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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 7
2010
PHI at TEN* STL at TB BUF at BAL MIN at GB*
CIN at ATL SF at CAR* ARI at SEA* NYG at DAL*
CLE at NO* WAS at CHI* OAK at DEN* DET, HOU
*Updated PIT at MIA JAC at KC* NE at SD* IND, NYJ

Prediction: NYG 23, DAL 27

Update: Dez Bryant was held out of practice to help heal his ankle and is still expected to play on Monday. He won't be 100% by then but could play more or less depending on how the rest helps.

Update #2: Hakeem Nicks did not practice on Friday to rest his tight hamstring but is still expected to play on Monday.

This game could not be more important to both teams. A win here and the Giants at least stay abreast with the Eagles in the NFC East while logging a division win. A win by the Cowboys at least floats a theoretical chance at winning the division since they have only played one of the six divisional games. A loss by the Cowboys and they drop to 1-5 and then buttons get pushed and sirens go off and bad things happen only no one will know in Dallas because they will have stopped reading the sports section of the newspaper... all except for the part about the Rangers...

The Giants swept the Cowboys in 2009, winning 33-31 in Dallas and later 31-24 in New York.

New York Giants (4-2)
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 W 34-10 14 @MIN --
6 DET W 28-20 15 PHI --
7 @DAL -- 16 @GB --
8 Bye - 17 @WAS --
9 @SEA -- - - -
Giants Report | Statistics | Roster
NY GIANTS at DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 270,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 30 - -
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 70 20 -
WR Steve Smith - 70 -
WR Hakeem Nicks - 100,1 -
WR Mario Manningham - 50,1 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 3 FG 2 TD -

Pregame Notes: The Giants have released Shayne Graham so Lawrence Tynes should be back this week after twisting his ankle in Houston. The rushing game has taken off in recent weeks thanks in no small part to playing against the Lions and Texans and the defense has stepped up as well after allowing 85 points over the first three games and only giving up 33 points in the most recent three.

QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning has thoroughly enjoyed playing the Lions and Texans (like everyone else) and he tossed five touchdowns over those two games after being scoreless since week two. Manning's weekly production has been all over the map but at least partially because of the rushing game and it's success in recent weeks.

Manning passed for 330 yards and two scores in Dallas last year. He later settled for 241 yards and a couple of touchdowns in the New York meeting.

While you can usually throw out past records when these teams meet, the Cowboys have been only average against the pass while allowing only moderate yardage but they also have no interceptions in the four previous losses. Expect a couple of scores here and good but not great yardage unless it turns into a shootout. Manning usually has a good time with the Cowboys.

RUNNING BACKS: Ahmad Bradshaw has been very effective this season with three scores and two recent efforts over 100 yards but he been giving way to Brandon Jacobs near the goal line and lost four touchdowns over the last three games. Even worse is that Bradshaw's only games without either a score or a 100 yard rushing effort were in the two road games.

Jacobs accounted for those four scores but they came in the easier matchups of CHI, HOU and DET. His yardage had been outside fantasy relevance in previous games so he has something to prove here as well.

No Giants runner gained more than 58 yards on the Cowboys last year.

The Cowboys have only allowed two runners to score on them - Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson. Expect a lesser effort from Bradshaw but he'll add on some receptions for at least minimal fantasy value. Jacobs is less likely to score this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Here is where the war will be fought and won - or lost. Hakeem Nicks has been on fire recently until last week when the Lions were bulldozed by the running game. Mario Manningham showed up with a score in Detroit and 51 yards after being blanked for two straight weeks. Steve Smith has remained consistently good and never great. He has one score and is settling down into around 80 yards per game.

Steve Smith lit the Cowboys up for 134 yards and a score on ten catches in Dallas and later 110 yards on six receptions in New York. Manningham had a season high ten catches for 150 yards and a score in the away game.

The Cowboys have allowed five passing scores to wide receivers but no wideout has gained more than 86 yards on them. But the Giants and Cowboys tend to light it up when they meet so both Smith and Nicks are attractive starts this week.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 10 3 5 24 26 8
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 9 9 16 6 22 21
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NYG -1 6 11 -18 -4 13


Dallas Cowboys (1-4)
Homefield: Texas Stadium
RealGrass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS L 7-13 10 @NYG --
2 CHI L 20-27 11 DET --
3 @HOU W 27-13 12 NO --
4 Bye - 13 @IND --
5 TEN L 27-34 14 PHI --
6 @MIN L 21-24 15 WAS --
7 NYG -- 16 @ARI --
8 JAC -- 17 @PHI --
9 @GB -- - - -
Cowboys Report | Statistics | Roster
DALLAS vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo - - 310,3
RB Marion Barber 20 20 -
RB Felix Jones 80 10 -
TE Jason Witten - 60,1 -
WR Roy Williams - 50,1 -
WR Dez Bryant - 50 -
WR Miles Austin - 110,1 -
PK David Buehler 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: If the Cowboys want to be the first team to both host and play in a Super Bowl, they are going to make it high drama by the time they get there. That is assuming that the continual stream of penalties, turnovers and special teams breakdowns allow them to actually win their second game of the year. Statistically, the Cowboys have been in every game until the end but the whole "points on the scoreboard" get in their way. This week is truly the Alamo. Win here and at least the facade of a championship can still exist. A loss and Big Tex waves bye-bye to the season that never was.

QUARTERBACK: The Cowboys may keep losing but fantasy teams relying on Tony Romo are probably winning. Tony has thrown for eight touchdowns over the last three games and even had a career high 406 yards in the home meeting with the Titans. Romo also threw for 374 yards in the home meeting with the Bears for his best two games of the year. He's tossed five interceptions in the last two games which had their share in the losses.

Romo only passed for 127 yards and a score on the visiting Giants last year because the rushing game was so effective but he later turned in 392 yards and three scores in the New York matchup.

The Giants rank great against the pass but so far have only faced Matt Moore, Drew Stanton, Matt Schaub, Todd Collins, Vince Young and Peyton Manning. Manning posted 255 yards and three scores on this secondary while the lesser offenses were less effective. Romo is passing well (interceptions not counting) at home and these are the Giants. Expect a big game here.

RUNNING BACKS: The decision to go with Felix Jones as the primary back left Tashard Choice on the bench, made a miscast third down back out of Marion Barber and seen Felix Jones only rush up to 15 times. Jones did gain a season best 109 yards at home against the Titans and he has historically done better in Dallas. But the Cowboys have only one rushing touchdown on the season (Sorry Emmitt) and otherwise has not seen an individual runner produce more than 55 rushing yards. Jones had ten catches for 61 yards last week in Minnesota but that was the first time he had been used like that and reflected Romo's unwillingness to throw to the wideouts in that game.

The Cowboys ran wild on the Giants in the home meeting last season with Barber and Jones combining for 220 yards and two scores on just 25 carries. Later in New York, that fell to only 39 yards total and no scores.

The Giants have been very good against the run and the Cowboys are going to water down the backs individual stats. Jones could be a moderate play here for yardage but it is unlikely that either score since it has happened only once this year.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Miles Austin just missed on a 68-yard touchdown catch last week (aided by his own pass interference) and that actually maintained his trend. In the most recent two road games, Austin has totaled only four catches for 32 combined. In the most recent two home games, he has totaled 19 catches for 302 yards and one score. A bit-o-difference. That even includes only 20 yards against the Texans in Houston. Roy Williams continues to defy what we believed were the laws of nature when he has scored five touchdowns in just the last three games. Apparently his biggest aid in production is when no one expects anything from him. Dez Bryant is still a bit hampered by a high ankle sprain but managed to snag his first NFL touchdown on his only catch in Minnesota.

Austin gained 104 yards and a score against the Giants last year and Williams added 60 yards and two scores in that game.

The Giants have fared well against poor passing teams but gave up scores to Steve Smith, Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne, Calvin Johnson, etc. when they faced truly good receivers. That should get Austin back on his odd trend of big home games and by this point you have to consider Roy Williams a fantasy starter each week until he finally doesn't catch a score.

TIGHT ENDS: Though he has only scored once this year, Jason Witten has been solid at 50+ yards every week and his one touchdown was in a home game. Witten had one of his best games of his career when he caught 14 passes for 156 yards in New York last year. Once again the Giants rank highly against a position because they have yet to face many decent players. Dallas Clark ended with 83 yards and a score when he played the Giants.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 6 27 3 13 22 24
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 4 6 13 7 20 25
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DAL -2 -21 10 -6 -2 1

WEEK 7
2010
PHI at TEN STL at TB BUF at BAL MIN at GB
CIN at ATL SF at CAR ARI at SEA NYG at DAL
CLE at NO WAS at CHI OAK at DEN DET, HOU
  PIT at MIA JAC at KC NE at SD IND, NYJ
Other Features
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Tuesday Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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Under the Numbers
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