Two struggling teams that are at the bottom of their divisions will face one another for Monday Night Football. For fantasy owners, there are a lot of fantasy starters that will determine their Week 7 outcome. The Vikings head to New York with a new quarterback leading the offense. Josh Freeman will look to give the Vikings their second win of the season as the Giants will be fighting to end their losing streak and get their first win of the season.
As usual, we are here to break down Monday's match up and give some insight on what fantasy owners can expect as we wrap up Week 7.
Eli Manning: Despite the fact that Manning has played like a fantasy wild card during the 2013 season, he has put up decent or great points against soft defenses. He had strong numbers against Dallas, good numbers against Philadelphia, and solid numbers against Denver. He's an interesting streaming option that should put up decent QB1 numbers against a Minnesota defense allowing the fifth-most points to fantasy quarterbacks. That said, Eli is still difficult to trust, and his inconsistency makes him one of the lowest QB1 starts of the week.
Running backs: Brandon Jacobs shocked fantasy owners with an impressive 106 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns against the Bears in Week 6. It's unlikely that Jacobs will be able to sustain his 4.8 yards per carry. Jacobs is definitely worth starting against Minnesota, who has given the most points to fantasy running backs this season. However, Jacobs' owners will want to come back down to earth a bit and realize he's is more of a flex option than an RB2. Jacobs is listed as questionable for Monday with a hamstring injury, making him a risky investment for the final game of the week. If he sits, Peyton Hillis and Michael Cox would get the opportunity to carry the workload. Cox may see the most opportunity with Hillis coming off the street, but there's no guarantee of course. Jacobs owners may want to have either back waiting on their bench if they are hoping for production from Jacobs on Sunday night.
Wide receivers: Victor Cruz should bounce back from several weeks of underwhelming fantasy production. He should continue to be started as a WR1 in all formats. The Vikings have allowed the eighth-most points to fantasy wide receivers in 2013. Hakeem Nicks has been a bit of a roller coaster for owners, but the Vikings will likely leave a lot of production on the table for Giants receivers to take advantage of. Nicks' inconsistency makes him more of a borderline WR2/WR3 that has plenty of upside. As productive as Rueben Randle has been over the past several weeks, he's still the No. 3 option on the Giants offense. That may change in time, but he's a risky WR3 start that could take advantage of Minnesota's defense if no one else is stepping up.
Tight ends: Brandon Myers is more of a desperation play on Monday. He's been a non-factor most of the season, and has only seen seven targets over the last three weeks. If owners need any comfort, Minnesota has allowed a lot of points to fantasy tight ends.
Defense/ Special teams: The Giants haven't been much of an option in fantasy football. There have even been a few weeks where New York took points from your lineup with a negative scoring week. Minnesota may be shuffling quarterbacks on a weekly basis, but that simply creates more uncertainty on what to expect. Josh Freeman is arguably one of the better options the Vikings have. Avoid the Giants in Week 7.
Josh Freeman: Despite the fact that he's on the road, Freeman is being given a great opportunity to debut as the Vikings latest signal caller against a soft Giants defense. That said, he hasn't been practicing with the team for more than several weeks. Freeman is more of a wait-and-see option for Week 7, but he's an interesting option in deeper two-quarterback leagues.
Running backs: As if Adrian Peterson wasn't already the usual fantasy stud in Week 7, he'll now be in the backfield with Josh Freeman. Freeman will likely rely on Peterson in his first start, and has the ability to threaten the Giants over the top.
Wide receivers: Greg Jennings has been a bit inconsistent, but he's seen some great fantasy weeks. It's difficult to tell how often Josh Freeman will target him, but the match up makes him a strong WR3 option. If Jennings doesn't see any deep looks, Freeman may be airing it out to Jerome Simpson a few times. Regardless, Simpson isn't much more than a WR4 option that could benefit from the Giants secondary. Keep Cordarrelle Patterson on your Watch List. He hasn't been much of a factor this season, but he could show some flashes with a new quarterback.
Tight ends: Just when Kyle Rudolph was showing signs of life, the Vikings demoted Matt Cassel as the Vikings starting quarterback. Cassel targeted Rudolph 11 times in Week 6, resulting in huge numbers for the talented tight end. There's no reason to panic just yet. With Freeman now under center, the Minnesota's offense should see a slight bump in fantasy production. That said, Rudolph should be a low-end TE1 for Week 7.
Defense/ Special teams: The Vikings have been a fantasy option for most of the season. The Giants have given up the most points to fantasy defenses on the season. However, the Vikings had a poor week against the Panthers in Week 6. They may redeem themselves against the Giants, but it's hard to recommend them on the road with much better match ups available for the week.