Andre Brown to the rescue!
That should be the cry for the Giants as well as fantasy owners. Andre Brown returned last week against the Oakland Raiders and quickly established his value to both the Giants and the fantasy football community. Brown pile-drived his way to 31 touches for 119 yards and a touchdown. Peyton Hillis's fumble on screen pass was a big contributing factor into Brown getting the lion's share of touches in his first game back off of short term IR. Brown's big game has fantasy owners hoping he is the answer to all the question marks fantasy owners have been facing at the running back position. With first round picks like Ray Rice, Trent Richardson, and CJ Spiller now banished to benches or the waiver wire, owners needed someone to step up and fill the void.
While the running game and the defense looked very good, the same can't be said for the play of Eli Manning. The Eli apologists were no where to be found after this game as there were no excuses for his inconsistencies. I know there are some people who will point out the tough winds at MetLife, but I'm pretty sure they weren't to blame for Eli failing to burn one of the worst secondaries in the NFL. His poor footwork and mechanics had him constantly off target when trying to get the ball to Victor Cruz in the slot. Cruz didn't help matters with a big drop on a crossing pattern.
[Related: Complete league-wide start/sit advice]
Eli Manning-310.12 yards 1.47 TDs 1.76 Ints (numberFire Projection)
While numberFire has Eli rated as their 14th best scoring option at the quarterback position this week, I have him rated well below that. I don't think he should be rostered or started in any format other than 2QB leagues at this point. It would have to be a very deep league where I suffered a lot of injuries before I looked to Eli as a viable option. I have Eli throwing for around 225 yards with 1 touchdown and (fingers-crossed) 0 turnovers.
Andre Brown-11.66 carries for 59.83 yards and .36 TDs (numberFire)
Brown proved to be a workhorse last week, and I feel that the Giants will once again try to lean on him. Hopefully the Packers will pay too much attention to trying to stop him in the running game and Eli and the receivers can make some big plays using play action. While Brown looked good, the Packers do have a formidable run defense and have been pretty stingy against the run from a fantasy perspective. I expect Brown to slightly outperform the projection from numberFire.
Peyton Hillis-2.49 carries for 7.21 yards and 1.64 receptions for 11.60 yards and .04 TDs (numberFire)
Hillis didn't help his fantasy cause with a big fumble last week and I expect his amount of touches to be very limited. He should only be looked at in the deepest of leagues, but still should be rostered with Andre Brown's injury history.
Victor Cruz-6.13 receptions for 85.44 yards and .29 TDs (numberFire)
Cruz has been on a long streak of less than impressive fantasy totals. He is still beating his coverage consistently, but the connection with Eli Manning has just disappeared. The Packers safeties are ripe for the picking, but I have a hard time rating Cruz as anything higher than a WR2 with the way Eli has been playing. Hopefully we'll finally see some salsa dancing this weekend and Cruz can rejoin the WR1 conversation.
Hakeem Nicks-4.14 receptions for 54.24 yards and .30 TDs (numberFire)
Many fantasy owners and experts are literally at the end of their rope with Hakeem Nicks. I don't think Nicks is to blame for all the fantasy player's animosity aimed in his direction. He is the second option on a passing game that cannot be trusted, and is losing looks to a second year receiver. He still runs the same routes. He still has huge hands that are somewhat reliable. He just isn't the potential WR1 that he used to look like. I think numberFire hit his projection right on the head. He can still be valuable to the Giants with those number, but can't be counted on as anything more than a WR4 at this point in fantasy football.
Rueben Randle-2.22 receptions for 35.45 yards and .39 TDs (numberFire)
Randle got back into the endzone this past weekend and I think he has a good shot at doing it again against the Packers. The Packers safeties have been close to as bad as it gets in the NFL this year and Rueben Randle is due for a long touchdown. I think Randle will make some big plays with the Giants using play action and could be a sneaky play if you have Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams on a bye.
Brandon Myers-2.63 receptions for 25.03 yards and .21 TDs (numberFire)
Myers has not been part of the passing game for a long time and the projections are finally starting to reflect it. A lot of experts expected Myers to get involved last week as he was facing his old team, but that never came to fruition. He should be on your waiver wire at this point and we should just hope that he can help the Giants any way he can.
What do you think is the biggest reason Hakeem Nicks hasn't been able to produce at a high level this year?
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.