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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 NYJ 0000028030 ***
After a rocky start in Seattle Rodgers returns home to Lambeau, where he's topped 260 yards in four straight with at least three TD tosses in three of those four. The Jets aren't a pushover, but they did just allow Derek Carr to toss multiple touchdowns in his NFL debut so no reason to fear a fantasy-unfriendly follow-up to Rodgers' Week 1 washout.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Eddie Lacy, GB NYJ 5002100000 *
While the Raiders' backfield won't win any prizes, the Jets holding them to 26 yards on 14 carries is still impressive. Between Lacy's concussion and a stout New York run D he's not a lock for fantasy success this week; once he's cleared, then we can quibble about what he may be able to do behind an offensive line that continues to lose regulars to injury.
Update: Lacy has been cleared to play and is listed as probable. However, his offensive line looks to be down another regular and the Jets' defensive front was stout last week so keep a lid on your expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jordy Nelson, GB NYJ 006902000 ****
Multiple Raiders receivers scored against the Jets last week; surely a Green Bay offense that saw two or more wideouts score and/or top 80 yards in 11 of 16 games last season--and one of one this year--can turn a similar trick. Even if not, Nelson has emerged as the WR1 and is the more reliable of the pair for fantasy productivity.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Randall Cobb, GB NYJ 006701000 ***
Cobb found the end zone against Seattle, and while he may be a tick behind Jordy Nelson in the passing game pecking order there was enough productivity for multiple wideouts to score and/or top 80 yards 11 times last season; no reason to think that trend can't continue here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jarrett Boykin, GB NYJ 003500000 ***
Green Bay's passing attack has traditionally fed three fantasy wideouts, though Boykin is most definitely at the bottom end of the pecking order. As such he's the toughest to bank on for fantasy stats, though a home matchup with a Jets' D that's wafer-thin at corner at least provides optimism.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Andrew Quarless, GB NYJ 003300000 ***
Quarless has done little to suggest he's next man up in the Packers' rich tradition of fantasy helpers at the tight end position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Mason Crosby, GB NYJ 2233 ****
You could certainly do worse than getting your kicks at the back end of the prolific Packers offense.

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 ARI 0000020012 ***
Eli's last multiple touchdown game came in Week 12 of last season against Dallas. His last multiple TD outing against a legit defense... wait, do the Eagles count? No? Okay, his last multiple TD outing against a legit defense came in Week 14 of 2012. And the new offense... it isn't helping.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG ARI 6015300000 ****
Jennings' 50 receiving yards in Week 1 was a welcome bonus--and a necessary one if he's to carve out any fantasy value this week, as the Cards held a decent San Diego ground game to 2.1 yards per carry. Also good for Jennings: the Giants' passing game is so gawd-awful right now they have to give him 15-plus carries even if they're trailing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG ARI 004500000 ***
You can't fault Victor's frustration, but if he didn't see this coming he may have been the only one. It will take time for the new offense to take in New York; until it does--and especially if Patrick Peterson opts to throw a blanket over Cruz this week--he's a difficult at best fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG ARI 003300000 ***
Of course Jerrel Jernigan was the Giants' most targeted wideout in Week 1. Seeing as none of San Diego's receivers mustered more than 50 yards, you should probably lower your already-stooping expectations for Jernigan this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG ARI 002300000 ***
The good news is that Randle likely won't draw Patrick Peterson; the bad news is that it's still Eli Manning throwing the ball in his general direction.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG ARI 006601000 **
Donnell is no Antonio Gates, but he could play one this week. Donnell was Eli Manning's go-to guy in Week 1, while Gates found the seams in Arizona's defense to the tune of 6-81. What faint hope there is for the Giants' passing game likely runs through Donnell.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG ARI 2222 ***
It's a good news/bad news situation for Brown--good that the Giants can't make it to the end zone, bad that they struggle to get Brown into range. Wait until the Giants work out the kinks in their offense before banking on him for fantasy help; it could be a while.

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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