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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 @CHI 10000027031 ***
The last time we saw Rodgers he was being thrown to the Lambeau turf by the Bears; that was two months ago. Maybe he returns in time for this do-or-die NFC North battle, but there would be a lot of rust to shake off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB @CHI 12012100000 **
Two months ago Lacy rushed for 150 yards and a score against the Bears, kicking off a stretch in which the Bears have allowed eight 100-yard rushers in eight games--along with 10 RB rushing scores in that span. Assuming he's healthy enough to play, he's money this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB James Starks, GB @CHI 300000000 ****
If Eddie Lacy can't go this week Starks is a great fallback plan. He had 40 yards and a touchdown on limited carries in the earlier meeting with Chicago, averaged 4.7 yards per carry in relief of Lacy last week, and is poised to push the Packers into the postseason if Lacy is out.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB @CHI 0071001000 ****
Giving up so much on the ground cuts into receiver production against Chicago; they haven't allowed a 100-yard receiver since Week 3. They have, however, served up five WR TDs in the past four games. Nelson would be a fantasy stud once again if Aaron Rodgers plays; if it's Matt Flynn, he's a nice play with upside but nowhere near a must-start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarrett Boykin, GB @CHI 003501000 **
With the return of Aaron Rodgers the entire Green Bay passing game gets a lift--especially secondary targets like Boykin. Of course, that lift will take a hit if Randall Cobb gets healthy and takes snaps away from Boykin.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB @CHI 003200000 ***
Quarless has had a couple decent games in the past month, and while the Bears have only allowed five TE TDs on the year no team has given up more yardage to the position. Still, much of Quarless' fantasy value depends on whether or not it's Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB @CHI 1144 ****
Crosby has been the tortoise, a steady contributor with just two games of less than seven points all season long. He can handle the elements and will be banked on for points in a must-win game for the Packers, so he definitely has fantasy upside this week.

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
WR Hakeem Nicks 7-100,1
TE Kellen Davis 2-20

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 0000022021 ***
Manning continues to dribble easy matchups down his leg, so no matter that only four teams have given up more passing scores than Washington; Manning's a risky fantasy play at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG WAS 4005300000 ***
Jennings has been far and away the most productive back on the Raiders' roster; as a thanks for salvaging their ground game following yet another Darren McFadden injury, he got a kick-in-the-teeth score vultured by McFadden last week. No reason to think he'll do anything of note against a Denver defense that's motivated to lock down the top seed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG WAS 005701000 ***
The Redskins have allowed only two WR TDs in the past month, none to the Giants in the earlier meeting. Between Eli Manning's foibles and the underachieving, injury-depleted Giants receiving corps, the frequently targeted Jernigan might be the best/only fantasy play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Hakeem Nicks, NYG WAS 006800000 ***
Nicks is making a late push for free agency money, but it's not a particularly forceful push--certainly not one that warrants fantasy attention.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG WAS 00000000 ***
Randle continues to be frequently targeted, but with the Giants' passing game struggling mightily there just isn't enough here to bank on fantasy help. UPDATE: Randle did not practice Thursday and Friday and is listed as questionable. Not enough upside to offset the risk of using him in your fantasy lineup this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG WAS 1133 ***
Brown has been all-or-nothing this year: four double-digit games, yet he ranks 30th in kicker scoring. He managed six points against the Redskins a month ago, no reason to expect a significant uptick here.

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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