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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
TE Coby Fleener 3-30,1

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 DET 0000031040 ***
Brees' last two games vs. DET: 340 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT (2014) and 341 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT (2015). The Lions have the best statistical defense of quarterbacks using data from the last five weeks, but we're talking games with Minnesota (twice), Jacksonville and Houston.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tim Hightower, NO DET 3003301000 ***
Since Week 7, running backs have averaged 77.3 rushing yards, 51.8 receiving yards, five receptions and 20.9 PPR points per game against the Lions. Hightower has little upside during this crucial stage of the season.

Update: in the event Mark Ingram sits out (QUE, GTD), Hightower's value increases considerably. Check the inactives to be safe before starting him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Mark Ingram, NO DET 5002200000 ***
Detroit has allowed only two rushing touchdowns all season, and no receiving scores in the last five weeks. This is the sixth worst overall index rating for opportunities. Ingram has mild appeal, because focusing on so many passing weapons can let him get loose from time to time.

Update: Ingram is questionable and was limited Friday after failing to practice both Wednesday and Thursday. He was non-committal about his status and is a true game-time decision.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Thomas, NO DET 006801000 ***
Detroit has not exactly faced powerful offenses (MIN, JAX, HOU, MIN) in the last five weeks, but the stats show at least the Lions can handle weak opponents. Thomas has plenty of upside and has proven he belongs in lineups each and every week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO DET 005701000 ***
Cooks wasn't pleased with his role last week, but that should not be an issue this time around. The Lions have granted the eighth most catches per game over the last five weeks. The rest is up to him given his game-breaking speed.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Willie Snead IV, NO DET 005500000 ***
Detroit has given up the eighth most catches but the worst ratio of catches that led to scores since Week 7. Snead has low-end PPR flex appeal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Coby Fleener, NO DET 004501000 ***
The Lions have been one of the most generous teams for tight ends to exploit all season. In the last five weeks, tight ends have scored the fifth most PPR points per game when facing this defense.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Wil Lutz, NO DET 1144 ***
Detroit has allowed more field goal attempts than extra point kicks over its last five weeks, but that won't be the theme of the day vs. Drew Brees and Co. in Week 13.

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
RB Shane Vereen 30 2-10
WR Victor Cruz 6-100,1
PK Robbie Gould 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 @PIT 0000022021 ***
Manning faces a Steelers defense that has allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points per game since Week 7. The Steelers have allowed a TD once every 16.8 completions, which rates as the 10th toughest defense in this metric.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @PIT 5002100000 ***
Jennings goes up against the Steelers, a defense that has allowed only 19.6 total PPR points per game. The bulk of that comes from giving up a TD every 32.3 offensive touches.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Paul Perkins, NYG @PIT 2002100000 ***
Pittsburgh has given up 17 receptions, 167 yards and one touchdown in the last four games. Perkins shouldn't be trusted in any fantasy format.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Odell Beckham Jr, NYG @PIT 005701000 ***
Over the past five weeks, the Steelers have allowed three TDs on 47 catches, which is greatly in their favor. Beckham is a rare talent and can find ways to win that others haven't in this time. Pittsburgh has given up the 12th most yards per game, though, so there's some silver lining if he cannot score.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Sterling Shepard, NYG @PIT 005601000 ***
The matchup is not ideal, but Shepard could benefit from all of the attention paid to OBJ. Plus, there is a shot this game could require points to be scored if the Steelers can pile on the points.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG @PIT 001300000 ***
Cruz has meant more to the Giants than fantasy gamers for most of the season. Keep him out of lineups and off of rosters in most conventional setups.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Will Tye, NYG @PIT 002100000 ***
New York does not involve the position enough in its offense to consider starting Tye.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, NYG @PIT 1122 ***
Gould faces the second worst matchup in terms of overall kicking chances in Pittsburgh. The position has attempted only three total kicks per contest over the last five weeks vs. the Steelers.

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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