Thursday Night Fantasy Blog: Week 3

Carolina Panthers, Fantasy Tips, Inside the Game, New York Giants, Playbook War Room

The matchup this week features one of the league’s top rushing attacks against one of the best passing attacks. The Giants are coming off a mammoth passing performance, while the Panthers are a week removed from unveiling their new ‘college-style’ running attack. This matchup features two of the league’s top quarterbacks, along with a slew of start-worthy fantasy players.

New York Giants @ Carolina

When the Giants have the ball…

  • Eli Manning:Coming off a week in which Manning passed for over 500 yards, it is virtually impossible to not play him.
    • The Panthers are going to have to move Manning off of his spot with blitzes and stunts to create pressure. Their front 4 cannot get consistent pressure on their own
      • The coverage variations could cause a turnover or two, but Eli should still throw enough to have a good day
  • Andre Brown: Brown looked good after taking over for Bradshaw last week, but understand his touches could be limited this week
    • Brown looked comfortable running out of the shotgun, displaying good patience and vision to carve up the Bucs run D
    • The Giants are not a heavy running team and have shown in the past they are content throwing the ball 40+ times in a game. But with Nicks out, Brown’s role could increase
  • Victor Cruz: With Nicks out, Cruz is in line for a big day
    • Cruz:
      • The Panthers allow clean releases on slot receivers which will allow Cruz to find soft spots all over the field
      • Cruz will be lining up outside which should put him in isolated situations. Advantage Cruz over the Panthers’ corner back’s
      • No other fill-in WR, for Nicks, is established enough to warrant starting
  • Martellus Bennett:With Nicks out, and the attention he has gotten thus far, Bennett looks like a great start this week
    • We are not sure how the Giants will use Bennett to help the loss of Nicks, but some of the targets Nicks received will come Bennett’s way
    • The amount of looks he has received in the redzone, combined with his big frame and leaping ability, make him that much more appealing
    • He has been targeted in the end zone multiple times in each of the first two games

When the Panthers have the ball…

  • Cam Newton: Cam looked much more comfortable in last weeks ‘college-style’ rushing attack. The combination of passing and rushing yards make him too tough not to play.
    • The Panthers utilized multiple RBs in the backfield to create a lot of misdirection zone read plays to enhance their running game
    • The Giants pass defense plays too much soft zone coverage which has prevented them from consistently shutting down passing attacks thus far.
  • Carolina RBs: If Jonathan Stewart cannot go, DeAngelo Williams will receive enough carries to be a warranted starter. However, if both players are healthy, we would proceed with caution.
    • The misdirection runs are confusing for a defense. Even with so much athleticism on the Giants DL, we still think the Panthers should be able to gash them for a few big runs.
    • The Panthers are committed to running the football, but we don’t anticipate enough carries this week to warrant starting both Stewart and Williams.
  • Steve Smith/Brandon LaFell: Smith is a must start (if healthy), while LaFell could be a spot starter.
    • Smith:
      • The Giants play a lot of Cover 3 and do not consistently roll any sort of attention over to the #1 WR
  • LaFell:
    • The Giants are primarily a zone coverage team which should help LaFell get open
    • LaFell has been targeted fairly in both games this season
  • Greg Olsen: With the commitment to the rushing attack, as well as the emergence of LaFell, Olsen should remain on your bench this week.
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