Maybe the NFL finally found a way to get some excitement into their Thursday Night Football matchups, as the turnover-prone but big play Giants travel to Chicago to face the volatile Chicago Bears.
Chicago comes in having lost their last two games after a 3-0 start looking bad losing to Detroit and New Orleans the last two weeks. The Giants have looked even worse in their slow starts dropping the first five games of their season.
Will Eli and Friends be able to break through and get their first win? Before we get to the answer to that question, how can these players help your fantasy team this week? Here’s a quick position-by-position look at what I expect from the fantasy relevant players this week:
Jay Cutler: Cutler is a mid-range QB1 this week as he faced the Giants who give up the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing QB’s. The Giants haven’t held a QB to less than two touchdowns all season and have allowed 20 points or more in ESPN standard scoring to the last four QB’s they’ve faced. Cutler is a good start even as he plays in the fantasy wasteland of Thursday Night Football.
Eli Manning: Manning faces a much tougher matchup against the Bears secondary who haven’t allowed 20 points to opposing QB’s all year despite facing some of the better ones. He’s so erratic and unprotected by his O-line, I’d stay away from Eli this week unless there are no other options on the table.
Matt Forte: Forte should also be in line for a nice game since the Giants also rank in the top ten in most points allowed per game to opposing RB’s. They’ve allowed four rushing touchdowns to RB in the last four games, and I see Forte as a low-end RB1 in this one. The only 2 reasons I hesitate are 1-it’s Thursday Night, and 2-the Bears may just decide to throw all night long.
Brandon Jacobs: Jacobs is expected to carry the load with David Wilson out with a neck issue. Last week he took his 11 carries for 37 yards and is averaging a brutal 2.2 yards per carry this season. The Giants don’t have any better options, but hopefully you do on your fantasy roster.
Da’Rel Scott: The other option in the Giants backfield, Scott was officially cut last week but added back to the roster in the wake of Wilson’s injury. He’s been involved in the passing game in the past, but he’s a flier that screams of desperation. There are better options on the waiver wire than Scott.
Brandon Marshall: The real fantasy wealth of this game is at wide receiver. The Giants allow the ninth-most fantasy points to wide receivers including a receiving TD to WR in their last four straight. Marshall has taken a back seat the last two weeks with the emergence of Alshon Jeffery. Marshal has 11 catches and just 109 yards in the last two weeks combined and has failed to reach 100 yards since week 2. Look for him to have a big game tonight, though, making him a mid to low range WR1.
Victor Cruz: Cruz was in a great matchup last night that made his owners salivate at the prospects of a huge week. Unfortunately, he didn’t go off catching just five passes for 48 yards despite being targeted 12 times. He’s been targeted at least eight times in all six games this season and should get plenty of looks again. The Bears secondary is solid and shut down the Saints WR last week even in their loss. I see Cruz as a low-end WR1 with upside just based on the fact that he’s a target magnet.
Alshon Jeffery: One of the biggest breakouts over the last few weeks, Jeffery has touchdown catches each of the last two weeks while going for 107 and a massive 218 yards. The Giants will do all they can to slow him down, but Jeffery is a great WR2 with huge upside. Don’t worry about the ankle injury that makes him probable for this week since he turned in a full practice yesterday.
Hakeem Nicks: Nicks finally came alive last week catching nine passes for 142 yards in the Giants loss to the Eagles. He still hasn’t found the end zone this season and has had an up-and-down year. If Cruz gets Peanut Tillman all game, Nicks could end up with the better matchup against Tim Jennings and could have a nice game. He’s a low-end WR2 but has some nice upside if the Giants are behind and passing early and often.
Rueben Randle: Randle also ended up with a big game last week mainly because he ended up with both touchdown passes from Eli. He had six catches for 96 yards and continues to be a hit-or-miss bye week fill-in at flex or WR.
Martellus Bennett: Not surprisingly, the Giants struggle agains opposing TE as well. They’ve allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing TE and five TD’s in the first five weeks. Bennett has been emerging as a nice TE1 option regardless of matchup, but in this matchup he’s an even better play.
Brandon Myers: Myers isn’t a TE1 for the Giants since they need his help blocking to try to keep Manning alive. He’s questionable for this week with an ankle injury on top of that, so I’d look elsewhere for help this week.
Chicago Bears: Th Bears defense is opportunistic and Eli gives plenty of opportunities. If you own them, this is a great matchup for them, so make sure to get them in your lineup. No team has allowed more points to opposing fantasy defenses than the G-men.
New York Giants: The Giants defense shouldn’t be on your fantasy radar since they’ve ended up below zero more often than above it in ESPN Standard scoring and have a total of -4 on the season.
New York is faced with the tough task of going on the road on a short week. The Giants defense and lack of running game will ultimately cost them their sixth loss in a row as the Bears stop their mini-skid with a win to even their record. Final Score: