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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 0000032040 ***
The Bucs have allowed every non-Austin Davis quarterback to throw for multiple touchdowns against them. Brees has multiple TDs in three straight and is averaging 300 yards per contest; he's also thrown for at least 300 yards in four straight and five of six meetings with the Bucs, with four touchdown tosses in three of the last four. So... light 'em up!
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Khiry Robinson, NO TB 500000000 ***
Robinson has been the volume guy in Mark Ingram's absence, though last week that volume was turned all the way down to just eight carries. It's a favorable matchup, one with enough upside to offset the risk of another lightened and/or fractured workload for Robinson this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Pierre Thomas, NO TB 3003200000 ***
Just when you think you've got a handle on the Saints' backfield rotation, they crumple up the plan and try something new. Last week it was Travaris Cadet in the passing game, Khiry Robinson handling what little rushing they did, and Thomas on the outside looking in. He would seem to be the best bet among Saints backs to go off against a Tampa Bay defense that's wounded up front and has struggled to stop backs both on the ground and through the air... but you can't say with any degree of certainty that will be his role. There is some upside here, maybe enough to offset the risk of this backfield being a Cadet & Khiry production once again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marques Colston, NO TB 004501000 ***
Colston's track record against the Bucs is far from sterling: he's scored just once in the last five meetings, failing to top 75 yards in that span; he's also topped 100 yards just once in the past nine games and found the end zone just twice in the last dozen. That said, he wrested the title of most targeted Saints wideout from Brandin Cooks last week--at least temporarily. He's a solid bet for production, but as per usual the Saints' passing game is too splintered to bank on anything more than "solid".
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Stills, NO TB 002401000 ***
Stills has a solid opportunity against a Bucs' defense that's allowed the likes of Eric Weems (69 yards), Harry Douglas (TD) and Brian Quick (74 yards) to find success against them. Like just about every Saint other than Drew Brees and Jimmy Graham you can't actually bank on Stills, but the upside offsets the risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandin Cooks, NO TB 008800000 ***
High-volume target guys have had plenty of success against the Bucs, and up until last week Cooks was that guy for the Saints. Last week, however, he took a backseat to Marques Colston. Trend? Unlikely; Drew Brees seems to love the rookie, and he's too talented not to have success against the Bucs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, NO TB 007702000 ***
Graham has scored or topped 69 yards in five straight meetings with the Bucs; facing a defense that's allowed 80-plus yards to both Greg Olsen and Heath Miller, you have to like Graham's chances of extending that streak.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Shayne Graham, NO TB 2244 ***
Graham's not particularly reliable, so even though the Saints are a points-producing machine you can likely find a fantasy kicker that gives you a better night's sleep.

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
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 ATL 0000024021 ***
Eli's on a roll now that he's settled into the Giants' new offense, with multiple TD tosses in three straight and his first 300-yard game since Week 5 of last year. An Atlanta defense that just served up 317 yards to Teddy Bridgewater in his first NFL start doesn't look to be much of an impediment.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG ATL 11012200000 ***
Plenty of opportunity for Jennings against a defense that's allowed multiple touchdowns to Matt Asiata and Mark Ingram, 135 yards to Jerick McKinnon, and more fantasy points to running backs than any other club.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Andre Williams, NYG ATL 5012100000 ***
In three of four games the Falcons have allowed multiple backs to either score and/or top 100 rushing yards. With Williams expected to see an uptick in workload, he's at least worthy of fringe fantasy consideration here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG ATL 005701000 ***
Cruz has back-to-back 100-yard games and seems to be settling into the same offensive groove as Eli Manning--and that's a good thing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG ATL 006500000 ***
Randle has back-to-back 10-target games, so while he hasn't been much more than a fringe fantasy contributor as of yet he's certainly getting the opportunity to become one. This isn't a particularly difficult matchup; maybe it's the week Randle turns those targets into fantasy success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG ATL 007601000 ***
You can't stop Donnell, you can only hope to contain him. The Falcons haven't allowed a TE TD yet this season so they may be able to contain him, but averaging eight targets a game Donnell should still carve out enough yardage to be a fantasy helper.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG ATL 1144 ***
Brown has benefitted from an offense that's put up 75 points the past two weeks. With this game one of the higher totals on the Vegas board, looks like there should be ample opportunity for Brown to swing the leg again this week.

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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