The Giants get back to action on Sunday after an excruciatingly long bye week on the heels of four straight losses. While the Giants were resting up, our fantasy teams were chugging along without them (and mine suffered its worst loss of the season - I need you Steve Smith!). What can we expect from them this weekend? Here's some advice:
Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG - Fully rested after the bye week and coming off four straight good performances only limited by the Giants not giving him the ball, I think the Juggernaut breaks free this weekend. The Falcons have the #25 ranked run defense, so there should be some holes for Jacobs to exploit. The only people that will stop Jacobs this Sunday are the Giants coaches.
Steve Smith, WR, NYG - Did you know Smith is the #6 receiver in points-per-receptions leagues and only drops to #10 in non p.p.r. leagues? Even in his "quiet" weeks he's been a solid option. The Falcons have the 28th ranked pass defense, so I expect another good week from Mr. 3rd Down.
Hakeem Nicks, WR, NYG - After scoring in four straight games, Nicks has quited down a bit, but everytime he touches the ball he's a threat to take it to the house. Call it a gut feeling, but against a bad pass defense I think the Giants will be able to spread the ball around a bit, and I think Nicks could actually have a better game than Smith.
Tony Gonzalez, TE, ATL - Maybe the best tight end in NFL history, the big guy's still got it. 44 catches for 501 yards and 4 TD's through 9 games - he's no longer the best TE in the league, but he's still in the top 10 and should be starting in almost any league.
Jason Snelling, RB, ATL - Just because the Giants shut down LaDanian Tomlinson's corpse doesn't mean I'm ready to trust their run D. They always seem to struggle against backup running backs (Tashard Choice & the Eagles fullback are just two of the more recent examples), so Snelling scares me a little bit.
Roddy White, WR, ATL - He's one of the best fantasy receivers in the league, and has really only had two subpar performances this year. He's coming off of two straight games without a TD, and I wouldn't be shocked if that changed against the Giants secondary.
Eli Manning, QB, NYG - I debated this one a bit. On the one hand, Eli had three terrible performances in a row before a very good game against the Chargers. On the other hand, he looked great against the Chargers, has had two weeks to rest up his foot, and is going against the #28 pass D in the league. Ultimately I felt like the pros outweighed the cons, so I think he'd be a good bet to start and at least have a passable game this Sunday.
Matt Ryan, QB, ATL - Ryan has thrown an interception in his last 6 games, and at least two INT's in 4 of those games. He definitely seems to have regressed after his brilliant rookie year and a strong start to this season. The Giants pass D is still statistically one of the best in the league (I know: lies, damn lies, and statistics), and looked a bit better without CC Brown against the Chargers (until the final drive, anyway). They're also should be getting Aaron Ross back. Matty Ice still has a great future ahead of him, but I don't think you'll be able to tell this weekend.
Ahmad Bradhsaw, RB, NYG - He's been pretty awful lately, averaging under 3.0 YPC over the past three games. I don't trust his ankle right now, and until he proves on the field that he's healthy and can make the cuts that make him so effective, I wouldn't start him.
Michael Jenkins, WR, ATL - He hasn't caught a TD all year and has been flat-out mediocre at best. That could change this weekend, but I wouldn't bank on it.