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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN *NE at CHI *TB at WAS *KC at SD
*CIN at PIT *CLE at BUF *SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR *NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
*Updated GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ *BAL at HOU

Prediction: NYG 24, MIN 20

Update: Ahmad Bradshaw was held out to rest his wrist and foot but returned for a full day on Thursday and will play. Hakeem Nicks had his stitches removed in his leg and has been cleared for practice but not yet for a game. They will not determine his playing status until Saturday at the earliest and even when cleared for play, his initial workload may ease him back into a full load. Steve Smith is another who may get some playing time this week but even if he does it will be very limited and he still has a few more weeks before they would consider using him as a fulltime player.

Percy Harvin has missed two days practices because of migraines but has not been ruled out and likely would not be until game time. Brett Favre has still not practiced and actually may not play this week. I am not removing him from the projections yet but in any case make sure he is active on Sunday and even then - how long he plays is a question. Expect to use a different starter than Favre this week.

Update #2: Both Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith are listed as questionable and both had limited practices this week. There is a good chance that both could see some limited playing time this week but would be on a snap count. That only makes all Giants wide receivers as risky plays this week. Without any certainty how much or how well either Nicks or Smith will play, I will leave them out of the projections but expect to see them play at least a little.

I am removing Percy Harvin from the projections since his migraines have persisted and he is doubtful to play. Brett Favre has been able to have limited work this week but it appears all he is going to do is start the game to keep his record alive and then let Tarvaris Jackson take over.

The Giants remain tied with the Eagles in the NFC East but have three road games left along with a home stand against the Eagles. The G-Men are going to have to earn it this year and try not to overlook this week because the Eagles are coming to New York in week 15. The Giants are 3-2 away from home. The Vikings have won their last two games since dumping Brad Childress and are 4-2 at home.

The Vikings won 44-7 when they hosted the Giants last year during week 17.

New York Giants (8-4)
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 W 24-20
4 CHI W 17-3 13 WAS W 31-7
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 at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 240,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 40,1 - -
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 50 30 -
TE Kevin Boss - 60,1 -
WR Derek Hagan - 50,1 -
WR Duke Calhoun - 10 -
WR Mario Manningham - 70 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants were looking dicey with losses to the Cowboys and Eagles but these last two games at home kept up with their divisional aspirations and the Giants may need to win out to secure a playoff spot. The Giants may be close to getting back a wideout or two but the running game has come to life anwyay. The Giants have also not knocked out a quarterback in several weeks.

QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning had his seven game streak of multiple touchdowns broken when the ground attack dominated the Redskins last week. But Manning had been very solid and consistent each week with decent to great yardage and at least two scores in each game. The Vikings secondary has allowed a score in all but one game but most have only had that one and in Minnesota the visitors have almost all remained around 230 or less yards.

The Giants are running better and throwing less since losing the two starting wideouts. Expect moderate yardage here and at least one score but a chance for two.

RUNNING BACKS: Brandon Jacobs comes off his first 100 yard game of the year when he rushed for 103 yards and two scores on just eight carries versus the Skins. That makes two games now that Jacobs has been given an increased role with very good results though both were at home against soft defenses. Ahmad Bradshaw scored twice last week as well and had 97 yards on 25 carries despite Jacobs being "the starter".

While the two combined for a great game last week they now travel to Minnesota where no running back has scored this year or had more than 45 rushing yards since week two. But the visitors have been largely among the worst at rushing - DET, DAL, ARI and GB. In road games, the Vikes have allowed six scores and better yardage. The split will prevent any back from having a big game here but there is a decent shot at Jacobs being the first to score in Minny.

WIDE RECEIVERS: There is a small chance that both Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith could return this week but Nicks would have to play with stitches in his leg and Smith has to concede that he'll be in pain no matter what. I will hold both out until they are certain to start and have a reasonable chance at fantasy relevance - that's not going to be this week.

Mario Manningham remains the best man left standing and that's not been that great. Manning has openly had problems with Manningham's route running but has thrown him a score in two of the last four games. Derek Hagan is taking a bigger role with seven catches for 65 yards last week but Duke Calhoun has remained a total nonfactor.

There should be at least one score to a wideout here but Manningham is no lock to get it and none of the others have any shred of reliability. I will credit Hagen with it to have it somewhere but he is no more likely than any other wideout.

