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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 2 8 7 3 30 23
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 27 6 29 15 12 3

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Drew Brees, NO TB 0000029030 ****
Ah, home sweet dome. It's been almost three full seasons since the last time Brees didn't throw for either 300-plus yards or multiple touchdowns at home. In fact, he has multiple TDs in 23 of his last 24 at home and 300-plus yards in nine straight and 18 of 24 at home. With the Saints needing a win to make the postseason, expect Brees to be firing on all cylinders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO TB 4004300000 ***
The Saints haven't scored a running back touchdown in five games, with Thomas and Mark Ingram taking turns being the primary ball-carrier. Expect a little more than the 75 yards three New Orleans backs combined for in the earlier meeting between these teams, but it will be so fractured that a legit fantasy helper is unlikely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO TB 300000000 ***
The Saints haven't scored a running back touchdown in five games, with Ingram and Pierre Thomas taking turns being the primary ball-carrier. Expect a little more than the 75 yards three New Orleans backs combined for in the earlier meeting between these teams, but it will be so fractured that a legit fantasy helper is unlikely.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO TB 004500000 ***
Colston paced Saints receivers in the earlier meeting, but that was pre-Darrelle Revis. This time around Colston might find the going tougher against a healthy Revis, but he's been an inconsistent fantasy play anyway. Weigh the home uptick the Saints' offense gets with the possibility of Revis blanking Colston and he's pretty much right back where he started--a good play but hardly a sure thing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO TB 002400000 ***
Stills is the last non-Colston Saints wideout to score... and that was back in Week 10. This passing game runs through the tight end, with an assist from the running backs; even at home, where the Saints' numbers tend to climb, Stills is too far down the pecking order to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO TB 0091102000 ***
The last time Graham saw the Bucs he went for 10-179-1--and that was on the road. If you only count his home games, Graham would still rank third among tight ends with nine touchdowns. So, yeah, he's a good play... again.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO TB 2233 ***
Graham tallied seven points in his Saints debut, more than half his team's points. Should be a significantly easier row to hoe this week--not to mention a home date in the SuperDome--so expect Graham to have ample opportunity to get his kicks 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 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
WR Mario Manningham 4-50
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 20 7 10 23 1 4
Preventing Fantasy Points NO 32 32 30 25 24 11

  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 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 14
2012
DEN at OAK (THU) *CHI at MIN MIA at SF SD at PIT
*ARI at SEA *DAL at CIN *NO at NYG *STL at BUF
*ATL at CAR *DET at GB NYJ at JAC *TEN at IND
*Updated BAL at WAS KC at CLE PHI at TB HOU at NE (MON)

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