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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 0000030021 ***
Lovie Smith's defense has been significantly better since giving up 372 and 2 to Brees earlier this year. In fact, they've held six of the past seven quarterbacks they've faced to just one TD toss--good quarterbacks, too, including Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton and RG3. Brees hasn't exactly been tearing it up like usual anyway; he's thrown single scoring strikes in three straight and four of five against NFC South foes, so keep a lid on expectations here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO @TB 7012100000 ***
Whether they're using him up before letting him hit free agency or they've just decided to give him the ball, the Saints are loading up Ingram with carries--30 the past two weeks, versus eight for the rest of the New Orleans backfield. Like earlier in the year when all the other Saints RBs were injured, Ingram has responded--not necessarily with big yardage, but with touchdowns in each of those two games. He missed the earlier date with Tampa Bay while Khiry Robinson rushed for 89 yards and a TD and Pierre Thomas chipped in 112 combo yards and a couple scores. Look for Ingram to consolidate the rushing numbers and provide one more fantasy helper in a Saints uniform.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO @TB 005701000 ***
The Bucs have surrendered four 100-yard WR games the past three weeks, and while Colston isn't a pure WR1 he's the closest thing the Saints have and thus the most likely to take advantage here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO @TB 0051000000 ***
Brandon Cooks paced the Saints with 11 targets the last time they faced Tampa Bay. Stills has ascended to Cooks' role as WR2 in New Orleans; with Drew Brees struggling it isn't a guaranteed fantasy producer, but after watching the Bucs give up four 100-yard games and three WR TDs over the past three weeks it definitely gets Stills on the fantasy radar.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO @TB 005701000 **
The Bucs have been stout against tight ends, giving up just one TE TD in the past 11 games and just one game north of 61 yards in that span as well. That stretch included a disappointing 2-36 by Graham in which he was only the third-most productive Saints tight end. He's been a bigger factor of late and you can't sit him, but you can start him with a bit of trepidation.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO @TB 1133 ***
Graham hasn't had multiple field goals in more than a month, but here come the Bucs to the rescue: they've allowed eight in the last three games and served up three to Graham earlier this year.

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 Josh Freeman 250,2
QB Eli Manning 280,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 20
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.

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 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 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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