On Sunday night, the Victor Cruz fantasy became a nightmare. A sobbing Cruz being carted off after suffering a season-ending knee injury made for a very poignant image. And a good summation of the Giants’ trip to Philadelphia. Cruz’ injury is almost certainly of the season-ending variety. For fantasy purposes, Cruz vacates 7.6 targets/game, a hefty total. Where do they go? As long as Andre Williams is running the ball, it doesn’t seem that many will be headed to the RB position. Rueben Randle is already getting eight targets/game. So while he could see more there probably won’t be a huge spike in targets for him. Odell Beckham Jr is the obvious call, but is probably already owned in most leagues. Larry Donnell, Preston Parker, Corey Washington, and Jerrell Jernigan are also possibilities, depending on health and other roster considerations. But whoever it is, it’s probably safe to say that they won’t be as good as Cruz. Beckham may very well be more talented, but at the moment, as a rookie, he’s probably not as “good.” Donnell may be stuck doing as much blocking as route running. The rest are rookies, raw, or also-rans. So, a big blow for the entire NYG offense. For example, 12 of Cruz’ 21 catches resulted in a first down, second only to Larry Donnell’s 18. Since entering the league in 2010, Cruz is Eli Manning’s most-targeted receiver, and Manning has one of his best adjusted yards/attempt marks when targeting Cruz. In other words, the Giants seem destined to become less efficient on offense. So while figuring out who stands to benefit from Cruz’ absence will be an important fantasy endeavor this week, we should probably also downgrade the rest of the Giants’ skill players. I’ll likely sit out any waiver or redraft trade moves that involve Giants players for now.
Well, he finally lost a goal line carry to LeGarrette Blount. No matter. Bell still racked up over 100 yards from scrimmage, highlighting an otherwise forgettable Pittsburgh performance. Bell is now up to almost 800 yards from scrimmage for the season. And there’s some upside. It sounds odd to say that he’s under performing but Bell hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1 (84 carries). For the season then his TD rate is just 0.95 percent. Last year his TD rate was 3.27 percent. The TDs should be coming, and with it more fantasy points. If you’ve got Bell, think of him as being even better than he’s already been. Doing so might help you let go of or trade another RB piece in order to bolster your roster elsewhere.
West was a healthy scratch in Week 6. Isaiah Crowell was not. Crowell posted 77 yards and a TD on just 11 carries (but also fumbled). So far this is a call we’ve gotten wrong at RotoViz. We were generally down on Crowell and bullish on West leading up to the season. The bold dynasty move: if you still believe in West (I do), try to acquire while his value is suppressed. Through Week 5, Crowell was far more efficient with his carries than West. But it’s not like West was bad. His 0.21 fantasy points over expectation per attempt ranks 16th among backs with 25 or more carries, and eigth among backs with 50 or more carries1 So he’s actually been playing rather well, just not as well as Crowell and Ben Tate. Odds are good that he’ll get a chance to prove his worth again.
This week Floyd posted a 5/103/1 line. His seven targets were his most since Week 1. Other than an 0-fer against Seattle in Week 2, Floyd has posted at least a TD or 72 yards receiving in every other game. Eddie Royal left this week’s game with an injury. I’m not sure yet if Royal will miss any time, but if he does that probably means a few more targets in Floyd’s direction. Floyd’s upcoming schedule includes two favorable matchups against Kansas City and Miami. Through the end of the season his schedule is neutral- meaning no games where you wouldn’t expect him to be able to produce. Because he doesn’t get a lot of targets, there’s always the risk of a dud game. But he also sports a league-leading2 21.3 yards/reception and 14.3 yards/target. Just for fun, here’s Floyd compared to AJ Green through their first 25 targets of the season.
So when he hits…he hits big. If Floyd is not rostered he should be.