Fantasy owners and Giants' fans alike, have had a long time to stew over last week's performance by Eli Manning. Eli once again managed to turn the ball over multiple times, only this time he did it with the game on the line in the fourth quarter. In retrospect he was lucky to only have only three turnovers as he made a multitude of questionable decisions with the football.
Eli's struggles somewhat overshadowed a wonderful performance from the reinvigorated Brandon Jacobs. The Giants' offensive line were able to handle a banged up Chicago Bears front seven, allowing Brandon Jacobs to test the tackling skills of the Bears' secondary. While no one, including me, predicted Jacobs would have one of the best games of his career, the signs were there when looking back.
The Bears defense was down to their fourth string defensive tackle and their defensive ends have shown little effort in stopping the run. Thursday night games always seem to be dominated by the running game, I'm not sure if it's because teams tend to try and shorten the game because of the short rest, or because defensive players have a hard time recovering physically and mentally after playing a game only a few days before. Either way, you can almost always count on teams sticking to the running game instead of airing it out on Thursday night. (exception: Peyton Manning)
Start/Sit for Week 7
Eli Manning- 300.74 yards 1.66 TDs 1.12 turnovers (NumberFire)
This match up is one I would normally be touting Eli Manning as a must start in almost all leagues as he is facing the 32nd ranked pass defense and needs a big time bounce back game. The problem is Eli has been so poor this year that I can't push him that far up my rankings. If the Brandon Jacobs was healthy as I am writing this I would be more optimistic about Eli's fantasy projections, but with the question marks currently at running back I feel like there may be too much pressure on Eli to perform. If you have Drew Brees on a bye, I think Eli would be one of my top replacement choices.
Brandon Jacobs- 14.24 carries for 61.52 yards and .38 TDs 2.55 receptions for 19.29 yards (NumberFire)
As I am writing this the news has broken that the Giants have signed Peyton Hillis. The unknown recovery time for David Wilson coupled with the injury to Da'Rel Scott have forced the Giants to bolster their running back corps. Brandon Jacobs was unable to practice on Monday and there were some thoughts that Michael Cox may be forced to carry the load. Luckily for the Giants they can wait all the way until Monday night to see if Jacobs has healed up enough to carry the load. Even if Jacobs dominates the touches I don't see him as more than a flex option and a low end RB2 in standard formats. The Vikings are more susceptible to the pass and running backs who can catch the ball then battering ram types.
Michael Cox- ?
Cox is a question mark because there is no way to predict his involvement in the offense. Coughlin and Gilbride don't have the best track record in trusting rookie running backs and I would be playing a wait and see even if he is forced to start.
Victor Cruz- 5.85 receptions for 93.63 yards for .67 TDs (NumberFire)
Victor Cruz is NumberFire's #3 overall wide receiver play for week 7. I am in complete agreement as I see this defense being especially vulnerable to excellent slot receiver play. The play of Antonio Brown against the Vikings in London is just one instance of a quick receiver having an advantage.
Hakeem Nicks-3.84 receptions for 52.88 yards and .13 TDs (NumberFire)
Nicks has been tough to handicap from a fantasy perspective. His best two games have come against NFC East opponents who happen to be some of the worst defenses against the pass in the league. The Vikings are right up Nicks alley and I wouldn't shy away from playing him as a low end WR2 or flex.
Rueben Randle-2.06 receptions for 32.27 yards and .27 TDs (NumberFire)
Randle has caused some head aches for Eli Manning in the passing game with some poor communication and drops earlier in the season, but there is no denying his talent as a big play receiver. He is a nice flex play this week in deeper leagues or if you currently have injury issues with Julio Jones, Randall Cobb, and Danny Amendola all sidelined.
Brandon Myers-4.04 receptions for 42.86 yards and .29 TDs (NumberFire)
Myers has not been a big part of the offense the last few weeks and I think that trend will continue. The Vikings do play a lot of zone and that could play into Myers hands, but I think there are better options to start out there.
Big Blue View Fantasy Football League Update
League 1 - Well, thanks to a two-game losing streak I am now sitting in third place after suffering a loss at the hands of the clairvoyant Pataroons who predicted my teams demise. Phoenix Big Blue currently sits in first place, but Pataroons is hot on their tale riding a 4-game winning streak.
League 2-All is right in the world of League 2 as I sit in first place after week 6. Here Comes Treble is hot on my tail riding a five game winning streak. The highest scoring team in the league Marcus's Longshots are having a tough luck season as they also have the most points scored against and sit at 3-3.
News around the league - The injury to Randall Cobb should be the final push for some of you to roster Keenan Allen of the San Diego Chargers. The continued absence of Rob Gronkowski and the new injury to Danny Amendola have made Tom Brady a tough start in fantasy leagues. Look for Jordan Reed of the Redskins to be the next break out tight end in the league as he is clearly the second best pass catching option in Washington.
Feel free to ask me any start/sit or trade questions on Twitter @Coachesser or by messaging me on Facebook by liking Coachesser's Playbook. You can also read my articles at www.coachesser.com and listen to the definitive fantasy football podcast on Itunes or Stitcher Radio by subscribing to the Trick Plays podcast hosted by Micah James (@FFMagicMan) and myself.