Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

Prediction: NO 20, NYG 24 Line: (NYG by 5)

Players Updated: Ahmad Bradshaw

Players to Watch: Marques Colston, Eli Manning

This will be a great game to watch. The 5-7 Saints have lost two games and are 2-4 on the road. The 7-5 Giants come off a Monday night loss to the Skins and are 4-2 at home.

The Saints won 49-24 when the Giants visited in week 12 last year.

New Orleans Saints
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 WAS 32-40 10 ATL 31-27
2 @CAR 27-35 11 @OAK 38-17
3 KC 24-27 12 SF 21-31
4 @GB 27-28 13 @ATL 13-23
5 SD 31-24 14 @NYG -----
6 BYE ----- 15 TB -----
7 @TB 35-28 16 @DAL -----
8 @DEN 14-34 17 CAR -----
9 PHI 28-13 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NO @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees 270,2
RB Mark Ingram 30
WR Marques Colston 5-70,1
TE Jimmy Graham 7-70
TE Benjamin Watson 5-60
PK Shayne Graham 1 FG 4 XP

Pregame Notes: Just when it seemed that the Saints were pulling themselves back up into contention they drop the last two games and at 5-7 need to win three of the next four games just to reach .500. Problem is that the next three opponents are all vying for a wildcard or better and won't be laying down and two are road trips to Dallas and New York to face the Giants. The Saints defense has improved from a horrible start to the year but the offense struggles more against top defenses now and overall - they just are not good enough this year.

Drew Brees finally did not score a touchdown for the first time in a record breaking 58 games and that comes on the heels of nine straight games with more than one touchdown in each. Brees still threw for 341 yards in Atlanta but was intercepted a record five times. Going against the softer Giants secondary should be good for a bounce back performance.

The improved rushing was still evident last week only this time Mark Ingram was held to only 13 yards on six carries and Pierre Thomas finally turned in a nice effort with 84 yards on 14 runs. Thomas has only scored once all year and was on a nine game streak of sub-50 yard performances. Ingram still managed to run in a score last week but he needs a home game against a really weak opponent to merit any fantasy consideration.

Jimmy Graham has also gone cold in the last three weeks. He scored in Oakland but only gained 29 yards on six catches. In the last two weeks it has been four catches in each game for either 33 or 59 yards and no score. Very pedestrian stats for a tight end who was posting huge yardage last year.

No changes to the wideouts other than Lance Moore coming off a season best 123 yards on seven catches when he had been stuck around 60 yards in most recent games. Marques Colston hasn't gained more than 71 yards in the last six games. The Saints offense has struggled in recent weeks but that was facing two top defenses in the Falcons and 49ers. This week should prove far kinder to the passing effort.

Gaining Fantasy Points NO 2 8 7 3 30 23
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 27 6 29 15 12 3

