Week Seventeen Analysis: There's no two ways around it, Victor Cruz, Eli Manning and the Giants as a whole have been awful the last two weeks. Cruz has totaled only six receptions and 36 yards combined in the last two weeks. They now need a win and help to squeak back into the playoff picture, but have a home game against one of the worst defenses in football on their slate. Philadelphia has allowed multiple scores to wide receivers in three of the last four and Cruz burned them for 109 yards and a score in their earlier meeting this season.
Week Sixteen Analysis: If you're watching this clip, and you had Victor Cruz in your lineup last week and you're still in the fantasy championship, kudos to you for assembling one hell of a roster. Cruz's three catches for 15 yards against the Falcons last week torpedoed many a season. But you can't forget that this is the same guy who just posted back-to-back 100-yard games prior to last week. He's also facing a different, and much easier dirty bird this week as the Giants take on the Ravens. Baltimore has allowed both Eric Decker and Pierre Garcon to top 80 yards and score in the last two weeks, and I would bet that this Giants team comes out angry on Sunday.
Week Fifteen Analysis: No passing game has pulled on the heartstrings of fantasy owners more than the New York Giants. Luckily for Victor Cruz he faced New Orleans last week, and the Saints can revive the mostly dead fantasy value for any player. They're like the Miracle Max of fantasy football! Turns out, he was only mostly dead. Cruz rocked the Saints with his first game of over 100 yards and a score since Week 7. It's a much more arduous task this week against the Falcons. The Falcons have allowed only six scores to wide receivers this season, the best in the league. The bright side of this matchup is that Atlanta allowed Lance Moore and Steve Smith each to top 100 yards in the last two weeks.
Week Fourteen Analysis: Had the meeting between Victor Cruz and the Saints occurred in about Week 8, Cruz would have been the "slam dunk" number one choice at wide receiver, but plenty has changed on both sides of this matchup. Last week in Washington, Cruz enjoyed his first 100-yard game in his last five outings. The fact that Cruz has only scored once and had three or fewer catches three times in those last five weeks has been disappointing. Then there's the Saints. Would you believe that only two wide receivers have topped 69 yards in the last five weeks? Or that the Saints have only allowed two wide receiver touchdowns in that same span? Both are true, making this matchup much more murky than it would have been six weeks ago.
Week Thirteen Analysis: The Redskins have yielded 100 or more yards to wide receivers nine times this season, which is the most in the NFL. One of those games came in Week 7 when Victor Cruz attacked the Redskins for 131 yards and a score. However, in the four games since then, Cruz has only totaled 152 yards and a score. Last week Cruz benefited from Eli Manning's resurgence for his first score in a month, but was targeted only six times and gained only 36 yards. We hope that the ‘Skins can act as his slumpbuster, and he can return to elite form.
Week Twelve Analysis: When you count last week's bye, Victor Cruz has been essentially worthless to fantasy teams for four straight weeks. In three tough matchups, Cruz failed to score or top 67 yards. Considering that he had scored six times in the previous four games, it's a colossal let down. However, Cruz has been very good against mediocre-to-bad secondaries this season. In his four games against bottom ten pass defenses, Cruz is averaging 117 yards per game and had scored six times. The Packers just happen to have given up the ninth-most passing yards this season. Number one wide receivers have scored or topped 100 yards against the Packers in each of the last three games.
Week Ten Analysis: Last week the Pittsburgh Steelers held the Giants wide receivers to a paltry six catches and 77 yards, as a group. Victor Cruz happened to have five of those receptions and 67 yards. Eli Manning has certainly had a tough time getting Cruz the ball in the last two weeks against the Cowboys and Steelers. This week the Giants face a Bengals club that was just caged by Eli's brother. The Bengals have allowed a wide receiver to top 90 yards in each of the last three weeks and allowed Eric Decker to haul in two red zone touchdowns last week. Cruz is seventh in the league in red zone targets and receptions, so he could certainly grab his first touchdown in three weeks in Cincy.
Week Nine Analysis: Victor Cruz is arguably the best wide receiver in fantasy football, at least according to the stats. So let's go to the stats. Cruz is the league leader among wide receivers in touchdowns, is fourth in the league in receptions, and in the last five weeks only Wes Welker has had more targets than Victor Cruz. This week the Giants host the Steelers, provided there is still electricity, indoor plumbing, and running water in the Meadowlands. Pittsburgh has allowed the No. 1 wide receiver to score on them in six out of seven games this season. While no wideout has topped 71 yards on the Steelers since Week 1, I like Cruz's chances of snapping that streak this week.
