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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI *MIA at OAK
NO at DAL *JAC at NYG *MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ *CAR at CLE *GB at ATL *SD at IND
*UPDATED TEN at HOU PIT at BUF *KC at SEA SF at ARI

Prediction: JAC 10, NYG 24

Update: Mike Sims-Walker is still limited in practice and will not be healthy if he even plays. Maurice Jones-Drew is listed as questionable on the injury report but has said himself he is going to play.

This is not only a battle of top ranked teams, it is also a matchup between two squads that are suddenly dealing with significant injuries to their wide receivers. The difference maker in this game - better run defense for the Giants.

Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4)
Homefield: J'ville Municipal Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DEN W 24-17 10 HOU W 31-24
2 @SD L 13-38 11 CLE W 24-20
3 PHI L 3-28 12 @NYG --
4 IND W 31-28 13 @TEN --
5 @BUF W 36-26 14 OAK --
6 TEN L 3-30 15 @IND --
7 @KC L 20-42 16 WAS --
8 @DAL W 35-17 17 @HOU --
9 Bye - - - -
Jaguars Report | Statistics | Roster
JACKSONVILLE at NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard - - 180,1
RB Maurice Jones-Drew 60 30 -
TE Marcedes Lewis - 60,1 -
WR Tiquan Underwood - 30 -
WR Mike Thomas - 40 -
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The three game winning streak has helped the Jaguars to share the top of the division with the Colts but home stands against the Browns and Texans were not expected to be a problem anyway. The Jaguars are only 2-2 in road games and now finish the season with four away games in the final six weeks. If the Jags could pull off a win here, it would really position them well for January but so far the only time they have beaten a team with a winning record was in the home game against the Colts back in week four.

QUARTERBACK: David Garrard has already thrown for 17 touchdowns this season but he feasted on the easier matchups and then had no scores against the Eagles or Titans. In San Diego, he threw for one score and 173 yards. The Jaguars have not played a really good defense in a road game so far this year and that will depress what Garrard can accomplish, especially missing Mike Sims-Walker.

The Giants haven't killed a quarterback in a while so Garrard needs to keep his feet moving. If he can break 200 yards and one score here it would be a major success since the G-men play better at home.

RUNNING BACKS: The soft defenses of the last three weeks have allowed Maurice Jones-Drew to rush for over 100 yards in each game and score three times. Against the visiting Browns he had a season best 220 total yards and one touchdown. But Jones-Drew has never been any better than his opponents and tough defenses have shut him down this year. Prior to the last three games, he had only one effort over 100 yards and just one rushing touchdown - both at home against the Colts. His best bet for yardage this week is as a receiver.

The Giants have a top 5 run stopping defense that has allowed only Chris Johnson to run in a score in New York or have more than 62 rushing yards. Expect a trip back to mediocrity for Jones-Drew this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Mike Sims-Walker has been diagnosed with a high right ankle sprain and will miss this week as well. In his place, Tiquan Underwood has been promoted and done nothing to justify the confidence since he has only four catches over the last four games. Kassim Osgood could see more work but his stats have been just as pathetic. Without SIms-Walker, Mike Thomas becomes the focus of the entire secondary and that will hurt his numbers this week. Thomas had been held out of the endzone until the last three games and has never been more than a possession receiver in road games even with Sims-Walker around.

The Giants at home should be able to cover Thomas since he'll be nearly alone out in patterns this week. Thomas has scored in each of the last three games but should end up a marked man this week.

TIGHT ENDS: Marcedes Lewis has been very consistent each week with 50+ yards and he has scored eight times this season. His value does not take the hit with Sims-Walker out that Thomas feels. The Giants rank well against the position only because they have met few good receiving tight ends. Both Dallas Clark and Jason Witten turned in 80+ yards and a score on them.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points JAC 10 16 26 3 15 30
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 9 5 10 6 20 27
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) JAC -1 -11 -16 3 5 -3


New York Giants (6-4)
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR W 31-18 10 DAL L 20-33
2 @IND L 14-38 11 @PHI L 17-27
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 W 41-35 16 @GB --
8 Bye - 17 @WAS --
9 @SEA W 41-7 - - -
Giants Report | Statistics | Roster
NY GIANTS vs JAC Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 210,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 30,1 - -
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 80 20 -
TE Kevin Boss - 50,1 -
WR Derek Hagen - 40 -
WR Mario Manningham - 80,1 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Giants were cruising in the NFC with the best record and an offense that was pumping out the points. But then losses to the Cowboys and Eagles have really changed their perspective and the loss of the top two wideouts for a few weeks is going to be a problem that will be more apparent in the tougher matchups looming in the future. This week should end up as the "easiest" remaining game and even then the Giants are going against a division leader.

QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning has been on a scoring streak with multiple touchdowns in each of the last six games and he already has 21 passing touchdowns but he's just finishing up facing some of the worst secondaries in the league and going against the Jaguars this week is just icing on the cake. Problem is that Manning will be without his best two receivers.

The Jaguars always give up passing scores and on the road usually give away two or three. The Giants should not have to struggle much to win this week and the rushing attack will do its share as well.

RUNNING BACKS: The passing game has picked up in recent weeks but not the rushing of Ahmad Bradshaw. He had two scores in Seattle but otherwise only gained 159 yards on 51 carries over those last three games with his fifth lost fumble last week to lead the league in the dubious honor. Brandon Jacobs did not score and was only marginally better in those games.

But the Jaguars on the road have already allowed six rushing touchdowns along with healthy yardage for those teams that pursue it. Even the Cowboys ran in a score on them. Bradshaw could end up with more receptions this week too since the wideouts are be reshuffled due to injury.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Hakeem Nicks has been diagnosed with compartment syndrome in his lower right leg and will miss the next three weeks. Steve Smith has been ruled out for the next several weeks with a pectoral injury that is not expected to completely clear up for the rest of the year. That thrusts Mario Manningham into the #1 slot and Derek Hagen and Duke Calhoun will fill in. This could be catastrophic down the road though less so this week.

The Jaguars have been very soft against wideouts and Nicks and Smith could have both reaped huge games here but consider Manningham as the only safe start. He should end up with one score and healthy yardage.

TIGHT ENDS: Kevin Boss should figure in more prominently with the injuries to the wide receivers especially this week against a secondary that has already allowed five scores to the position and decent yardage to all receiving tight ends. This week is worth watching to see if Boss takes up the slack for Smith and Nicks because that could really figure in more down the stretch. Slightly troublesome - Travis Beckum catching a one-yard touchdown twice in the last four games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 9 5 3 17 21 16
Preventing Fantasy Points JAC 29 22 31 24 14 24
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NYG 20 17 28 7 -7 8

WEEK 12
2010
NE at DET TB at BAL PHI at CHI MIA at OAK
NO at DAL JAC at NYG MIN at WAS STL at DEN
CIN at NYJ CAR at CLE GB at ATL SD at IND
  TEN at HOU PIT at BUF KC at SEA SF at ARI
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