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David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 6
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
DAL
Monday
MIA
SF
updated*
IND

Prediction: NYG 27, NO 24

Late Update: Pierre Thomas was limited again on Friday but is listed as probable and is expected to shoulder the load as the primary runner. His projections remain as is. Both Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw were limited on Friday again but are listed as probable and are expected to play without any limitation.

Early Update: Pierre Thomas has been limited in the first two days of practice with a sore hamstring but is still expected to play. Expect another update should there be any change to that. Ahmad Bradshaw has been held out of practices this week to rest his ankle and foot but is still expected to play. He had the same condition last week. Eli Manning has been limited this week to rest his foot but it is the same injury he had last week and played.

Hello Game-O-The-Week. Both teams are undefeated and you could argue that the Giants have not faced a truly good team so far. But you could also argue that they had no problems winning other than in Dallas. The Saints are all new sporting a defense that works and a ground game that has actually replaced passing for the last two weeks. There is a distinct possibility that these teams will meet again in January. This should be a nail-biter down to the final gun.

New York Giants (5-0)
Homefield: Giants Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 WAS 23-17 -6.5 37
2 @DAL 33-31 +3 43.5
3 @TB 24-0 -7 44
4 @KC 27-16 -9 42.5
5 OAK 44-7 -16.5 40.5
6 @NO - +3 47
7 ARI - - -
8 @PHI - - -
9 SD - - -
10 BYE - - -
11 ATL - - -
12 @DEN - - -
13 DAL - - -
14 PHI - - -
15 @WAS - - -
16 CAR - - -
17 @MIN - - -
NYG at NO Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning     280,2
RB Brandon Jacobs 60,1    
RB Ahmad Bradshaw 50 20  
TE Kevin Boss   20  
WR Steve Smith   100,1  
WR Hakeem Nicks   70  
WR Mario Manningham   50,1  
PK Lawrence Tynes 2 FG 3 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Giants have had a easy schedule so far though this week makes four road games in their first six weeks. There is no doubt that the Giants are going to the playoffs and barring something unforeseen they should take the NFC East title as well. The rushing game is not as dominating as it has been in recent years but the all-new, all-young set of receivers have really delivered for the team.

Quarterback: Eli Manning has been putting on a clinic this year despite having one of the youngest and most inexperienced set of receivers in the league. He has thrown for ten touchdowns in five games with only two interceptions and just two sacks. His yardage has been all over the map from 161 to 330 because he has done little more than he needed to secure a solid win. He suffered plantar fascia in his foot but was able to play last week for the first half against the Raiders but was pulled when he had already gone 8 for 10 for 173 yards and two scores and the game was effectively over.

The Saints defense has been outstanding with only one of four quarterbacks able to throw a touchdown against them. But the reality is that the other three - Matthew Stafford, Trent Edwards and Mark Sanchez - are just the two rookies and the Bills quarterback. Kevin Kolb passed for 391 yards and two scores against the Saints so it is fair to say that Manning will be the best quarterback to yet face these Saints. He has thrown for multiple scores each week and there is not reason to not expect he can continue that here. If the Saints get a significant lead, Manning could have a monster game here.

Running Backs: Brandon Jacobs is getting some heat lately for his less effective level of play this year. He has only scored once and has topped out at 92 yards. Last year at this time he had four touchdowns and two efforts over 100 yards. Worst of all he has only averaged 3.5 yards per carry.

Ahmad Bradshaw has been much more effective as a runner and has those two 100 yard rushing games that Jacobs is missing. He's also scored twice though neither running back has done much as a receiver. Bradshaw had a 55-yard catch last week but it was his only catch of the game and he had no receptions in the previous two weeks.

The Saints have been tremendous at stuffing the run but we're back at the same question - who have they faced? Thomas Jones scored there in week four and had 48 yards on 13 carries. Fred Jackson ran for 71 yards on 18 carries. And the Saints have forced opponents to abandon their rushing game each week. I like the Giants to turn in at least decent rushing totals here though they will be split between the two runners. Jacobs has a shot at a touchdown here as well.

Wide Receivers: With all these touchdowns each week to distribute, there is no surprise that all three receivers have fantasy value this year. Steve Smith has taken over the rights to his name from the old guy in Carolina and had four scores and never less than 63 yards in a game. Mario Manningham had his one big game in Tampa Bay but only around 50 yards in the last two weeks including leaving the game last week with a chest contusion that is expected to be fine. But he is getting supplanted by Hakeem Nicks who has scored in both of the last two games.

The Saints have been much better in the secondary this year to be sure. But - who have they faced? Calvin Johnson had 90 yards against them. DeSean Jackson turned in 101 yards and a score. I like a big game here from Steve Smith with the other two respectable in yardage and scoring a touchdown as well. Which one is not clear but I like the chance for a second score from this unit.