QB Drew Brees, NO GB 0000031021 ****
Ever since Frankie... uh, Aaron say "relax", the Packers defense has joined in the refrain; they've given up multiple TD passes or the rushing equivalent to four straight opposing QBs. Brees has multiple touchdown tosses in five straight, 340-plus yards in three straight... yeah, he's ready for a shootout.
RB Mark Ingram, NO GB 4013200000 **
It's a reasonably favorable matchup--five of the six RB TDs the Pack have allowed have come on the road--but you may as well put all the Saints' RBs' names in a hat with all the rhyme and/or lack of reason they're employed on a weekly basis. Ingram was ineffective in his return last week, but with no Pierre Thomas does he get more work? Does he handle goal line duties? Do Khiry Robinson and/or Travaris Cadet steal his thunder? Do the Saints go to the freakin' fullback again? Too many questions for this to be anything other than a desperation fantasy play.
RB Travaris Cadet, NO GB 2005400000 ***
In theory Cadet should be a great fantasy play in PPR leagues as he replaces the injured Pierre Thomas. But just when you think you have the Saints' backfield mix figured out Sean Patyon shakes it like a Polaroid picture. So Cadet has upside, but factor in the inherent risk of owning any shares of the Saints' backfield.
Update: No Pierre Thomas, no Khiry Robinson... Sean Payton is running out of ways to stick it to fantasy owners of Saints backs. It's a prime opportunity for Cadet... so expect fullback Austin Johnson to score twice. Just sayin'.
RB Khiry Robinson, NO GB 00000000 *****
Robinson disappointed when given earlier opportunities, and now with Pierre Thomas sidelined and Mark Ingram yet to regain his effectiveness... well, Travaris Cadet is the hot pickup if that tells you anything. Sure, there's upside but the Saints' backfield is a fantasy clusterboink that's driven veteran fantasy footballers to the brink of insanity and is best used only as a desperation measure.
Update: Robinson has been ruled out of this week's tilt. Travaris Cadet projects to get his touches, but you know Sean Payton likes to keep fantasy owners guessing.
WR Marques Colston, NO GB 005601000 **
The Packers have allowed multiple WR TDs in three of their last four, so in the jumbled mess that is the Saints' fantasy receiving corps Colston likely holds his value. That's about as ringing an endorsement as we can deliver here.
WR Kenny Stills, NO GB 002301000 **
Drew Brees' favorite receiver is "whomever is open". Last week that, apparently, was Stills; he posted 5-103-1 after just one catch the previous week. If there's a perceived pecking order it's likely Colston, then Cooks, then Stills, but the good news is this is a favorable matchup against a team that's allowed multiple WR TDs on a regular basis so a dart thrown at Stills isn't entirely misdirected.
WR Brandin Cooks, NO GB 008700000 ****
Green Bay has given up multiple WR TDs in three of the last four--but will it be Cooks, who was merely an observer last week after a team high 11 targets and nine catches the previous week? It's a favorable enough matchup he's worth starting, but don't pull your hair out if Kenny Stills swipes his touchdown.
TE Jimmy Graham, NO GB 004500000 *
Gotta hope Graham shook off the rust with last week's two target, zero catch performance because this is an extremely favorable matchup with a Green Bay defense that's allowed two 100-yard receiving games to tight ends over the past month. If Graham gets some practice work in this week you should be able to slot him into your fantasy lineup with confidence, but it wouldn't hurt to have a backup plan on a Sunday night or Monday night roster just in case.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO GB 2233 ****
Graham has come around with a couple of double-digit games, but the Packers haven't allowed more than six points to an opposing kicker since Week 1 so keep your expectations in check.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN 13-31
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB 38-10
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS 16-17
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 NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 280,2
WR Victor Cruz 6-100,1
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: And right back into the tired arm syndrome. After not posting any touchdowns for three weeks with marginal yardage in each, Eli Manning seemed rejuvenated after the bye week when he passed for three scores on the Packers. Last Monday against the weak Redskins secondary, he only managed one touchdown pass and his 280 pass yards were mostly in the first half. Now the Giants are only one game ahead of the Redskins and Cowboys with two road trips left against division leaders of the Falcons and Ravens.

The Giants turned to a run-heavy attack in the second half despite their earlier success throwing last week and that allowed Ahmad Bradshaw to gain 103 yards on 24 carries for his best game in well over a month. But Bradshaw's scored just once in the last five weeks and typically has remained below 60 rush yards per game. Andre Brown has been replaced, sort of, by David Wilson but he was limited to only four runs for nine yards on Monday night. Brown usually had eight touches or so per game as the short yardage and goal line back.

Martellus Bennett comes off his best game of the year when he caught five passes for 82 yards and scored in Washington for the first time since week three. Bennett has been far more likely to remain below 50 yards and not score in virtually every other game. He rolled up all his production in the first half last week before Manning ignored him the rest of the way.

At least Victor Cruz ended with 104 yards on five catches in Washington but was missed on one long pass that could have been a score. Manning was a little off most of the night and Hakeem Nicks took his ten targets and only caught five for 43 yards. This week is critical. If the Giants are going to remain atop the NFC East, they have to not only win here but Manning needs to show up with something better than he had last week. The Saints bring in one of the worst secondaries in the league and a healthy Manning should tear it up. All receivers are there and healthy. This is a home game. There is no reason for a down game here aside from Manning reprising the "tired arm" excuse.

Ahmad Bradshaw gets to face a horrible rush defense as well and that could end up lowering the amount of passes that Manning throws. It will not get any better for the next four weeks than this game.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 20 7 10 23 1 4
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 32 32 30 25 24 11

*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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