New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
In terms of offensive production, this is probably the marquee game of the weekend with the potent Giants
visiting the even more potent Packers. This is a rematch of the December 4th
game in which the Packers won 38-35, which included a couple of controversial calls that went Green Bay’s way. The Giants have probably been chomping at the bit to get another crack at the Packers, and now that chance is upon them. It will be much tougher to try to pull the upset at Lambeau Field however, as the Packers are nearly perfect there in the playoffs. This will be the first playoff game in a while at Lambeau, as last year’s Packers had to make their Super Bowl run on the road as a wildcard team.
If there’s one quarterback in the playoffs that won’t shy away from the bright lights and big stage in a matchup against Aaron Rodgers, it’s Eli Manning. Manning is no stranger to the 4th
quarter comeback himself, and it was only a few short years ago that he led the Giants to a win against a similarly potent offensive machine in the Super Bowl; namely Tom Brady and the up to then undefeated New England Patriots. The Packers are every bit as potent as those Patriots were, and this game is certainly not on neutral territory, but Manning has the experience and track record to pull this off if conditions are right.
For conditions to be right though, the Giants front four led by Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul will have to get consistent pressure on Rodgers and force the Packers off the field enough to avoid having their mediocre secondary exposed by a Rodgers passing onslaught. As long as the Packers can hold Rodgers to around 280-300 yards passing and 3 scores or less, the Giants will have a chance; if Rodgers racks up more than that, the Giants likely won’t be able to keep up.
For fantasy purposes, most everyone at each skill position is worth a fantasy start, beginning with Rodgers and Manning. On the Packers side of the ball, Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley are all worth starts, while Hakeem Nicks, Victor Cruz, and even Mario Manningham are worth rolling out. Basically if you own any of the Packers or Giants receiving threats, start ‘em; if you own either defenses, stay far far away.
QB Eli Manning, WR Hakeem Nicks, WR Victor Cruz, WR Mario Manningham, QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Greg Jennings, WR Jordy Nelson, TE Jermichael Finley
Middle of the Road:
RB Ahmad Bradshaw, WR James Jones, WR Donald Driver
RB Brandon Jacobs, RB Ryan Grant, RB James Starks