Tight Ends: Kevin Boss is just a blocker this year and has not scored a touchdown or had more than 41 yards in any game. He's not really worth using to replace a bye week player.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 6 8 1 29 1 4
Preventing Fantasy Points    NO 7 4 15 6 6 13


New Orleans Saints (4-0)
Homefield: Superdome
Sportexe Turf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 DET 45-27 -13.5 49
2 @PHI 48-22 +3 46.5
3 @BUF 27-7 -5.5 52.5
4 NYJ 24-10 -6.5 46
5 BYE - - -
6 NYG - -3 48
7 @MIA - - -
8 ATL - - -
9 CAR - - -
10 @STL - - -
11 @TB - - -
12 NE - - -
13 @WAS - - -
14 @ATL - - -
15 DAL - - -
16 TB - - -
17 @CAR - - -
NO vs NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Brees     270,2
RB Pierre Thomas 70,1 10  
RB Reggie Bush 30 40  
TE Jeremy Shockey   70,1  
WR Marques Colston   50  
WR Devery Henderson   40,1  
WR Robert Meacham   30  
PK John Carney 1 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Saints are looking stronger than perhaps any other time in their history. The offense remains prolific and now the defense has become a factor. So far every game has been decided by at least 14 points in favor of the Saints who only allowed 17 points in the last two weeks. In fantasy terms, this is not a great development since the need for a pass-heavy shootout has been greatly decreased but now the Saints defense is actually worth owning. The remaining schedule is very favorable and the toughest games left to play - Giants and Patriots - both are at home. This could very well be "the" year for the Saints.

Garrett Hartley has returned but John Carney will continue to be the kicker.

Quarterback: After scoring nine touchdowns in the first two weeks, Drew Brees went two games with nary a touchdown. In fact he did not have more than 190 yards in those games. That's a far cry from what was expected by fantasy owners who spent a first or second round pick on the stud quarterback but the reality is that the Saints won both their last games and won big. With a remaining schedule that does not feature many top defenses, Brees could end up as inconsistent this year. You know he will have some monster games but the no-touchdown flops may not be over either.

The Giants have not allowed more than 211 passing yards in a game this year but have not always faced the best of opponents either. The rushing attack will have some success but Brees will have to step back up where all fantasy owners want him to be. Expect a solid game with two scores that always has the chance to get really big depending on game situation.

Running Backs: It's been a tale of two running backs so far with Mike Bell starting the first two weeks and scoring once while gaining 229 rushing yards and once he left with a bad knee, Pierre Thomas returned from his own knee problem to score three times and run for 212 yards in his two games. Sort of like it doesn't much matter who is back there, you just want who ever it is starting for your fantasy team.

Bell has returned to practice now and should be 100% healthy. Until there is any reason to believe otherwise, figure on Thomas continuing to take the majority of workload.

Reggie Bush is a factor still but only marginally since he has only one score and even his receiving numbers through four games are just 14 catches for 111 yards. His stats remain about the same whether the game is a pass happy spree or another run-intensive match-up.

The Giants have a formidable defense but less so on the road where opponents have minor success running the ball. I like Thomas to score once in this game as have three other runners to face the Giants. The Giants are going to hold Bush down as they have been very good against pass catching running backs this year and none have more than two or three catches for no more than 31 yards.

Wide Receivers: Not surprisingly, the recent games of minimal passing have really knocked the fantasy value out of these wideouts. Other than Marques Colston who had marginal yardage, there were no Saints wide receivers worthy of starting and that's been a trend of sorts since week one. Colston has three scores while no Saints player has more than one receiving score. He has remained with at least a little fantasy value and has the most consistency of any wideout. Until the Saints play against an obviously bad secondary, Colston is the only worthy of a start. Even then Devery Henderson is the only other wideout with any appreciable stats for more than one game.

This should be interesting. The Giants have only allowed one score to a wideout this year and that was Bobby Wade who had just eight yards on two receptions. Other than Randle El to start the year, no wideout has turned in more than 30 yards against the Giants this year. I like the unit to produce one touchdown but it could go anywhere and none of these receivers are more than moderate fantasy choices this week - at best.

Tight Ends: Jeremy Shockey scored twice in the season opener but since then he is right back to 2008 since he catches around four or five passes per week and turns in about 40 yards and doesn't score. But this week could be different against a defense that has allowed three touchdowns to tight ends - that is about the only position that does fare well against the Giants who Shockey will really want to impress his ex-team mates with a good game.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NO 9 1 10 13 2 1
Preventing Fantasy Points    NYG 2 5 1 21 1 1

The Huddle
WEEK 6
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
DAL
Monday
MIA
SF
IND
Other Features
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Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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