Welcome to the Week 10 “My Fantasy” breakdown of the Giants-49ers game.
This week is one to keep a close eye on who to monitor due to injuries to Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham.
As always, we label our Start, Monitor and Sit categories after songs. In honor of the great Heavy D., this week’s “My Fantasy” is dedicated to the Overweight Lover. Most of you know I am a huge old school hip-hop fan and Heavy D. had great flow. My favorite Heavy D. rap comes in a cameo in Janet Jackson’s “Alright.” Rest in peace Heavy D.
*The number next to certain players is the amount of times that player has been targeted this season.
“WE GOT OUR OWN THANG” (Start)
QB Eli Manning –- The 49ers have the top-ranked run defense in the NFL which means Manning and the Giants have to attack through the air. Manning has thrown for two touchdowns in each of his last two games. The Giants will likely need that kind of game from him again since the Niners have not allowed a rushing touchdown all season. Even with a banged up Nicks and Manningham, Manning is still a good starting option.
WR Victor Cruz (53) –- The injuries to Nicks and Manningham makes Cruz that much more of an attractive start option. In his last two games, Cruz has been targeted 20 times by Manning. He had six catches for 91 yards against the Patriots and Manning continues to look for him when the Giants need a third-down conversion. If Manningham or Nicks is out, Cruz becomes a terrific start.
TE Jake Ballard (31) –- After last week, Ballard has become pretty much a weekly start option for those without an elite TE. He had four catches for 67 yards and the game-winning touchdown. His monster 28-yard catch over the middle on the game-winning drive shows how much trust Manning has in Ballard and how clutch the tight end is. The 49ers have good linebackers and are allowing an average of 63.5 yards receiving but just two touchdowns all season to tight ends. If Nicks or Manningham does not play, Ballard should see more targets.
RB Brandon Jacobs (13) –- This suggestion is really more for those who are in running back heavy leagues or those who are desperate for a RB2 or flex option. The Niners are the best against the run, allowing only 70.8 yards rushing this season. And they haven’t given up a single rushing touchdown. Jacobs ran hard last week and gained 72 yards on 18 carries with one touchdown. The Giants need more of that to help Manning establish some play-action. But we think you should only start Jacobs if desperate for a running back and hope that he also gets four catches or more as well for those in PPR leagues.
Giants defense –- The Giants have struggled against the run this season and now have to find a way to slow down Frank Gore, who is looking for his sixth straight 100-yard rushing game. But the Giants defense put together its most consistent performance against the Patriots last week. If they can force Alex Smith to throw, the Giants defense will try to add to its NFL-leading sack total and perhaps force a turnover along the way.
49ers: RB Frank Gore, TE Vernon Davis, WR Michael Crabtree (in PPR leagues), SF defense.
“NOW THAT WE FOUND LOVE (WHAT ARE WE GONNA DO)” (Monitor)
WR Hakeem Nicks (61) –- He’s going to be a game-time decision which means you will have to wait until around 3 p.m. to know his status. If he is active, you should start him. Nicks slowly eased his way back into things this week with a hamstring injury but he ran full speed on it Tuesday and Wednesday and then practiced Thursday and Friday on a limited basis without any setbacks. He was examined by doctors on Saturday before taking the trip to California. If he doesn’t suffer a setback before the game, Nicks should be in your lineup.
WR Mario Manningham (52) –- Manningham was a surprise addition to the injury report with a knee injury on Saturday morning. He made the trip to San Francisco but is listed as questionable and will be a game-time decision. He experienced swelling Saturday morning so the team will have to see how he is feeling on Sunday.
Manningham had seven targets last week but only three catches for 33 yards. He did score a touchdown which shows that Manning will look for him in the red zone. Like Nicks, you will have to wait until before the afternoon game to see if he will play. If Manningham is active, he’s a flex option but could be a risky one based on this injury.
WR Ramses Barden (5)–- Barden made his season debut and had two catches for 24 yards and looked good. If Nicks or Manningham or both do not play, Barden will be in line for a good amount of action since he is the fourth wide receiver. If both Nicks and Manningham play, it’s probably best to wait and see how he does in the game before putting him in your lineup. There doesn’t seem to be enough balls to go around with Nicks, Manningham and Cruz ahead of him. He could be considered a WR3/flex option if Nicks or Manningham is out.
“IS IT GOOD TO YOU” (Sit)
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (29) –- Bradshaw is out again with a fracture in his right foot. Hope that he returns in the next few weeks to try and play on it.
RB D.J. Ware (5) –- Ware had seven carries for 23 yards last week but that isn’t enough to warrant starting him.
TE Travis Beckum (3) –- Unfortunately, Beckum didn’t receive a target last week.
RB Da’Rel Scott –- The rookie speedster got a carry last week and gained a first down on a five-yard run. But until he gets more carries, Scott is best left alone.
49ers: QB Alex Smith (unless desperate), WR Braylon Edwards (potential option for desperate owners in PPR).
And here are the answers to the fantasy Q&A this week. Good luck!