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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 5
2010
*TB at CIN GB at WAS *STL at DET *PHI at SF
*ATL at CLE JAC at BUF *NO at ARI *MIN at NYJ
*NYG at HOU *DEN at BAL *SD at OAK MIA, NE
*UPDATED *KC at IND *CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA

Prediction: NYG 23, HOU 24

Update: Andre Johnson returned for limited work on Thursday and says he plans on playing this week but his high ankle sprain is still an issue and will limit him if he does play. He remains a game time decision. Jacoby Jones has not practiced because of his strained calf and will also be a game time decision. I'll update again late Friday if something magical happens in practice but just expect to hear before kickoff if either player can go and even then temper your expectations if they do.

Ahmad Bradshaw has been held out of practice to rest his ankle but is expected to have a full day on Friday and play.

Update #2 - Jacoby Jones has not practiced and is considered doubtful so I have removed him from the projections. Andre Johnson is questionable and has been able to do limited work on Thursday and Friday. The coaches are more upbeat about him playing and I am adding him into the projections but realize he is still a game time decision.

The Giants finally stopped their two game losing streak with a convincing win over the Bears but that makes three straight weeks that the offense only generated two touchdowns. The Texans are 3-1 and only once failed to score at least 31 points in a game. Figure on this one being much in the favor of the Texans and the second road loss for the Giants.

New York Giants (2-2)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR W 31-18 10 DAL --
2 @IND L 14-38 11 @PHI --
3 TEN L 10-29 12 JAC --
4 CHI W 17-3 13 WAS --
5 @HOU -- 14 @MIN --
6 DET -- 15 PHI --
7 @DAL -- 16 @GB --
8 Bye - 17 @WAS --
9 @SEA -- - - -
Giants Report | Statistics | Roster
NY GIANTS at HOU Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 300,2
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 70 20 -
TE Kevin Boss - 50,1 -
WR Steve Smith - 80 -
WR Hakeem Nicks - 100,1 -
WR Mario Manningham - 30 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The defense finally showed up last week to win the game after surrendering 67 points over the two previous weeks. The Giants also saw their rushing game come to life for the first time this season but now on the road, the challenge to repeat is going to be big. This week is very pivotal since the Giants have the Lions up next (win) and then a trip to Dallas. A win this week would ensure a winning record at the bye but so far these Giants do not travel well and Ahmad Bradshaw is banged up.

QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning has not thrown for a touchdown in the last two games and his fantasy value has been all but drained by now. But this week should be a vintage Eli going against the horrible secondary of the Texans where everyone scores and gets great yardage. No opponent has fewer than 278 passing yards against the Texans and twice they have allowed over 400 yards.

The next two weeks should be the best two of the year for Manning. Expect to see big yardage and two scores this week. No one has done less.

RUNNING BACKS: Ahmad Bradshaw comes off a season best 129 rushing yards and a score against the Bears but he also injured his ankle. He's been limping early in the week and practices will determine his likelihood of playing in this game. Brandon Jacobs would take up the slack if needed and he did have 62 yards and a score on six carries during the beat down on the Bears but he's fallen from grace and is not what the Giants want to rely on anymore.

I will assume a slightly limited Bradshaw will start and adjust as needed later in the week when practice reports help establish his availability. The Texans mediocre ranking against running backs is related to allowing five scores to the position. No runner has gained more than 55 yards on them this year. With Bradshaw less than 100%, expect moderate to good yardage and likely no score. This is where it would be advantageous to use him as a receiver but he's rarely seen more than two passes per game.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Hakeem Nicks had the lion's share of work against the Bears when he snared eight passes for 110 yards for a season high. Nicks remains the lone consistency in this unit and his four receiving scores are one short of all that the Giants have thrown. Steve Smith had a nice showing against the Titans with 103 yards on nine catches but then went right back to mediocrity with only 30 yards on four catches last week. Mario Manningham was blanked, failing to catch the one pass he was thrown.

