Game Predictions & Player Projections - WAS vs. NYG

David Dorey, @DMDorey

Prediction: WAS 16, NYG 27 (Line: NYG by 4.5)

UPDATE: Rashad Jennings has a small cast on his left hand because of his thumb injury and is listed as questionable. The expectation is that he will play with the cast but how much it affects his performance cannot be certain. I am lowering his already moderate projections a bit and be aware that he will have that on his hand.

The 0-2 Redskins lost both of their home games, lost to the Cowboys and now head to New York to face the 2-0 Giants. These divisional rivals each won their home meeting last year. The Redskins took theirs 20-14 in Week 12 while the Giants won in New York 32-21 during Week 3.

Washington Redskins

1 PIT 16-38 10 MIN ---
2 DAL 23-27 11 GB ---
3 @NYG --- 12 @DAL ---
4 CLE --- 13 @ARI ---
5 @BAL --- 14 @PHI ---
6 PHI --- 15 CAR ---
7 @DET --- 16 @CHI ---
8 @CIN --- 17 NYG ---
9 BYE ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
WAS @ NYG Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 260,2
RB Chris Thompson 10 4-20
WR Jamison Crowder 6-50
WR Josh Doctson 2-30
WR Michael Floyd 5-80,1
TE Jordan Reed 8-70,1
PK Dustin Hopkins 3 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: Losing both home games sets the Redskins on a bad track to start the year and already HC Jay Gruden had to publicly state that he still believes in Kirk Cousins as the starting quarterback. The reality is that they faced two good defenses - albeit at home - and in both they abandoned the rushing game so that Cousins could throw over 40 passes. This week is not going to be any better. But then hosting the Browns in Week 4 is a chance to start to turn it around. The problem lies mostly in a lack of a credible ground attack so that Cousins has to throw every game against a secondary that has dropped back.

QUARTERBACK : Two weeks in and Kirk Cousins passed for over 320 yards in each game but has just one touchdown against three interceptions. He is spreading the ball around but just cannot punch it in - a rushing offense would fit here nicely. There is really no where else to turn with Colt McCoy as the backup.

RUNNING BACK : Matt Jones managed to score last week and gained 61 yards on 13 carries but he only had 24 yards in Week 1 and has no role as a receiver. Chris Thompson is the third down back but only gets up to three receptions per game. All combined this team only had 26 rushing attempts over two games. Aside from both logging a touchdown, the Redskins backfield is one of the least productive in the NFL. And no different from 2015 except for the loss of Alfred Morris.

WIDE RECEIVER : Jamison Crowder caught the only score by a wideout this year but it is a unit in transition. DeSean Jackson's role remains the same but Pierre Garcon and Josh Doctson are starting to mix in. Crowder remains the slot receiver but the rookie is up to five targets in a game and caught one pass for 57 yards last week. Overall - a mediocre bunch other than Jackson catching a long pass or two and Doctson trying to take on a bigger role.

TIGHT END : Jordan Reed has yet to score but he gets the highest targets on the team and has 12 catches for 134 yards. Not exactly a difference maker yet but at least he's producing around a dozen fantasy points per game.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The bad news is that the Giants defense has truly improved. They just held Drew Brees to 263 yards and one touchdown. Mark Ingram ran for only 30 yards on nine carries. Willie Snead has the only receiving touchdown allowed and still only managed 54 yards.

Cousins will see fewer passing yards and at most one passing touchdown. That will cause post-game problems and it is easy to see coming. There is no reliability in either running back and this will be their first road game. The only Redskins with a reasonable value is DeSean Jackson but even he is likely to only produce moderate yardage. Jordan Reed is a must start every week and he'll likely continue to produce just good and never great yardage without a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 23 22 15 4 5 16
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 4 7 14 16 27 21

New York Giants

1 @DAL 20-19 10 CIN ---
2 NO 16-13 11 CHI ---
3 WAS --- 12 @CLE ---
4 @MIN --- 13 @PIT ---
5 @GB --- 14 DAL ---
6 BAL --- 15 DET ---
7 @LA --- 16 @PHI ---
8 BYE --- 17 @WAS ---
9 PHI ---      
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG vs WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 330,3
WR Odell Beckham Jr 5-70,1
WR Sterling Shepard 6-100,1

Pregame Notes: The Giants are winning games by very small margins but they are winning and not getting into shootouts in the process thanks to a better defense. This week is one of the lightest matchups of the year and three of the next four games will be on the road against some of the top defenses in the league. Unlike last year, this Giants team can hang in close games thanks to their own defense. This week is a chance to post some bigger points than normal.

QUARTERBACK : Eli Manning opened with 207 yards and three scores in Dallas but then shocked the NFL with zero touchdowns against the visiting Saints. The two teams were in a game for the ages with 13 touchdowns scored between them but this year it was a dud. Manning still passed for 368 yards but was unable to post any offensive touchdowns - against the Saints. In New York.

RUNNING BACK : This is still a mediocre bunch that had no upgrades from the 2015 version of mediocrity. Rashad Jennings gets the bigger share but neither he nor Shane Vereen have produced any notable stats. Jennings injured his thumb last week and could not finish the game but is expected to play. I'll assume he is fine and update as warranted.

WIDE RECEIVER : The scoring may not be as big as desired but at least this group is very productive and only the three have caught a pass. Odell Beckham is overdue for a big game which should happen here. Sterling Shepard now has his first 100 yard effort with 117 yards on eight catches last week. And Victor Cruz has even dusted off the salsa dancing in the endzone. He logged 91 yards on four catches just last week. It is alarming that the group did not pile up the fantasy points as they did in 2015 but long term this group is likely the best set of three receivers in the NFL.

Beckham caught seven passes for 79 yards and a score versus the visiting Redskins last year. Even Rueben Randle ended with seven catches for 116 yards and a score.

TIGHT END : No real fantasy value here. Not with three highly productive wideouts.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The situation is ripe for big fantasy points though the same was true last week. The Skins are in their first road game and already have allowed at least 290 passing yards to both prior opponents. They have allowed four rushing touchdowns though there is no comparison of the backfields between the Giants versus the Cowboys or Steelers.

This is the team that allowed Antonio Brown to score twice on his 126 yards on eight catches. They just gave up 102 yards on seven catches to Dez Bryant playing with a rookie quarterback who had never played away from Dallas. All three wideouts are worth starting this week and Manning belongs as well. Jennings has the chance for very good stats this week but he's hard to rely on and already has an injured thumb.

But the Redskins indicate that they will not lock CB Josh Norman to the left side and that he will shadow Beckham on every play. That makes sense. That makes tremendous sense. Beckham was still successful against him last year but was limited. This time neither wants to end up suspended for a week but by all signs they are going to be very familiar again.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 20 25 5 18 22 32
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 23 31 24 15 21 10

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