbers for Nelson, who has been fantastic at home but hasn't scored or topped 100 yards against the Lions since New Year's Day of 2012. Check your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB DET 0071000000 ****
Cobb has been held in check by the Lions as well, with just one career TD and one career 100-yard game against them. He's been a little less volatile than Jordy Nelson, especially on the road, but he hasn't been quite as productive as his running mate in Lambeau either. It's not a great matchup, but at this juncture Cobb is an every-week fantasy play regardless of foe.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Davante Adams, GB DET 003500000 ***
While Green Bay's receiver depth has been especially productive at home, the Lions aren't giving up enough to feed all three mouths so keep Adams in reserve this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB DET 2233 ****
Crosby has multiple field goals in four straight and seven of his last eight, and double digit points in five of his last eight. He posted a season-low single point in the earlier meeting with Detroit but this one's at home, where he's averaging four more points per game than on the road. So he's good for at least five here, right?

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 Josh Freeman 20 240,2
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 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 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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