Saints vs. Giants: Fantasy Football Stars Primed for Big Playoff Performances

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 11:   Jimmy Graham #80 of the New Orleans Saints avoids a tackle to score a touchdown over  Dominique Franks #29 of the Atlanta Falcons at The Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 11, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Week 14 marks the beginning of the playoffs in many fantasy football leagues and no game will impact more players than the NFC matchup of the New Orleans Saints against the New York Giants.

Sure, there are serious implications in this matchup in the realm of the actual NFL, but to fantasy owners that's irrelevant. This is the playoffs we're talking about here. There are serious bragging rights (and in some cases cash) on the line here.

With both offenses boasting big names in the world of fantasy football, this game is sure to sway the outcome of many a league. Here's a look at some of the biggest names involved in this game along with projections for what to expect from each.



New York Giants

Eli Manning

Manning has had an up-and-down season this year. Going into the Giants' bye week three weeks ago he had three games in a row where he scored less than 10 points in standard scoring leagues.

Jaded owners should forgive Manning for his inconsistencies this season and insert him into their lineups this week—he has a prime matchup against the Saints defense. He should continue his hot streak since the bye week as the Saints haven't been good against the pass all season.

Projected stats: 25-of-35 passing for 310 yards and 2 TDs



Victor Cruz

Cruz has taken the mantle as Manning's No. 1 receiver this season and rewarded fantasy owners with a big campaign in 2012. 

The play-making wide receiver broke out of a small slump last week when he went for over 100 yards against the Redskins. However, he was unable to find the end zone. Look for him to both eclipse the 100-yard mark and score a touchdown as the Saints are vulnerable to big plays.

Projected stats: 8 receptions, 110 yards, 1 TD



New Orleans Saints

Drew Brees

Brees has been a consistent starter all season despite the Saints' mediocre season. However, last week's five interception performance against the Falcons was mortifying for Brees owners.

It may be tempting to sit Brees after he only scored three points last week, but that would be a mistake. It's unlikely that Brees will be held without a touchdown again and he should put up great numbers in a bounce-back performance.

Projected stats: 26-of-41 for 325 yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT



Jimmy Graham

The year of 2012 has been a poor season for tight ends.

Graham was supposed to be one of the truly elite options at the position this season but he's most been a let down. This week Graham should get on track as the Giants haven't seen many tight ends with the skill set that Graham possesses.

Brees hasn't looked his tight end's way too often in recent weeks as Graham has scored in single digits the last three weeks. After throwing five interceptions last week, he'll be looking to throw in a few new wrinkles and Graham should benefit.

Projected stats: 7 receptions, 90 yards, 1 TD