Week Thirteen Analysis:
This should sound familiar: Hey, it's another easy matchup for Eli Manning! And guess what, he probably won't do a damn thing with it! No quarterback has had an easier schedule than Manning, who has faced seven opponents in the bottom third against the pass, three opponents in the middle third, and just one opponent in the top third against the pass. The problem is, he does nothing with the opportunity. He's averaging one touchdown pass per game since the opener. Here comes another cake matchup. The Redskins allow the sixth most passing yards, and Colin Kaepernick just abused them for three touchdowns and 235 yards. By way of comparison, Kaepernick hasn't hit 235 yards in over a month, and hadn't topped three total touchdowns in four games. So, the matchup is a breeze, but at this point, Manning is matchup-proof. He can fail in every matchup.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Another week, another easy matchup for Eli Manning, this time against his perennial whipping boys, Dallas. When Manning saw Dallas in the season opener, he threw for 450 yards and four touchdowns. And, he's thrown multiple touchdowns in seven of his last nine meeting with his division rival. And Dallas just got embarrassed by Drew Brees in their last game, giving up nearly 400 yards and four touchdowns. All that sounds great, until you remember that Eli simply doesn't capitalize on these matchups any more. Since that week one explosion against Dallas, he's averaging less than one touchdown per game. And, he's topped 300 yards one time since week two. I love the matchup, but Eli has let us down repeatedly in these same situations all year.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Despite facing a series of defensive patsies this year, Eli Manning simply isn't producing. Despite favorable matchups against teams like Denver, Philadelphia, Chicago, Minnesota, and Oakland last week, Manning has topped one touchdown just once since the opener. This week's opponent, Green Bay, is just a mediocre secondary, but they're better than most of the teams Eli has played. At this point, you simply can't trust Eli to produce against anyone.
Week Ten Analysis:
I can't remember seeing a worse game played by a secondary than the Raiders last week. And I live in Minnesota! How many times did you see Nick Foles lofting a ball to a receiver with no Raider defender in the camera shot?! With that game in mind, I'm willing to go to bat for Eli Manning one more time, despite the fact that he's thrown more than one touchdown just once since the opener. And, that includes plenty of games against patsies. The Oakland secondary is a Jeckle and Hyde unit, with four bad games and four good ones. Eli's got a chance to get back on track, but he's failed to deliver in these situations already this year.
Week Eight Analysis:
This is easy with a capitol E. Every quarterback not named Alex Smith has topped 300 yards, thrown for multiple scores or both against the Eagles this season. Every quarterback to face the Eagles has completed at least 22 passes. Eli manning is one of those quarterbacks who have faced these Eagles already this season. Despite throwing three picks in that game, Eli did toss the pigskin for 334 yards and two scores only three weeks ago.
Week Seven Analysis:
I don't mean to sound like a bitter Vikings fan (although I am), but a visit from the Vikings is just what Eli Manning needs right now. The Vikings secondary is a train wreck. Cam Newton, one of the least accurate passers in the league, just completed 77% of his passes against them. Every opposing quarterback has thrown for 350 yards or three touchdowns. The average quarterback game against the Vikings is 319 yards and 2.6 touchdowns. Compounding matters, the Vikings lost the only good member of their secondary, safety Harrison Smith, to injury. Eli's got three receivers to stretch the Vikings thin, and when in doubt, he can just find horrific cornerback Josh Robinson, and throw his way. A very big game for Eli is very possible.
Week Six Analysis:
We think of the Chicago pass defense as a stellar unit, anchored by Pro Bowlers Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman. And, sure, they're good, but they're more opportunistic that impenetrable. They gamble. And, it works out a lot. Considering that they're facing the NFL's interception leader, Eli Manning, it's safe to say that there's going to be turnovers a-plenty in this game. But their gambling also means the Bears also give up big plays. Chicago has allowed multiple quarterback touchdowns in every game. And only Christian Ponder has failed to top 240 passing yards against Chicago. Interceptions aside, Manning has found his way to three good fantasy games, and a fourth is pretty likely here.
Week Five Analysis:
Sure, Eli Manning leads the league in interceptions, but he's only thrown one in each of the last two games. He's also thrown for 362 and 450 yards in games this season, so the Giants are not scared of putting the offense in Eli's hands. Not that they have a choice, considering the sad state of their running game. His hands should be busy on Sunday as he faces one of the worst defenses in football, the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles have allowed the most passing yards and the second most passing touchdowns in the league this season. If that's not enough, Manning has thrown 14 touchdowns against Philly in the last 5 matchups. If Eli can't succeed here, he'll be a drop candidate for sure.
Week Three Analysis:
It's been seven interceptions for Eli Manning through two games, and now he faces, by far, the toughest of his three opposing defenses. The Carolina defense is no joke. Only five of the past 18 quarterbacks to face Carolina have emerged with more than one touchdown. Although, both of this year's opponents, EJ Manuel and Russell Wilson, have passed for over 296 yards. So, there's your glimmer of hope, along with the rare healthiness of all his receivers. I worry that Carolina won't have to sweat the Giants' non-existent running game, and will focus their defense on pressuring Manning.
Week Two Analysis:
At first blush, it looks like Denver's secondary, without Champ Bailey last week, got murdered, giving up 362 yards and two scores. But the reality is that it took Joe Flacco a crazy 62 attempts to get there. That's double (!) his normal passes, and 11 more passes than he had ever thrown in a game. Considering the 62 passes, Denver's secondary played a very good game, and Eli Manning has a tough matchup on his hands, especially with the anticipated return of Champ Bailey. Manning dramatically outplayed my expectations last week with 450 yards and four scores, but he'll need 62 passes of his own to approach those numbers this week.
Week One Analysis:
Prior to last year, Eli Manning had a great track record against the Cowboys. But that was before they overhauled their cornerbacks by spending an early draft pick on Morris Clairborne, and throwing big money on Brandon Carr. As result, only five quarterbacks managed more than one touchdown against Dallas last year. And Eli fared particularly badly, throwing just one touchdown between the two games, and totaling just 213 and 192 yards. Clairborne should be even better in his second year, and I don't seen enough new weapons on the Giants to expect a particularly better outcome.
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A couple of big statistical games at the end of the year masked a horrible 2012 for Eli Manning. He threw 0 or 1 touchdown and under 300 yards in 9 of 16 games. That means in half his games, Manning was flat out bad for your fantasy team. Eli's career track record suggests that he could bounce back. After all, he still has Victor Cruz, and Hakeem Nicks is healthy and playing for money. He's been a solid producer in the past. But, aside from the lateral move of swapping Martellus Bennett for Brandon Myers at tight end, it's mostly the same pieces from last year, which raises the specter of repeat performance.
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