Fantasy Football Week 14 Preview: Saints at Giants

By Michael Pennywark
December 08, 2012 7:10 pm
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Ahmad Bradshaw Sunday’s game will be a turning point for the winner of this week’s matchup in the Meadowlands.

If the Saints lose, they will have to win out for the rest of the season just to finish 8-8.

With a slew of teams ahead of them and a dismal conference record (3-5 right now), they would need a miracle to make the playoffs if they lose.

The Giants will unlikely oblige them with a victory, as they also will be desperate to win this game now that Washington and Dallas are breathing down their necks.

So what does this mean for fantasy? A whole lot of scoring, we’re predicting. So who do you start and who do you sit?

Quarterbacks

If you have Drew Brees on your team, you probably invested a first-round pick on him in your draft or made a pretty hefty trade. Despite his woefully abysmal game last week, you are still going to start him. It shouldn’t be hard for him to improve on his five-interception game seeing as he still threw for over 300 yards, but realistically this isn’t the Drew Brees we are used to seeing.

Without Sean Payton calling the shots, Brees’ stock has slipped from ‘elite’ status to the next tier of ‘above average’ quarterbacks. 

What is still going for him is the fact that New Orleans still has one of the worst defenses in the league. The Saints will be playing from behind most of the day and will do what they always do and throw the ball a bunch.

Brees should be able to produce 300 yards and two or three touchdowns, but judging by his inaccuracy and poor decision making lately, we will also likely see at least two interceptions. Brees struggles against good defenses but on a day that will determine the outcomes of many fantasy playoff games, Brees will be reliable enough to start against an inconsistent Giants' defense.

Eli Manning looks like he can be relied on again as a fantasy starter after a horrible three-week slump. He has four touchdown passes and zero interceptions in the last two games and should have little trouble against the defense which is giving up the most points to fantasy quarterbacks in the league.

With the Saints’ defense unable to stop a bloody nose let alone a running back expect to see Eli hook up with his receivers on plenty of play-action passes. Anything less than 250 yards and three touchdowns will be a disappointment for Manning this week.

Running Backs

Trying to work out which running back will be starting for New Orleans has been a crapshoot each week this year. Since his return, Darren Sproles hasn’t had a single carry but has picked up 12 receptions in that time. You can expect more of the same this week and while he should total about 60 yards receiving, no running back has scored a receiving touchdown on the Giants yet this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep Sproles out of the end zone also.

Assuming that Joe Vitt will stick with the hot hand, our best guess would be that he continues to roll with Pierre Thomas on the ground given Chris Ivory’s injury. Last week, Thomas rumbled to 84 yards on 14 attempts and a repeat won’t be out of the question.

In all likelihood though, Mark Ingram will vulture a touchdown away from Thomas again this week. If you’re desperate for a Flex player, you could do worse than one of the Saints running backs but there are plenty of safer options.

Ahmad Bradshaw is expected to shake off a lingering foot injury and will see the lion’s share of touches against the league’s worst rushing defense.

After rushing for 103 yards last week in Washington, there is no reason to expect Bradshaw not to top 100 yards again in this matchup, only this time he should add a touchdown to his tally.

David Wilson still isn’t seeing a great deal of time and while the Giants should come out with the win, the Saints could keep it close enough to limit any garbage time carries he might otherwise see.

 

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