If the Giants Can’t Show Up this Week, Forget It!
All in all, it was a good Week 4 for us. The QB situation didn’t pan out with Terrelle Pryor sitting, but the recommendation was over Eli Manning. So, as long as you chose any other Top 15-20 QB, you were in good shape. The receivers nearly tied, while Darren Sproles and Coby Fleener dominated their matchups. On to Week 5 where the picture is even clearer with regard to which defenses are beneficial or avoidable.
Quarterback Points Allowed
|1||Oakland Raiders||SAD||26.6||15||Miami Dolphins||BAL||16.7|
|2||Detroit Lions||GB||22.4||16||Indianapolis Colts||SEA||10.8|
|3||New York Giants||PHI||23.3||17||Atlanta Falcons||NYJ||17.3|
|4||Jacksonville Jaguars||STL||18.6||18||Cincinnati Bengals||NE||12.8|
|5||San Diego Chargers||OAK||19.6||19||Green Bay Packers||DET||12.2|
|6||New York Jets||ATL||20.4||20||Buffalo Bills||CLE||13.4|
|7||St. Louis Rams||JAC||21.2||21||Cleveland Browns||BUF||17.1|
|8||Philadelphia Eagles||NYG||22.2||22||Arizona Cardinals||CAR||11.2|
|9||Denver Broncos||DAL||22.8||23||San Francisco 49ers||HOU||14.0|
|10||Baltimore Ravens||MIA||19.0||24||Kansas City Chiefs||TEN||11.6|
|11||Dallas Cowboys||DEN||17.1||25||Seattle Seahawks||IND||10.2|
|12||Carolina Panthers||ARI||18.7||26||Houston Texans||SAF||14.5|
|13||New England Patriots||CIN||15.4||27||Chicago Bears||NO||10.1|
|14||New Orleans Saints||CHI||15.5||28||Tennessee Titans||KC||10.5|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Speaking of Eli Manning, he’s back in our matchup comparison but on the good side this time. Yes, I am recommending starting Manning, when it comes to the alternative of Jay Cutler. Through four games, Manning isn’t actually that far behind Cutler, even with how poorly the Giants have played. Manning sits at 21.2 FPPG and Cutler 21.7. Now let’s check the matchups.
Manning and the Giants host the Eagles, easily one of the worst defenses in the league. Not only is the Eagles defense inept at stopping other teams, especially QBs at 23.3 FPPG allowed, but their high tempo offense creates more field time for opposing teams. The Eagles are allowing a league-high 339.5 passing yards per game and give up the third most TDs at 2.3 per. Meanwhile, Cutler faces the Saints, and if it were last season, we might be having a different conversation. However, the Saints are vastly improved on defense and rate out as the second toughest matchup for quarterbacks. The Saints are allowing a miniscule 10.1 FPPG to QBs with only four passing TDs and 865 yards given up. If there is any week for the Giants and Manning to step up and right the ship, it’s Week 5. Plug Eli in your lineup as a low-end QB1.
Running Back Points Allowed
|1||Jacksonville Jaguars||STL||25.4||15||Cincinnati Bengals||NE||14.7|
|2||St. Louis Rams||JAC||19.9||16||Denver Broncos||DAL||15.7|
|3||Baltimore Ravens||MIA||21.5||17||Indianapolis Colts||SEA||14.0|
|4||New York Giants||PHI||18.7||18||Kansas City Chiefs||TEN||16.2|
|5||Oakland Raiders||SAD||13.3||19||Tennessee Titans||KC||12.6|
|6||Green Bay Packers||DET||23.2||20||Houston Texans||SAF||20.9|
|7||San Diego Chargers||OAK||14.4||21||Miami Dolphins||BAL||14.2|
|8||Philadelphia Eagles||NYG||19.4||22||San Francisco 49ers||HOU||15.9|
|9||Detroit Lions||GB||17.4||23||Cleveland Browns||BUF||13.6|
|10||New York Jets||ATL||16.4||24||Arizona Cardinals||CAR||13.1|
|11||Chicago Bears||NO||16.5||25||Carolina Panthers||ARI||12.6|
|12||Dallas Cowboys||DEN||22.5||26||New Orleans Saints||CHI||13.6|
|13||Seattle Seahawks||IND||13.7||27||Buffalo Bills||CLE||12.5|
|14||New England Patriots||CIN||15.5||28||Atlanta Falcons||NYJ||8.8|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Let’s take two running backs facing each other: Ray Rice and Lamar Miller. Rice has been disappointing and ranks 47th with just 6.4 FPPG. Most of that is due to injury, but Rice is certainly far behind Miller who sits in 24th place (8.4 FPPG). Even factoring for the injury, Rice hasn’t seen more than 13 carries in a game yet and has just one touchdown to his credit. To be fair, Miller hasn’t fared much better in the carries department, as he hasn’t topped 14 in a game. Truthfully, Miller has done more with his opportunities than Rice, and you might believe he would be the better Week 5 option. Before we make that call, we need to examine the matchups.
The Ravens are the eighth toughest opponent for RBs this week – not supremely daunting but much worse than the Dolphins being the third easiest. The Dolphins allow 21.5 FPPG while the Ravens give up just 14.2 FPPG. Additionally, the Ravens have allowed a RB to reach the end zone just once; whether via run or catch, while the Dolphins have given up four scores (two each). You may be hesitant to start Ray Rice after last week’s debacle, but Rice is another week healthier, and the Ravens know how badly they screwed up the game plan against the Bills. Plus, Bernard Pierce hasn’t been too impressive in Rice’s stead. In Miami, Miller still hasn’t wrestled away full control of the backfield from Daniel Thomas, even though that’s not truly his fault. You may be worried, but the matchups suggest that Rice is the better play.