TIGHT ENDS: Kevin Boss has enjoyed a bigger role since the wideouts were injured though last week he mainly just blocked for the big rushing effort. Boss is actually the most consistent and reliable receiver for Manning and is the most likely player to catch a score this week. The Vikings have given up three touchdowns to the position in the last two games.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 11 5 8 15 18 10
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 12 5 18 10 4 30
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) NYG 1 0 10 -5 -14 20


Minnesota Vikings (5-7)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @NO L 9-14 10 @CHI L 13-27
2 MIA L 10-14 11 GB L 3-31
3 DET W 24-10 12 @WAS W 17-13
4 Bye - 13 BUF W 38-14
5 @NYJ L 20-29 14 NYG --
6 DAL W 24-21 15 CHI --
7 @GB L 24-28 16 @PHI --
8 @NE L 18-28 17 @DET --
9 ARI W 27-24 - - -
Vikings Report | Statistics | Roster
MINNESOTA vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre - - 210,1
RB Adrian Peterson 70,1 40 -
TE Vishante Shiancoe - 20 -
WR Bernard Berrian -

30

-
WR Sidney Rice - 60,1 -
WR Percy Harvin - 50 -
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: Two games since Brad Childress was canned and two wins thanks in no small part to facing bad teams with losing records and problems of their own. The win last week was the most refreshing of the entire season but these next three weeks are going to be killers facing three division leaders before finally getting a freebie in Detroit to end the season. Unless the Vikings can surprise, a losing record is all but certain.

QUARTERBACK: Brett Favre was blasted on his first pass attempt last week and suffered a sprained SC joint in his shoulder along with the obligatory interception. But HC Leslie Frazier has said that Favre should play this week which could mean little more than rolling his wheelchair out there for the first play to secure his personal glory in the record for consecutive starts. What happened when Favre was out was that Tarvaris Jackson passed for 187 yards and two scores along with three interceptions. But Jackson connected well with Sidney Rice who finally had a big game - without Favre no less.

I will assume Favre plays and will be limited and update if warranted.

The Giants have been tough against the pass in most games and already have 35 sacks and 13 interceptions on the year. The Giants have forced eight fumbles to be lost from opposing quarterbacks so be aware that Favre may not make it through the game this week.

RUNNING BACKS: Adrian Peterson comes off his first 100 yard rushing effort since week seven and he turned in three touchdowns against the visiting Bills. But Peterson has always done better at home where 11 of his 14 touchdowns have ben scored and three of his four 100 rush yard games happened. The Giants are stingy on defense and have only allowed three scores to running backs in road games. But Peterson still has a good shot at one score here and his role as a receiver comes into play when his rushing game is being held in check. Peterson is always a must start anyway. His ankle sprain obviously held up fine last week.

The Vikings signed Lorenzo Booker for running back depth and he could show up as a third down back as early as this week since Toby Gerhart has not filled in with that role.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Percy Harvin was held out las week because of his migraines but early week has looked good and should play barring any setback. Sidney Rice finally had a "welcome back" game when he burned the Bills for 105 yards and two scores on five receptions on passes from Tarvaris Jackson. How well Favre will connect with him is another question that relies in part with how Favre's shoulder holds up and if he even can put up a deep ball with accuracy. It was only one game but it was still encouraging to see Rice playing like his old self again.

The wideouts are hard to forecast here since Harvin has headaches and Rice had been slow to return and now Favre is banged up and about to face the onslaught of one of the more ferocious pass rushes. Rice should be started from his upside alone but the others are a big risk this week. Long as Harvin can make it to the game without a recurrence of his headache, he should post some decent numbers.

TIGHT ENDS: Vishante Shiancoe only has one touchdown since the season opener and has been at his worse in the last two home games. At best he is worthy of only marginal yardage and no scores.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 28 6 23 23 32 27
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 10 8 10 6 19 25
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) MIN -18 2 -13 -17 -13 -2

WEEK 14
2010
IND at TEN NE at CHI TB at WAS KC at SD
CIN at PIT CLE at BUF SEA at SF DEN at ARI
ATL at CAR NYG at MIN STL at NO PHI at DAL
  GB at DET OAK at JAC MIA at NYJ BAL at HOU
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