I think I've settled on a format for the Fantasy Friday posts that I like: from here on out, I'll give you a fantasy preview of the Giants upcoming game. So this week, let's take a look at the Giants-Cowboys matchups.
Cowboys: It's been well-documented that Tony Romo has had success against the Giants in the past (at least in the regular season). The Cowboys are 4-0 in Romo's regular season starts against the Giants, and in the last 3 of those, here are Romo's stats: 345 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT; 247 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT; 244 yards 2 TDs, 0 INT. Hate the guy all you want, but he's a great fantasy quarterback and he always brings it against the Giants. If you have him on your fantasy team, he should be starting anyway, but definitely play him this weekend.
Another one to definitely start is Jason Witten. Like with Romo, he's one of the top fantasy players at his position and should be starting anyway, but he's also got a good matchup with the Giants. As we all know, the Giants have a great pass rush, but the linebackers have some trouble with the passing game over the middle. Chris Cooley was one of the few Redskins who had a good game last week, and Witten does everything Cooley does just a little bit better. Expect to see a lot of frustrating completions to him over the middle.
As far as running backs and receivers are concerned, I'd be wary about starting Marion Barber. The Giants have had a lot of success against him in the past, holding him under 3 yards per carry in 3 of their last 4 matchups. He's never had 100 yards rushing against the Giants, who seem to have success against north-south runners like Barber. On the other hand, if you have a flex spot or are weak at running back, I'd definitely take a chance with Felix Jones. He might not pick up a ton of yards on the ground, but like Witten I could see him exploiting our linebackers with dump off passes. Jones reminds me of a younger, faster Brian Westbrook and could be set to have a good game. I'd be worried if I were relying on Roy Williams at wideout - Corey Webster shut down Santana Moss last week, and Moss is a better receiver than Williams. However, with the Giants hurting in the secondary, I could see Patrick Crayton having a decent game. I wouldn't want to count on him, but if you're desperate for a receiver to start, I'd go with him over Williams.
Finally, the Cowboys defense. This is a tough one, because in most of their recent matchups, the Giants have put up a lot of points. However, in their last matchup the Giants were held to only 8, and Eli served as a pinata for DeMarcus Ware. I expect this game to be more of a shootout, but it wouldn't surprise me if the Cowboys got a few sacks and forced a turnover or two. If you carry two defenses and the other one is playing a team like the Rams or the Bengals, start that one. Otherwise, just stick with the Cowboys - at least if they lose you your fantasy game it means the Giants had a good day!
Giants - I'll say it right off the bat - don't count on any of the Giants receivers. Steve Smith is probably the best bet, but even with his big game last week he wasn't a fantasy monster. Manningham was actually the Giants top fantasy receiver, but he disappeared in the second half. It wouldn't surprise me at all if Hixon was the top fantasy guy this week, or if the Giants spread the ball around so much that they don't have any really valuable fantasy guys. I'd wait a few more weeks to see if any one guy steps up as a "go-to" guy before relying too heavily on any of our wide receivers. They're all really good on a football field, but that doesn't make them good for fantasy. As for Eli, if he's your starter, start him, if he's not, don't. I think he's going to have a good day, but unless your starter is facing a really tough matchup, it's probably better just to stick with him this early in the season.
I do think Kevin Boss will have a good game, for many of the same reasons I think Witten will for the Cowboys. I also would start Brandon Jacobs, no questions asked, and would probably start Ahmad Bradshaw, especially if you have a flex option. I'm gonna steal a line from ESPN's Matthew Berry, but both Cadillac Williams and Derrick Ward had good games against the Cowboys, and they're not as good as Jacobs and Bradshaw, nor do the Bucs have as good a line. I see the Giants racking up a lot of yards on the ground this weekend.
Finally, much of what I said about the Cowboys defense applies to the Giants. Tony Romo is one of the trickiest QB's in the league to sack, which I think is why he has such good games against the Giants. I think the Giants will probably get to him once or twice, and I fully expect a turnover, but I also expect the Cowboys to put up a lot of points. The only difference with the Giants defense and the Cowboys is that if the Giants cost you your fantasy game, you'll be pissed off for two reasons.
Final Score prediction: 35-31 Giants (which means the real final score will probably be 6-3.