Oct 18

Out on a limb: Could this be Eli Manning’s week?

Eli Manning has had a season to forget, in both the real and virtual games. He is 0-6, and through those six games is responsible for as many interceptions (15) as he was for all of 2012 – for a little perspective, that was just four off the league lead for the entire season. Anyway, it’s been bad, and you don’t need my writing it to convince you of that. Manning’s 12.37 fantasy points per game isn’t getting it done for his owners, as evidenced by the fact that he currently ranks 23rd in QB scoring.

That all stands to change this week, though. I’m not prepared to pick the Giants to topple the Vikings – though if they can’t win this one, I’m  not sure when they will – but I am prepared to project a strong outing from Manning and the rest of the New York offense.

They last played a week ago Thursday night, meaning that the Giants have an extra four days to prepare for the Monday night tilt, where they will meet a Vikings team that has struggled defensively. The Vikings have given up 13 passing TDs through five contests an average of 2.6 per game, and are giving up well more than 300 passing YPG to opposing QBs. Every Quarterback that has faced the Vikings this year has posted more then 20 points, except for Ben Roethlisberger. Big Ben, meanwhile, threw for 383 yards, his touchdowns just went to Le’Veon Bell via the ground. Jay Cutler is the only passer that the Vikings have held under 300 yards – he threw for 292. Put simply, the Vikings can be passed upon.

Corner Josh Robinson and the Vikings secondary have struggled this year. Cue a big week for Eli Manning (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA Today Sports)

Corner Josh Robinson and the Vikings secondary have struggled this year. Cue a big week for Eli Manning (Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA Today Sports)

With Xavier Rhodes suffering an injury last week and Harrison Smith contemplating surgery the defense finds itself undermanned heading into the matchup with New York. Corner Josh Robinson will have to continue to play the bulk of the team’s snaps, and he has been frequently victimized. According to Pro Football Focus data Robinson has been thrown at 41 times and allowed 38 completions – that’s a 92.7% catch rate, good for the second most in the league. It was Robinson who blew coverage on Brandon LaFell last week allowing his 79 yard touchdown and gave up three completions on three passes. The 479 yards given up by Robinson are the most in the NFL. The point: he hasn’t been good, nor has any of Minnesota’s defensive backfield – none of Minnesota’s defensive backs who have played more than 200 snaps have a positive PFF grade in pass coverage – and Manning should be able to move the ball effectively.

He’s ranked as my QB12, so, I’m not asking you to start Eli over every week starters, but, if you’re looking for help to cover a bye week or are looking for a smart play in weekly leagues Eli, while big brother Peyton is the most hyped QB of the week, could be your man.

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