Fantasy Football Update: Giants vs. 49er’s

Adam Nardelli | Fantasy Contributor

Week 5: I was slightly (well more than slightly) off on my fantasy recommendations last week, but I sure was glad about that.  I recommended not starting Eli Manning, who threw 3 touchdowns, and avoiding most of the offensive players on the Giants, such as Reuben Randle and Rashad Jennings who each had a receiving touchdown.  It’s safe to say last week I was glad to be wrong.

This week, however, based on the matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, I hope my overall positive attitude towards Giants players in terms of fantasy comes to fruition. 

Big Blue has a favorable match-up with the struggling 49ers, both offensively and defensively.  

We all know that Eli Manning had a tremendous performance in Buffalo last week facing a tough defense, particularly a front seven who will bring a lot of different blitz looks.  As Carl Banks noted, similar to Buffalo, San Francisco likes to incorporate many different blitz appearances, such as disguising what looks to be like an all-out blitz only to have two linebackers or a supposedly blitzing safety dropping back into coverage.    

To combat Buffalo’s different blitz packages and superb defensive line last week, the Giants plan was to get the ball out quick and not have Eli standing with the ball in the pocket for any significant amount of time. 

Because the 49ers defensive scheme is relatively similar in the way they present pre-snap looks to the quarterback, the Giants might employ some of the same game plan.  The 49ers have given up 17 plays of 20+ yards this season, which is tied for third worst in the league. Eli Manning is a must start in week 5.

As a result, Reuben Randle shouldn’t be a bad option this week in a PPR league.  In the last two games, Randle has 13 targets, catching 10 of them, as well as two touchdowns.  With the NY Giants facing the 20th ranked passing defense in terms of yard (San Francisco), I’d take my chances with Randle this week if you have an open spot because of a bye week or if receiver is a weak spot for your fantasy team.

 I always recommend starting Odell Beckham Jr., purely because he could without question go the distance at any time and should have a rebound game after a marginal game in Buffalo.  After a week of grabbing negative headlines, look for a monster game from the play-maker.

It’s hard to promote starting Shane Vereen as he hasn’t had a catch the last two weeks.  Rashad Jennings, although he did have 2 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown last week, has struggled to put up any sort of impressive numbers throughout this season. 

He’s only exceeded the 50 yard mark once, which was week 1 vs Dallas.  However, as a 30 year-old running back coming off an injury plagued year last season, are we really surprised?  Like Vereen, it’s hard to legitimately encourage starting Jennings. 

And the same goes for Andre Williams.  He hasn’t gotten into much of a rhythm this year, compiling only 121 rushing yards and averaging 3.3 yards per carry.  Maybe one of these guys steps up, but based on what we’ve seen starting them would be ill-advised. 

Regarding the Giants defense, if you have them, or they’re available in your league and you don’t like the matchup your own defense has, why not start the Giants defense?  The 49ers are the 31st ranked offense and the Giants are the 7th ranked defense in terms of yards given up. 

What’s more important, especially in fantasy, is that the 49ers are ranked 30th in turnover differential with a -5.  In other words, in the case of the 49ers offense, Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the offensive squad have 7 turnovers (5 INT’s and 2 fumbles), while the defense has only forced 2 turnovers throughout the 2015 season.

The opportunity for the NY Giants defense to cause some turnovers and accumulate a decent amount of fantasy points is ever-so-present this Sunday night.