The 0-5 Giants will look to get their first win of the season against the Bears on Thursday night. The Bears are going to try to avoid a three game losing streak. For fantasy owners, it's becoming common knowledge that the Giants are a team worth starting any position against. Could Week 6 create an overdue turning point for Eli Manning and his offense? Could Jay Cutler start off your fantasy week with QB1 numbers? Could Hakeem Nicks finally reach the end zone and string together some quality fantasy weeks? Let's take a look at how Thursday Night Football could fare for your fantasy team.
Jay Cutler: He's been a solid performer all season, and Cutler is now facing a Giants team that has given up the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks through five weeks. He's averaging close to 273 yards and two touchdowns a game, and he's done this against much stronger defenses than the Giants. Cutler is currently a top-ten fantasy quarterback as of Week 5, and should be considered a solid QB1 against the Giants.
Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall hasn't been spectacular over the past several weeks, but he's being vocal about his desire to see more work on the offense. Marshall should be in for a big week against the soft Giants secondary. Alshon Jeffery has been taking advantage of the attention defenses have given Marshall. The second year receiver had a monstrous performance on Sunday with 10 catches for 218 yards and a touchdown. Jeffery is a strong WR3 start and a borderline WR2 in PPR leagues.
Running backs: As usual, Matt Forte is a strong RB1 and the only Chicago running back worth starting. Michael Bush siphoned one touchdown from Forte's production in Week 3, but has been an non-factor outside of that. Start Forte with confidence as usual.
Tight Ends: The Giants are allowing a lot of fantasy points to a lot of positions and tight end is no exception. Martellus Bennett will be a game-time decision on Thursday, but he'll be a borderline top-ten start if he suits up. Owners should hope for some added motivation from Bennett as he faces his former team.
Defense/ Special teams: Chicago's defense hasn't been much of a factor in fantasy football over the past two weeks, but New Orleans and Detroit have more effective offenses than the Giants do at the moment. Eli Manning currently has 12 interceptions through five games. Expect plenty of turnover opportunities in Solder Field. The Giants have proven they can run up the scoreboard -- they scored 31 points in a loss to Dallas in Week 1 -- but they can also be shut out of a game as they proved in their 38-0 loss against Carolina in Week 3. The Bears are a borderline top five defense for the week. Start with confidence.
Eli Manning: He's certainly not worth a start in 12-team leagues, but he did eclipse 300 passing yards against the Eagles in Week 5. Regardless, the Bears should give Manning some trouble in Soldier Field. He's simply been too turnover prone to recommend starting until there is some noticeable improvement. Manning is a low-end QB2 for anyone hoping he'll find a spark on a short week on the road.
Wide Receivers: Victor Cruz continues to be a strong WR1 on a week-to-week basis and facing Chicago won't change that. Cruz is averaging 11 targets a week and should see his share on Thursday. Hakeem Nicks may be the riskier play despite having nine catches for 142 yards against the Eagles on Sunday. Nicks has been inconsistent, but always has the potential to put up big numbers. If Chicago chooses to focus on Cruz more, Nicks could reward fantasy owners with another big week. Nicks is a WR3 who could end up with WR1 numbers on any given week. Rueben Randle will look to have repeat success after 96 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday. While Rueben may begin seeing more work as the Giants look to shake things up offensively, he's still a risky start until he proves to be a consistent target for Eli. Start Rueben only if you're looking to swing for the fences.
Running backs: Brandon Jacobs is reported to be the starting back for New York on Thursday. Quality fantasy running backs are a bit thin early in the season, but starting Brandon Jacobs is still more of a desperation play than anything else. Chicago has been effective enough stopping the run despite a few injuries to their defensive line. Jacobs is a 31-year old plodding back that will be splitting carries with Da'Rel Scott, who the Giants signed back to the team when David Wilson was ruled out of Thursday's game. Scott could be a deep flex option especially in PPR leagues, but the Giants have a backfield that should be avoided in Week 6.
Tight Ends: The Bears have been mediocre against tight ends this season, but Brandon Myers has been a mediocre producer for fantasy owners. Myers is actually close to being a top-ten tight end in terms of targets (31), but has only caught close to half of those targets. Myers has been limited in practice all week, making him even more difficult to trust as he deals with an ankle injury. He's a TE2 with very little upside if he plays through the injury.
Defense/ Special teams: The Giants are currently the lowest scoring fantasy defense. There's simply no reason to start the worst fantasy defense on the road against a good Bears offense.