Week Fourteen Analysis:
Victor Cruz salvaged his status as a fantasy starter with six catches for 80 yards last week, and he'll be tough to sit this Sunday against a Chargers team that is still ranked dead last in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus. San Diego has also allowed the second-most yards to receivers this season and over a touchdown per game. More importantly, they have struggled defending the slot at times, which is where Cruz loves to operate. Last week, Andrew Hawkins of the Bengals totaled 54 yards from the slot on only 14 snaps, so Cruz could find space against a very soft secondary. At this point, you can't count on touchdowns, but he should amass receptions and yards.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
This might be it. If Eli Manning and more importantly, Victor Cruz, don't get off the schneid against the Redskins, it may be time to cut the cord as a fantasy starter this season. Manning has thrown just three touchdowns to wide receivers in the last five weeks, none of which have gone to Victor Cruz. Washington has surrendered seven scores to wideouts during that span, so something has to give. In his last trip to DC, Cruz tallied 104 receiving yards, and he should see a lot of coverage from slot cornerback Josh Wilson who, according to Pro Football Focus, has allowed the fifth-most yards and second-most touchdowns while defending the slot.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Victor Cruz came through with his fourth 100-yard game of the season last week, a milestone that's been reached by only 11 other players. The Giants have a crucial divisional matchup with the Cowboys this week, a team Cruz recorded 118 yards and a touchdown hat trick against in Week 1. You can't trust Eli manning these days, but there's no way you're benching Cruz in any format. He's seen double-digit targets in three straight games and figures to remain a focal point against a struggling secondary that's allowed the fifth-most yards and a touchdown per game to receivers.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Victor Cruz is hearing boos from fantasy owners after failing to score yet again in another soft matchup. But Eli Manning has been tirelessly trying to get him the ball, as he's been targeted 10 times in each of the last two games. Cruz was also targeted twice in the red zone last week, matching his single-game season high, and he could bust his slump at home against the Packers. Cruz salsa danced when these teams met last season, and he should have ample opportunity to do so on Sunday. Green Bay has surrendered well over 1.5 touchdowns to wide receivers in their last three games, and that's with the woeful Vikings wideouts sapping those numbers.
Week Ten Analysis:
There could be a need for extra tortilla chips on Sunday when the Raiders do their walk of shame into the Meadowlands. Victor Cruz has scored in both games following a bye week in his career, and Oakland, fresh off an epic beat-down, is one of four teams surrendering more than 200 yards and a touchdown per game to opposing receivers. Cruz owns the slot, and that's where DeSean Jackson was lined up when he torched Oakland for a 77-yard touchdown last week. Cruz has scored just once in the last seven games, but this is a great opportunity for him to get back on track.
Week Eight Analysis:
Unlike every other game they've had this year, the Giants weren't forced to air it out last Monday against the Vikings, whose offense didn't generate any points. That storyline should change this week in Philadelphia, when the Giants and Eagles meet for the second time in the last four weeks. Victor Cruz was pedestrian in that matchup, but he has scored at least once in every other game against them during his career. According to Pro Football Focus, Philly's primary slot corner Brandon Boykin has allowed the fifth-most receptions in Z-coverage. That bodes well for Cruz, who lines up there nearly 75% of the time, and as an added bonus, strong safety Patrick Chung is in danger of missing his fourth game in five weeks with an oft-injured shoulder.
Week Seven Analysis:
There hasn't been any salsa for two weeks, but Victor Cruz could rebound easier than Dennis Rodman on a trampoline this week at home against the Vikings. In Minnesota's last four games, opposing No. 1 receivers have combined for three touchdowns while averaging over eight receptions and 90 yards. Making matters worse, the Vikings have serious issues in their secondary with free safety Harrison Smith and nickel corner Xavier Rhodes highly questionable to play. Cruz is also a beast at home, scoring at least once and/or going over 100 receiving yards in seven of his last nine games at the Meadowlands.
Week Six Analysis:
Only three quarterbacks have attempted more passes this season than Eli Manning, and without David Wilson, Thursday in Chicago, he could be forced to pass even more. Victor Cruz has the most targets among wide receivers in the last two weeks, and shouldn't see a change in production. New York's offensive line looked better with David Diel back in the lineup, and if starting center David Baas makes his season debut in this one, it would certainly help improve their poor pass protection. Be wary though, Peanut Tillman is healthy after having played every defensive snap last week and opposing receivers have combined for only 150 yards in the last two weeks against the Bears.
Week Five Analysis:
The Giants have been awful, but last week their lone bright spot, Victor Cruz, led the league with 16 targets, which accounted for over 43% of Eli Manning's pass attempts. He turned those 16 targets into 10 catches, 164 yards, and a touchdown and is currently the only receiver in the NFL with 25-plus catches, 400-plus receiving yards, and four touchdowns. That'll happen when your team is playing from behind in every game. Last year, he caught a touchdown in both games against the Eagles, who were just demoralized by Denver and have become a turnstile for fantasy points. Philly has also allowed a crazy seven scores from the slot this season, which bodes very well for Cruz who lines up all over the field.
Week Four Analysis:
Things are looking pretty bad for Big Blue, but you can't abandon Victor Cruz just because the Giants got blanked by the Panthers last week. Cruz remains Eli Manning's most-targeted receiver and is one of 15 players with over 260 receiving yards this season. The Chiefs boast a solid secondary, but according to Pro Football Focus, they allowed five catches and 90 yards out of the slot against the Eagles last week, and Cruz is still one of the top Z receivers in the league. There is no guarantee of a salsa dance on Sunday, but with their repulsive running game and propensity for giving up points, New York projects to attempt plenty of passes once again.
Week Three Analysis:
Victor Cruz had another solid stat line as Eli Manning and the Giants aired it out for the second straight week last Sunday in the Manning Bowl. New York will now travel south to face the Carolina Panthers, who appear to have taken a small step back on defense from last season. In addition to surrendering the ninth-most yards to receivers this year, they are allowing six yards per play and a completion percentage of over 72 to opposing quarterbacks. Unlike his team, Cruz is off to a great start, and the third-most targeted player in the red zone should continue to roll against Carolina, who is now without starting safety, Charles Godfrey and possibly his backup Quintin Mikell.
Week Two Analysis:
Victor Cruz looked like Super Mario on star power last Sunday night in Dallas. He blazed his way past the Cowboys to 118 yards and three touchdowns, one of which came from 70 yards out. Brothers Peyton and Eli face off in what many expect to be a high-scoring affair. We all saw the redonkulous amount of points Peyton can produce, but the Giants should be able to counter against a defense that allowed 362 passing yards to Baltimore last week. And Denver still gets a downgrade with Von Miller on suspension and Champ Bailey unlikely to play.
Week One Analysis:
After giving owners an injury scare this preseason, Victor Cruz returned to practice Monday and reported no limitations. But in two meetings last season, Victor was limited by the Cowboys, totaling eight catches for 83 yards and no scores. He was targeted a combined 19 times in those games though. And you can count on Eli Manning looking his way early and often. Last season Cruz had the highest yards per reception in routes run out of the slot, and was the most heavily-targeted "Z" receiver in the red zone. This isn't an ideal matchup against a secondary that allowed the third-fewest receiving touchdowns. But Eli has averaged over 37 pass attempts per game against Dallas over the last three years.
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