Week Eight Analysis: Victor Cruz has now scored in four straight games and is in the conversation of fantasy football's number one wide receiver. Among wideouts he has the most targets, the third-most receptions, the fourth-most yards and the most touchdowns. With the latter being the most important stat of all, I'm not fearful to start him against a great Cowboys secondary. Dallas held Cruz to one of his worst performances of the year in Week 1, thanks in part to three dropped passes, but things have dramatically changed since their first meeting. In their last three games, Dallas has allowed four touchdowns to wide receivers, something they did not allow to happen once in the first three weeks.
Week Seven Analysis: Don't be surprised if you see Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy sitting next to the Giants end zone. It's going to be a "So You Think You Can Dance" audition on Sunday as Victor Cruz should score at will against the Redskins. Cruz has now scored five touchdowns in the last three weeks (including one against the tough San Francisco defense last week and another against Nnamdi Asomugha and the Eagles three weeks ago). He faces a Washington defense that is among the worst pass defenses in the league. The Redskins have allowed the most pass plays in the NFL of 40 or more yards and have allowed eight different players to top 80 yards and score this season.
Week Six Analysis: Only Reggie Wayne and Percy Harvin have more receptions than Victor Cruz, but no one does more with each reception than Cruz. Cruz's five touchdowns, including three just last week, lead all wide receivers. He's scoring a touchdown on every seven catches. Cruz and Eli Manning bring their top-flight offense to San Francisco, in a rematch of last year's playoff game. In that thriller, Cruz went berserk. He was thrown to 17 times (!), caught 10 for 142 yards. Wow! He can't replicate those numbers here, especially since the Niners are allowing the fewest yards per catch to wide receivers, and have only allowed one touchdown to wideouts this season. I see a lot of passing coming in this game, and I'm still high on Cruz.
Week Five Analysis: Since Week 3 of last year, no player has more games with both 90 yards and a touchdown than Victor Cruz. Cruz has had nine such games in only 18 weeks of action. Let me repeat that. Cruz is good for 90 yards and a touchdown in half his games! The Joe Haden-less Browns secondary has been as aimless as using Siri to activate the iPhone Map feature to find an Illuminati meeting. Without Haden, the following receivers have had either 100 yards or a touchdown (take a deep breath): A.J. Green, Steve Johnson, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Brandon Tate, Andrew Hawkins and T.J. Graham. And that was in only three weeks of play.
Week Four Analysis: It's been a roller coaster of emotion for Victor Cruz owners this season. While Cruz is currently third in the NFL in targets and fourth in receptions, he also leads the league in dropped balls and has had substandard fantasy performances in two of the last three weeks. What you need to focus on is the insane upside that Cruz possesses. Since the beginning of last season, Cruz is responsible for six of the nine longest plays from scrimmage for the Giants, including five from beyond 70 yards. One of those long balls was against the Philadelphia Eagles. Last week the Eagles' defense allowed Larry Fitzgerald to go off for 114 yards and a score. In Cruz's two matchups with the Eagles last season, he eclipsed 110 yards and scored in both contests.
Week Three Analysis: It's no wonder that the man who has been targeted the most in the NFL through the first two weeks is also leading the league in receiving yards. Technically, Victor Cruz is tied for the lead at 237 yards with his teammate Hakeem Nicks. In Cruz's last nine regular season games, he's averaging 122 yards per game. During that nine-week span (from Week 11 through Week 2) Cruz has also accounted for four of the 15 highest receiving yards performances in the NFL, with all four games totaling 157 or more yards. Can the Panthers stop him? Carolina held the Saints' wide receivers to seven catches and 93 yards last week, which bodes well for them. But with Hakeem Nicks out, the Giants' passing game goes through Cruz's hands. Hopefully the ball won't.
Week Two Analysis: Victor Cruz takes on Tampa this weekend in the Meadowlands. The Bucs have allowed a 100-yard game or multiple wide receiver touchdowns in each of their last four outings (dating back to last season). While Aqib Talib is an above average cornerback, he gambles a lot, and Eli Manning has toasted cornerbacks with twice his skill while sleeping. A gambling Talib plus a sliver of daylight is the equation for a Victor Cruz salsa dance. Don't give up on Cruz after a few drops, he's primed to prove the doubters wrong.
Week One Analysis: In the 13 games where Victor Cruz was targeted five or more times, his average stat line was six receptions for 116 yards. He also had nine touchdowns over that span. Those are awesome numbers. You might be wondering about his stats in the two games against the Cowboys. Cruz tallied 12 receptions for 252 yards and a score in their two games. The Cowboys are hoping that the addition of Brandon Carr and Morris Claiborne to the secondary will help bolster a secondary that was the ninth easiest to pass on last season. But, asking a rookie and a new free agent to be ready to shut down an explosive passing game in the season opener might not be reasonable.
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