Cooley or Boss? Manningham or Moss? Read our advice on which fantasy players to sit and start as the Redskins visit the Giants on Sunday.
The Washington Redskins will be putting their surprising 2-1 division record on the line this Sunday against the New York Giants. They're hanging on to the last shred of hope that they can still make the playoffs. The Redskins have five games left, and they probably must win all of them. More importantly though, you've probably only got two more regular season games left in your fantasy football leagues. Time to make a move.
As we do every week, we'll go position by position through the Redskins vs. Giants game, giving fantasy advice, and using the Yahoo public league scoring measures for consistency.
Eli Manning is the ninth-rated fantasy quarterback this season, and he's facing the 29th-rated passing defense. Sounds like a great matchup right? Not exactly. The past two weeks, the Redskins have held opposing starting quarterbacks to 6.60 and 7.78 points. Manning is no Vince Young or Brett Favre, but it should be enough to make you nervous. If you've got someone like Matt Cassell or Mark Sanchez as your backup quarterback, this would be a good week to switch things up.
Donovan McNabb continues to consistently score between 11 and 19 fantasy points every week. That might end though on Sunday against a Giants team that is No. 1 in the league against the pass.
I sincerely apologize to anyone who followed my advice last week and started Keiland Williams, only to suffer through his three carry, 2.6 fantasy-point performance. If it makes you feel any better, I started him too. Of course I won my fantasy game anyway thanks to Peyton Hillis. Will Williams get more carries than James Davis this week? Will Ryan Torain recover in time to see some action? It's really hard to tell with Mike Shanahan. Sit all of them this week.
The Giants' running backs are also difficult to gauge. Brandon Jacobs has resumed his role as the starter, but he will continue to split carries with Ahmad Bradshaw so long as both are healthy. The Redskins gave up 76 rushing yards and a touchdown to a similarly large back in Toby Gerhart last week, so we see Jacobs as the better option of the two New York running backs this week.
The Redskins will catch a bit of a break as seventh-rated fantasy receiver Hakeem Nicks looks to be out for the second week in a row. Steve Smith has been off and on most of the season, before missing the previous three games due to injury. He may be back this week, but the best play of the three young Giants receivers this week is Mario Manningham, who has scored a touchdown in each of New York's past three home games.
Santana Moss is the 23rd-rated receiver in the NFL, but has averaged just under four fantasy points per game in Washington's three division games so far. One step down on the depth chart, Anthony Armstrong has catches of 53- and 45-yards the past two weeks, but not much more. If you're looking for somewhere around five fantasy points, he's your guy.
Chris Cooley is the ninth-rated fantasy football tight end, and if anyone is going to catch a significant number of balls against the Giants, it's probably him. There are a few causes for concern though. Cooley has only two touchdowns this season, and that Fred Davis now has one. On the other side of the ball, Kevin Boss has been a disappointment for fantasy owners for most of this season, but he has scored over 13 fantasy points in two of New York's past three games. He's likely to continue seeing more opportunities if Nicks and Smith remain out.
If there could be such a thing as a sleeper kicker, Graham Gano is it. He's the seventh-rated kicker on Yahoo, but is owned in just 10 percent of leagues. Gano's 12.50 fantasy point average over the past two weeks makes him a great addition to your team in what will likely be yet another tight and low scoring game for the Redskins. Lawrence Tynes of the Giants is having a mediocre season, and should probably be dropped in favor of Gano if he's still on your team.
Washington's and New York's defenses are tied at exactly 97 points in Yahoo public leagues, and yet the Giants are owned in 89 percent of leagues to the Redskins' 31 percent. New York should be a good play this week though as its talented pass rushers will be facing a depleted Redskins offensive line.