Fantasy Fallout: Giants vs. Bears: Brandon Jacobs’ Turns Back The Clock, Brandon Marshall Breaks Out & More

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Thursday night games have generally been a disaster for fantasy owners, though last night’s game between the Giants and Bears was the exception to that rule.  Of course there were some disappointing performances, but there were also some solid and great ones.  Let’s take a look at all of the skill players and see how they fared:


Eli Manning – New York Giants
14-26, 239 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT
Grade – D

Despite having a running game, Manning still struggled (including throwing 2 INT seemingly before the clock even started).  It wasn’t his worst start of the season, as it’s going to take a lot to replace that pitiful game in Carolina, but this was close.  The touchdown throw saved it from being a complete failure and we still have to think that there are going to be better days ahead given the track record and wide receivers around him.  That said, he’s a QB2, at best, at this point.

Jay Cutler – Chicago Bears
24-36, 262 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT
Grade – B+

It’s not quite an A performance, but it was still a good one and if you used him he got your team off on the right foot (especially when you add in his 20 rushing yards).  He’s now thrown at least 2 TD five times this season with just 6 INT.  He’s completing 65.9% of his passes and is proving that he can excel in Marc Tressman’s offense.  It shouldn’t be a surprise that he was the better QB on the field yesterday and, barring a tough matchup, he’s leapfrogged Eli Manning for now.


Running Backs
Michael Bush – Chicago Bears
6 carries for 8 yards and 0 INT (1 reception for 6 yards)
Grade – F

He did nothing, which has basically become the norm for Bush this season.  He’s a Matt Forte handcuff and nothing else, so he shouldn’t be anywhere near your starting lineup.


Matt Forte – Chicago Bears
19 carries for 67 yards and 0 TD (6 receptions for 44 yards)
Grade – B+

He didn’t find the end zone and fantasy owners were likely hoping better results from one of the top running backs in the league.  That said, it was a solid performance with 111 total yards and got you off to a decent start this week.  Considering that this has virtually been his floor this season, it just goes to show how much upside he has.


Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants
22 carries for 106 yards and 2 TD (1 reception for 8 yards)
Grade – A+

Where the heck did this come from?!?!  Did we hop in a time machine back to 2008?  There were absolutely no expectations for Jacobs entering the night, but he put up an elite back type performance.  Can we expect it to continue on a weekly basis?  It’s hard to imagine, and a lot of his success likely came because the middle of the Bears’ defensive line was banged up.  That said, we can’t discredit the performance and, considering the way the passing game has played and the lack of alternatives, Jacobs should now be added in all formats.  He gave the team a spark last night and you have to think the Giants are going to continue to try and capitalize on it for as long as they can.


Da’Rel Scott – New York Giants
4 carries for 17 yards (1 reception for 4 yards)
Grade – Incomplete

Cut and then brought back when David Wilson got hurt, Scott had a hard time getting on the field due to the performance of Jacobs.  Even if he did get more carries, though, does anyone really expect much?


Wide Receivers
Victor Cruz – New York Giants
4 receptions for 68 yards
Grade – C-

He gets a worse grade than Hakeem Nicks, despite a nearly similar line, simply because more was expected from him.  He’s considered one of the elite receivers in the game, but he was only targeted 5 times and wasn’t given an opportunity to produce.  Over the past two weeks he has totaled 9 receptions for 116 yards and 0 TD.  The struggles of Eli Manning is going to continue to limit his upside.


Alshon Jeffery – Chicago Bears
1 reception for 27 yards (1 carry for 15 yards)
Grade – D

We could’ve given him an F, because in all honesty he hardly produced a thing for fantasy owners.  After back-to-back monster games, the Bears featured Marshall instead of one of the up-and-coming young wideouts in the league.  When you have Marshall lining up across from you, you are going to have days like this.  He has the potential to be a viable option on a weekly basis, but he could be hit or miss given the other options the Bears have.


Brandon Marshall – Chicago Bears
9 receptions for 87 yards and 2 TD
Grade – A+

Marshall has been struggling to get open in recent weeks, as team’s have consistently brought double teams.  Last night, however, the Giants had no answer for one of the elite wide receivers in the game.  He still hasn’t topped 100 yards since Week 2, but now we’re just nitpicking.


Hakeem Nicks – New York Giants
4 receptions for 70 yards
Grade – C

He continues to fail to find the end zone and, until he does, his value is going to be capped.  The performance looks even worse when you realize that he was actually the most targeted Giants’ receiver (8 targets) and just failed to really do much with it.  It was an average game from a player you expect more from.


Ruben Randle – New York Giants
3 receptions for 75 yards and 1 TD
Grade – B+

He’s the Giants’ third receiver, though he hasn’t looked like it over the past two weeks (9 receptions for 171 yards and 3 TD).  He’s still a tough player to trust on a weekly basis, but at this point he appears to be one well worth owning.


Tight Ends
Martellus Bennett – Chicago Bears
6 receptions for 68 yards
Grade – C

There were questions on if he was going to play or not, so there’s nothing wrong with this performance (he was actually the second most targeted player for the Bears).  That said, the performance was also nothing special and, if you opted not to gamble on him, would be easily replaced from another source.


Brandon Myers – New York Giants
0 receptions for 0 yards
Grade – Incomplete

He should get an F, but he was only targeted once all night so it’s hard to fully blame him.  The Giants did a better job protecting Manning and running the football, yet Myers still wasn’t viewed as an option.  At this point it’s hard to consider him a viable option under any circumstance unless things change dramatically.


Make sure to check out all of our Week 6 Rankings:

Sell Low Running Backs: Maurice Jones-Drew & Ryan Mathews
Waiver Worthy: Thaddeus Lewis Starting For Buffalo... What's The Fallout?


  1. Randy says:

    Of all weeks to be facing the Brandon Marshall/Brandon Jacobs owner! Anyway…

    Here is my current 12-team standard league roster:

    QB – Vick, Cam
    RB – McCoy, Forte, Lamar Miller, McGahee, Zac Stacy, Tate, Bryce Brown
    WR – Andre Johnson, Garcon, Gordon, Thompkins
    TE – Vernon Davis, Fleener
    K – Empty right now
    DST – Chiefs
    DL – Whitney Merc
    LB – Daryl Washingon, Kiko Alonso
    DB – Morgan Burnett

    Obviously I need to drop someone to get a kicker, and would love to somehow add Terrance Williams or someone like that. Heck, I’m also intrigued in Roy Helu as a lottery ticket. My question is, could you rank perhaps the 2-3 most expendable people on my team? I’m hoarding RBs… Have a backup TE because of Vernon’s recent injury concerns (and the TE cupboard is bare in free agency), and I only start 1 IDP at each position, so have one backup there.

    What are your thoughts on who to drop, and for whom, if anyone (beyond kicker)?

    Thank you and sorry for the long post!

    • Randy says:

      Another ‘for instance’, would be dropping Thompkins for Terrance Williams… Who do you like more ROS? If it helps, we start 2 RBs, 2 WRs and a Flex.

    • Tough call on Thompkins/Williams. At this point it appears like Williams does have a slightly higher upside, but it’ll be interesting to see how much both are used this week with their rosters likely at full strength.

      As for who else to drop, I don’t think Brown is going to have much value at this point or would he ever crack your starting lineup.

    • James A says:

      Brown, Thompkins and one of the IDP guys seem to be the most “expendable”.

      No way to tell you who to pick up without knowing who is available, but you could probably use another WR for depth. Maybe Keenan Allen, Vincent Brown, Nate Washington? Thompkins is going to be a flier at best if Amendola continues to stay healthy.

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