The Minnesota Vikings touch down at Metlife Stadium for a bit of Monday Night Football irrelevance against the New York Giants. One team is 0-6, the other 1-4, and essentially, neither has anything to lose. This means only one thing — they’re going for it, big time.
The contest features arguably the two biggest fantasy football quarterback disappointments of the season so far, both of whom would have gone as a backup, at very least, in most drafts before the season was under way. Eli Manning has rightly seen plenty of drops as the weeks fly by, and his fumbles and interceptions are proving costly in the fantasy ranks, yet he is still owned in over 75 percent of NFL.com standard leagues. His opposite number for Week 7, Josh Freeman, has also contributed heavily to a win-less start for his former team; his top score of the season so far is just 10.40, and after jumping ship to Minnesota, is owned in just 54.9 percent of standard leagues.
Granted, both trigger men have been about as reliable as a chocolate fireguard this season, but if you find yourself in that ownership percentage, this is your week to unleash the under-performers. The ill-fated fortunes of both teams suggest that they are probably not worth a long-term addition to your team, but either one could prove a handy gap-stop for say, Drew Brees, who is on a bye this week, or in place of Matt Ryan, who is on a hiding to nothing against a top pass defense and without any of his leading receivers.
You just get the feeling that given the fortunes of the two sides in 2013 thus far, we are set for an all-or-nothing offensive explosion. Aiding that analogy is the fact that we have two of the worst defenses of the season on show: the Giants rank 24th on total defense, whilst the Vikings average-yards-per-game allowance is ranked 31st with only the Philadelphia Eagles worse off.
Eli Manning has a team of talented receivers — Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks and the recently-relevant Rueben Randle — ready to go against a 29th ranked Vikings’ pass defense that gives up a staggering 308.0 yards-per-game (YPG) on average. Minnesota ranks much better at 17th against the run, suggesting that Manning would be wiser to take to the skies in search of success on Monday Night.
Josh Freeman named Vikings starter for week 7. Could possibly boost the value of passing game options like Jennings/Rudolph #FantasyFootball
— SexyActionFantasyFB (@sexyactionfb) October 16, 2013
Freeman has plenty of receiving talent at his disposal too; Greg Jennings has been a victim of the quarterback carousel in Minnesota thus far, but his potential has never been in question. Jennings posted a huge outing in Week 4 with 92 receiving yards and a touchdown; although this has been his only outing of note since joining the Vikings, he will fancy his chances against a 20th ranked Giants’ pass defense that has given up a joint-highest amount of receiving touchdowns on the season so far. Freeman may also take solace in his tight end with the reliable Kyle Rudolph coming off his biggest game of the season in Week 6. Rudolph will be looking to continue the momentum gained from a 15.70 fantasy points outing against a Giants team that has so far allowed the sixth-highest points-per-game (PPG) to opposing tight ends.
The seasonal statistics continue to offer up clues that point towards a points-fest on Monday Night. The Giants’ woes are well documented, and it’s no surprise that their record points-against total is dead-last in the NFL. The Vikings have not fared much better this season, as they have allowed an average of 31.6 PPG this season, which is the third-highest.
Bringing up the rear and would you believe it, even more numbers that support our reasoning to back Freeman and Manning this week. Only the Dallas Cowboys have allowed more fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season; the Giants are second in the list allowing 23.6 PPG with the Vikings managing only one better with a third-highest 22.9 PPG average.
Terrible defenses, plus talented receivers, plus desperate win-loss records all amounts to one simple conclusion. Every sign points towards both Manning and Freeman letting rip on Monday Night Football, so cash in.