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Thursday Night Football: Redskins @ Giants

Eli Manning

Two NFC East foes clash on Thursday Night Football as Week Three of the 2015 season kicks off with the 1-1 Washington Redskins travelling to the 0-2 New York Giants.

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Two NFC East foes clash on Thursday Night Football as Week Three of the 2015 season kicks off with the 1-1 Washington Redskins travelling to the 0-2 New York Giants.

Eli ManningThe Giants, and quarterback Eli Manning, will be looking to bounce back after two meltdowns in their opening two games. Eli holds a 3-2 winning record on Thursday nights, and is 34-31 against the NFC East in his career. His Giants teams are 15-6 against Washington, but he has thrown only 23 touchdowns in those 21 games. No quarterback has thrown more interceptions since 2004 than Eli, and 18 of his 185 career picks have come against the Redskins. Thought by many to be a sleeper pick this season, Eli is currently Fantasy footballs 23rd highest scoring quarterback.

His outlook isn’t too positive heading into this fixture, as Washington have allowed the 3rd fewest fantasy points to signal callers so far this season. In his only appearance against them, Odell Beckham snared twelve of his 15 targets for 143 yards and three scores, and is coming off a big game against the Atlanta Falcons. He has 12 receptions for 190 yards and a touchdown on this still young season. Shane Vereen has done precious little work as runner in his Giants career so far, but is already proving something of a safety valve for his QB in the passing game. He has 12 catches from 13 targets. The Giants are not enjoying a lot of success running the ball in 2015, with Rashad Jennings leading the team with only 64 yards from 22 carries.

Kirk CousinsThe visitors, led by Kirk Cousins at quarterback, dealt with the St Louis Rams efficiently in week two, with a big halftime advantage allowing them to keep their opponents at arms length. History would suggest Cousins is in for a long night, as he has losing records on Thursday Nights (0-1), against the NFC East (0-4) AND against the Giants (0-2). He has an average of only 213 passing yards in these two games, and has a solitary touchdown strike against six interceptions. He would no doubt be in a better place to succeed if DeSean Jackson were available to him, given the receivers record against Big Blue. DJax has 855 receiving yards against the Giants in his career, the second most yards against a single team, and has found the end zone four times as a receiver too. When you factor in his Miracle in the Meadowlands punt return in 2010, you can see why his absence is quite the blow for the Redskins.

The offense is still moving, however. When analysing the success of the Dallas ground game last season, people debating as to whether DeMarco Murray was making his line look good, or did the line make Murray look good. Washington will point to option C, namely that offensive line coach Bill Callahan made EVERYONE look good. Callahan is now running the O line for the Skins, and under his stewardship Washington are 1st in rushing attempts AND rushing yards this season. With New York allowing the 9th most fantasy points to running backs so far this season, this is good news for Alfred Morris and Matt Jones. Morris averages 74 rushing yards per game against the Giants in his career, and his 43 carries have brought him 180 yards this season. However, the running back to own in this backfield going forward could well be Jones. His 151 rushing yards so far have come at 6.04 yards per carry, and he scored two rushing touchdowns against a stout St Louis front in week two. Jordan Reed has so far managed to remain on the field, and is the leading receiver for Washington with 13 receptions. Of all qualifying tight ends, his average depth of target is 28th (7.5 yards), but only Travis Kelce amongst tight ends has more receiving yards per route run according to Pro Football Focus. Pierre Garcon has been the main recipient of touchdown passes from Cousins, but he has gone 15 games since he last eclipsed the 100 yard mark.

Fantasy : In My Opinion

Despite having several shares in him, Eli Manning will not be getting any starts in my leagues this week. Odell Beckham is practically matchup proof, and can be started without fears. In PPR terms, Vereen is always worth a dart throw at the flex spot, and is a cheap and contrarian DFS option. The Washington offense isn’t driven towards a high volume passing game at present, making both Cousins and Garcon unattractive. However, given his current form and the Giants allowing the 3rd most fantasy points to tight ends in 2015, Reed is well worth a start this week. He is available in nearly 95% of standard leagues. While Matt Jones receiving ability sets him above Alfred Morris, this situation has all the hall marks of a RBBC, so both he and Morris have flex appeal at best this week.

Giants 17 Redskins 23

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