This is the week to be a wideout facing one of the worst secondaries in the league. Expect a very good showing by Nicks who should score once and have very healthy yardage. Smith's role as the possession receiver should come back into play this week. Manningham could have a decent showing as well but he's been too inconsistent to rely on. The next two weeks are the best it will get for these wideouts.

TIGHT ENDS: As if the wide receiver were not due to have fun, Kevin Boss faces the worst team against tight ends. If you are looking to cover a bye week, go grab Boss who goes against a defense that has allowed three scores to the position and five tight ends to top 50 yards in just four games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 19 11 5 26 28 9
Preventing Fantasy Points HOU 31 23 29 32 22 10
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NYG 12 12 24 6 -6 1


Houston Texans (3-1)
Homefield: Reliant Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND W 34-24 10 @JAC --
2 @WAS W 30-27 11 @NYJ --
3 DAL L 13-27 12 TEN --
4 @OAK W 31-24 13 @PHI --
5 NYG -- 14 BAL --
6 KC -- 15 @TEN --
7 Bye - 16 @DEN --
8 @IND -- 17 JAC --
9 SD --   - -
Texans Report | Statistics | Roster
HOUSTON vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Schaub - - 190,1
RB Arian Foster 130,2 30 -
TE Owen Daniels - 30 -
WR Kevin Walter - 50,1 -
WR Andre Johnson - 50 -
WR Jacoby Jones - 40 -
PK Neil Rackers 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Nice win in Oakland without using Andre Johnson. The Texans are 3-1 and currently all alone atop the AFC South. That'll be hard to hold on to but the next two games are at home and could be won. Once the team returns from the bye, the schedule gets tougher but for now the Texans may need to figure out how to win without either Johnson or Jacoby Jones who injured his calf. Now is the time that owning the #1 running back in the NFL comes into play.

QUARTERBACK: While Matt Schaub is well off the pace of 2009, he's still be a solid fantasy play nearly every week. He has thrown at least one score in every game though oddly never more than once at home thanks to Arian Foster dominating those games. His yardage has varied from 107 up to 497 (consecutive weeks no less) but he's always good for one score at least.

The Giants happened to play the Panthers and TItans so far - both bad passers and then knocked out Jay Cutler almost literally. The only good quarterback to face them was Peyton Manning who had 255 yards and three touchdowns. But the Texans may be without Johnson and maybe even Jones. Hard to expect more than moderate yards from that. Expecting more than one score and decent yards is hard to justify this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Arian Foster was given a timeout for one quarter for missing team meetings but when he showed up in the second quarter, it was quickly back to normal. Foster tore off a long score and ended the game with 131 yards and a score on 16 carries and added 56 yards and a score on three receptions. The extra dimension he adds will be most apparent this week with the wideouts banged up and potentially without Johnson again.

The Giants rank well enough against the position but they are on the road against the #1 running back who will be called on even more this week than usual. This should be a very big game for Foster. The only road game the Giants had gave up 151 rush yards and a score to the Colts running backs.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Andre Johnson was inactive on Sunday with his high ankle sprain and while he says he feels better this week, there is no certainty about him playing. I will assume that he is unable and update as warranted. The Texans could win without him but it would be much easier with him. Same for Jacoby Jones who has a strained calf and may not play. I will assume he can in a limited fashion and that David Anderson takes Johnson's place again despite having no catches in week three.

The Giants secondary allowed four scores to wide receivers though only minimal yardage for each. Kevin Walter will be a marked man as the lone remaining healthy starter and David Anderson has done so little that I am not even bothering with his projections.

TIGHT ENDS: Joel Dreessen had five catches for 73 yards and one score against the Raiders and he has been consistently around 29 yards in most weeks, Owen Daniels remains the starter but is falling out of favor with lackluster play. Expect minor yardage here for the tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points HOU 10 1 7 24 3 27
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 4 8 11 6 23 30
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) HOU -6 7 4 -18 20 3

WEEK 5
2010
TB at CIN GB at WAS STL at DET PHI at SF
ATL at CLE JAC at BUF NO at ARI MIN at NYJ
NYG at HOU DEN at BAL SD at OAK MIA, NE
  KC at IND CHI at CAR TEN at DAL PIT, SEA
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