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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 4
2011
* ATL at SEA * DET at DAL * NO at JAC * SF at PHI
BUF at CIN * MIA at SD * NYG at ARI * TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL * WAS at STL
* UPDATED * DEN at GB * NE at OAK PIT at HOU * IND at TB (mon)

Prediction: NYG 27, ARI 24

Players to Watch: Eli Manning, Todd Heap, Beanie Wells

Update: Beanie Wells has been limited in all practices because of his hamstring and will be a game time decision. There is some optimism that he could play. I am going to lower his projections because he is no lock to play and likely will not be completely healthy in any case. There is no attractive replacement for this week against the Giants if that happens.

The Giants are coming to life with back-to-back wins thanks to their defense and the Cardinals return home after barely getting beaten in both road games. This is a coin toss and one where the Cardinals need to use their home advantage to find a rushing game - that probably will not happen.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @WAS 14-28 10 @SF -
2 STL 28-16 11 PHI -
3 @PHI 29-16 12 @NO -
4 @ARI - 13 GB -
5 SEA - 14 @DAL -
6 BUF - 15 WAS -
7 Bye - 16 @NYJ -
8 MIA - 17 DAL -
9 @NE - - - -
Giants Report | Statistics | Roster
NY GIANTS at ARI Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning - - 250,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 30 - -
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 80,1 50 -
WR Victor Cruz - 50 -
WR Hakeem Nicks - 90,1 -
WR Mario Manningham - 40,1 -
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Giants remain tied for first in the knotted NFC East and have a lighter schedule to reach their week seven bye. Eli Manning has finally looked sharper with the win over the Eagles and of the remaining games against divisional foes, three are in New York. This week could be a let down after the nice win in Philly but the Giants have struggled enough there is no inclination to mail in a game.

QUARTERBACK: Eli Manning is making a nice progression. He keeps throwing around 250 yards every week and has gone from no scores to two touchdowns and now to four against the Eagles. He also had no turnovers for the first time. He is still not worthy of a fantasy start yet but one more decent game on the road and we may have to rethink that. Mario Manningham may be back this week which helps out even more.

The Cards have allowed nice yardage and scores to any decent quarterback and even Rex Grossman put up two scores and 291 yards on this defense.

RUNNING BACKS: Ahmad Bradshaw is getting back on track more each week and comes off a nice showing in Philly where he gained 86 yards on only 15 carries and added 53 yards on five catches with one touchdown. Brandon Jacobs continues to post just marginal yardage each week though he had a rushing score against the Rams and a receiving touchdown in Philly. He is not yet productive enough to merit any real fantasy consideration beyond covering a bye week.

The Cardinals have yet to allow any rushing touchdown though overall they are allowing 4.5 yards per carry to opposing runners. Bradshaw is on a nice streak and with five catches per week offers enough to merit a fantasy start this week. I like the chance for a score as well though that could end up with Jacobs just as easily.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Victor Cruz replaced Mario Manningham last week and had a breakout performance of 110 yards and two scores on only three receptions. Cruz only had two catches for 17 yards in the previous two weeks combined and will return to the slot with Manningham expected to play. Manningham was out with a concussion but is hoped to be cleared by the end of the week. The Eagles dedicated their secondary to stopping Hakeem Nicks and he was held to only thee catches for 25 yards. The return of Manningham will help Nicks as well as the emergence of Cruz as a concern for the defense.

The Cards were bombed by Steve Smith in the season opener and have really faced no other decent wideouts from either WAS or SEA. Nick should get back to more productive ways this week and the other score is also likely to end up with a wideout though it could be either. I will credit the returning Manningham if only because Cruz just went off last week.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 13 7 12 28 32 6
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 25 7 24 23 12 14


Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 CAR 28-21 10 @PHI -
2 @WAS 21-22 11 @SF -
3 @SEA 10-13 12 @STL -
4 NYG - 13 DAL -
5 @MIN - 14 SF -
6 Bye - 15 CLE -
7 PIT - 16 @CIN -
8 @BAL - 17 SEA -
9 STL - - - -
Cardinals Report | Statistics | Roster
ARIZONA vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Kevin Kolb - - 280,2
RB Beanie Wells 40 - -
TE Todd Heap - 40 -
WR Larry Fitzgerald - 120,2 -
WR Andre Roberts - 30 -
WR Early Doucet - 70 -
PK Jay Feely 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough loss in Seattle but the Cards return home 2-1 and hope to get back Beanie Wells and some semblance of a rushing game. Kevin Kolb has been a definite upgrade over last season but the receivers are still searching for someone besides Larry Fitzgerald to matter. Facing a weaker than most Giants secondary should help see who can step up and make some plays.

QUARTERBACK: While he may not be Kurt Warner yet, Kevin Kolb has been solid with no less than 251 yards each week and five touchdowns on the season. His best game was the 309 yards and two scores with no interception on the visiting Panthers in the only other home game so far. If Beanie Wells returns, that should help Kolb even more by balancing out the offense.

The Giants allowed over 300 yards to both Sam Bradford and Rex Grossman and Kolb hangs in that group in terms of quality. Expect a decent to good game here by Kolb that has the potential to be big.

RUNNING BACKS: Beanie Wells opened the year with back-to-back 90+ yard games with a score in each but then suffered a hamstring strain and sat out against the Seahawks. Wells claims he will be playing this week so I will assume he will be good to go and update if needed. The Cardinals seem settled on undrafted Alfonso Smith as the primary backup after he carried 17 times for 54 yards in Seattle.

The Giants have allowed two scores to runners but Wells is returning from a hamstring strain. This will be a defining game for Wells who started the season well and then took a week off. If he can deliver again this week, then the Cardinals will be in much better shape and I'll take back some of the things I have said about Wells for the last two years. But not all of them.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Larry Fitzgerald remains a strong play every week but he is not getting any help. Early Doucet had one decent game thanks to his one long scoring catch but otherwise no wideout has caught any touchdowns or had more than 50 yards in any matchup. Andre Roberts has topped out at 38 yards after being the promising one in the summer.

There is no doubt that Kolb and Fitzgerald can have success against a secondary that has been victimized every week. But no other receiver here is worth a fantasy start.

TIGHT ENDS: Todd Heap comes off his best game as a Cardinal with six catches for 61 yards but he only had one catch for eight yards in Washington. Jeff King scored once in each of the first two weeks and then had no passes thrown to him last week. This unit is going to be inconsistent but with a need to receivers to step up in the offense, Heap is an option that has worked. He is worth watching on the chance he might merit covering a bye week for your regular starter.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 20 23 11 11 30 15
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 12 10 26 8 18 17

WEEK 4
2011
ATL at SEA DET at DAL NO at JAC SF at PHI
BUF at CIN MIA at SD NYG at ARI TEN at CLE
CAR at CHI MIN at KC NYJ at BAL WAS at STL
  DEN at GB NE at OAK PIT at HOU IND at TB (mon)

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