Wide Receiver Points Allowed
|1||Detroit Lions||GB||32.2||15||Carolina Panthers||ARI||17.5|
|2||New York Giants||PHI||36.1||16||Arizona Cardinals||CAR||20.6|
|3||Oakland Raiders||SAD||29.4||17||Baltimore Ravens||MIA||14.4|
|4||Jacksonville Jaguars||STL||26.1||18||Indianapolis Colts||SEA||13.2|
|5||New York Jets||ATL||31.0||19||New England Patriots||CIN||20.7|
|6||San Diego Chargers||OAK||24.6||20||Green Bay Packers||DET||21.7|
|7||St. Louis Rams||JAC||23.6||21||Cincinnati Bengals||NE||17.9|
|8||Denver Broncos||DAL||25.2||22||Buffalo Bills||CLE||18.1|
|9||Dallas Cowboys||DEN||24.0||23||Houston Texans||SAF||17.7|
|10||Philadelphia Eagles||NYG||24.1||24||Tennessee Titans||KC||19.9|
|11||Miami Dolphins||BAL||25.5||25||Kansas City Chiefs||TEN||17.0|
|12||Atlanta Falcons||NYJ||26.7||26||Seattle Seahawks||IND||16.1|
|13||New Orleans Saints||CHI||26.0||27||San Francisco 49ers||HOU||15.8|
|14||Cleveland Browns||BUF||33.9||28||Chicago Bears||NO||16.2|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Our next heads up debate involves two disappointing receivers with Hakeem Nicks and T.Y. Hilton. After hearing that Nicks was finally to 100 percent health, the Fantasy world expected near-WR1 numbers. And after seeing Hilton preseason performance, that same world expected a potential WR2 for 2013. Well, neither has happened. Nicks ranks 57th at WR with 5.8 FPPG, and Hilton ranks 60th at 5.2 FPPG. At those current numbers, both are barely ownable in standard sized leagues. Don’t drop either though! Before we move on, I wanted to make that clear… I said at those current numbers. We can expect better for both, but more so Nicks this week.w
Hilton’s struggles look to continue for two reasons. First, the Colts keep playing around with Darrius Heyward-Bey in the No. 2 receiver role. Second, the Colts face the Seahawks, and even though it’s at home, the Seahawks have shown this year that road games don’t affect how good their defense is. As for Nicks, only the Lions face a more favorable opponent, and in fact, the Eagles actually allow more FPPG to receivers – tops in the league at 36.1 FPPG. Not only have the Eagles given up 908 receiving yards already, but they’ve also allowed nine receiving TDs – two more than any other team. As I said with Manning, Week 5 is the week for the Giants offense to get off the schnide. Nicks is the better option than Hilton is, but know that if he fails again, we might actually have that “Nicks is droppable” conversation.
Tight End Points Allowed
|1||Detroit Lions||GB||11.7||15||Miami Dolphins||BAL||10.3|
|2||Oakland Raiders||SAD||10.6||16||New England Patriots||CIN||8.1|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||STL||7.8||17||Seattle Seahawks||IND||6.0|
|4||St. Louis Rams||JAC||10.2||18||Cincinnati Bengals||NE||8.3|
|5||San Diego Chargers||OAK||8.5||19||Atlanta Falcons||NYJ||5.4|
|6||Baltimore Ravens||MIA||16.9||20||Indianapolis Colts||SEA||7.4|
|7||Philadelphia Eagles||NYG||11.7||21||Green Bay Packers||DET||6.2|
|8||Dallas Cowboys||DEN||8.6||22||Buffalo Bills||CLE||5.1|
|9||Denver Broncos||DAL||11.7||23||San Francisco 49ers||HOU||4.3|
|10||New York Giants||PHI||6.1||24||Arizona Cardinals||CAR||2.9|
|11||Carolina Panthers||ARI||14.2||25||Chicago Bears||NO||6.1|
|12||New York Jets||ATL||8.5||26||Cleveland Browns||BUF||5.5|
|13||New Orleans Saints||CHI||8.5||27||Houston Texans||SAF||6.6|
|14||Kansas City Chiefs||TEN||12.9||28||Tennessee Titans||KC||2.5|
HOLD ‘EM OR FOLD ‘EM
Heading into the season, Vernon Davis and Antonio Gates weren’t even in the same discussion during draft day. Davis was a Top Five tight end selection, averaging a fifth/sixth-round draft position, while Gates didn’t crack the Top 12 with an 11th–round average. Now, Gates ranks third with 12.1 FPPG and Davis sixth at 10.5. Certainly, we all expected more from Davis without Michael Crabtree on the field, and no one called for a Gates resurgence like this.
Just looking at their play and offensive involvement, you should already lean Gates, but the matchups make it even clearer. The Chargers face the Raiders… yes, those Raiders, while Davis and the 49ers get the Texans. Now, the Texans defense isn’t as formidable as it was in 2012, but it still ranks as the sixth toughest TE defense this week with 4.3 FPPG allowed. Those Raiders? They are the fifth best matchup with 8.5 FPPG, and again, it’s.the.Raiders. They’re also allowing 5.5 receptions to tight ends as opposed to the Texans sitting at 2.0 per. Some things are tough to believe – government honesty, the stock market, how Miley Cyrus has a career – but believing that Gates is back is one thing to bank on. Get him in your lineup.
(Reminder: You’ll notice the rankings are not in exact order of points allowed. Other metrics are calculated in along with just straight points. It allows for better analysis so one off-week doesn’t skew the opponent difficulty too greatly.)
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