By Christopher Harris

ESPN.com

(Archive)

Week 17

New York Giants

(9-6)

Washington Redskins

(6-9)

Analysis: In Week 17, the Giants will: play as hard as they can, and hope that the Bears beat the Packers. That's the only way New York can get into the playoffs; they must beat the Redskins and hope Chicago finds enough motivation to win what will probably be a meaningless game for them at Lambeau Field. Each game is at 4:15 p.m. ET, so owners of Giants fantasy players have that going for them. Unfortunately, if either the Falcons or Saints win in their 1 p.m. games, the Bears will know they have no crack at the NFC's No. 1 seed, and likely will fold it up early. In Week 17, the Redskins will: continue the "Rex Grossman Experience." Grossman played poorly in a win in Jacksonville last week, but at this point, you can probably expect him to be Washington's No. 1 signal-caller heading into 2011. Donovan McNabb won't be back.

Fantasy Up: Unfortunately for the Giants, Hakeem Nicks suffered a broken toe either during the Packers game last week or in practice this week (or, I dunno, maybe kicking a wall), and he almost certainly won't be able to play Sunday. That pretty much limits the downfield weapons to Mario Manningham and nobody else. Manningham becomes a borderline must-start here; I ranked him 13th among fantasy receivers. … I wonder if Ahmad Bradshaw's ankle is worse than we all think. Where's the tackle-breaking machine that we saw all season? Versus the Packers, his effort just didn't seem to be there, especially after he lost yet another fumble (someone send him to the Adrian Peterson Academy right quick) to begin the second half, when the score was only 21-14. Bradshaw didn't get the hook thereafter, but he also didn't do much, aside from a couple screens. Of course, Brandon Jacobs didn't do anything to nudge ahead in the race for backfield touches, considering he subsequently fumbled at the end of a long run near the third quarter's conclusion (with the score being 31-17). The Redskins defense should present a pretty good matchup, one Bradshaw took advantage of for 105 total yards back in Week 13. I guess you keep playing him as a No. 2 fantasy back, and hope you see more of those patented broken tackles. Jacobs is a flex option. … Chris Cooley was quite the fantasy goat last week. His unbelievable, nearly unprecedented drop of the most wide-open one-yard would-be touchdown in recorded history was a true groin shot (as was the fact that alternate tight end Fred Davis caught a score on the next one). All told, Cooley dropped four passes in the first half alone Sunday, though he did wind up with five grabs for 48 yards. Suck it up and keep using him. … And I don't see why Santana Moss wouldn't see a whole bunch of targets Sunday, considering he's riding a three-game hot streak and has shown fine chemistry with Grossman. The Anthony Armstrong love can wait; Moss is your guy here.

Fantasy Down: I'm guessing Derek Hagan starts in Nicks' place, though Michael Clayton is also in the fold for the Giants. I wouldn't get excited about either. And I guess Kevin Boss also becomes a logical target for Eli Manning, but he's such a boom-or-bust player (if he gets in the end zone, great; if he doesn't, you're sunk) that it's tough for me to put him very high in the tight end rankings. Manning is worth starting, and is inside my top-10 quarterbacks just because of his motivation to play well. He might throw more interceptions -- he'll almost certainly lead the league in that category by season's end -- but the urgency will keep him flinging it. … You're probably using Ryan Torain, but he delivered a bit of a groin shot of his own in Week 16 during fantasy championships. In the first quarter, he got two carries from the Jags' 7 and gained four and then two yards, then ceded the touchdown to Davis. Then he got stopped from the Jags' 1 in the fourth quarter (before finally getting in). Still, he delivered you 12 fantasy points, his third straight game with double digits. It's a tough matchup against a stoked Giants defense, but use Torain anyway.


Christopher Harris is a fantasy analyst for ESPN.com. He is a six-time Fantasy Sports Writers Association award winner. You can ask him questions at www.facebook.com/writerboy and follow him at www.twitter.com/writerboyESPN.

Fantasy Focus Football

Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz discuss CJ Spiller being sent to the short-term IR, answer questions from the mailbag and welcome Nat Coombs to talk Lions-Falcons and British trivia.

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?