According to Bob Holtzman, via SBNation’s Josh Kirkendall, New York Giants‘ wide receiver Victor Cruz will be shadowed today by Cincinnati Bengals‘ cornerback Leon Hall. Cruz enters the game with 57 receptions for 717 yards and seven touchdowns on the season, while Hall is clearly the Bengals’ best cornerback despite coming off a season that was prematurely ended by a torn Achilles.
Even though the Giants have two top tier wide receivers, it makes sense for the Giants to zone in on Cruz because they don’t have the defensive back with the physical dimensions to matchup to Hakeem Nicks. Nicks should see a lot of Terence Newman today; with Newman also receiving a lot of safety help. That approach from the Bengals should force the ball to Nicks and tight end Martellus Bennett.
From a fantasy perspective, Cruz certainly isn’t a candidate to be dropped from any lineups today; however, don’t expect his numbers to skyrocket after two mediocre weeks of production. Hall has given up 21 receptions on 30 targets this season; however, 10 of those receptions came on 14 targets during the first two games of the season. Against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1, Hall gave up 103 of his 262 surrendered yards on the season. He also gave up his only touchdown of his six starts this season in that game.
Hall is coming off a statistically poor performance against the Denver Broncos, as he gave up a reception on all six of his targets in the game; however, he only surrendered 64 yards and 58 of those yards came on four receptions against Demaryius Thomas. Much like Nicks would have, Thomas simply beat Hall with his sheer physical advantages. Hall should be much more comfortable locking horns with Cruz. Hall is a sure tackler and is agile enough to stick with him in open space.