Kickoff: Sunday, January 1st, 2023, 1:00 PM ET
Location: MetLife Stadium, New York
Betting Odds: NYG -3.5, 40.5 O/U total via oddshark.com
Writer: Dustin Ludke (@theDunit13 on Twitter)
Nick Foles (Sit)
Everyone wants Nick Foles to be the folk hero quarterback savior, but in reality, he has never been that. In his first start in almost a year, he had three interceptions and only 143 passing yards. He just hasn’t been a very efficient quarterback over his career. Even in his Superbowl-winning year in Philadelphia, he had seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He is prone to turnovers, and that was on full display this past week. Yes, Foles has big-game potential but is playing behind a weak offensive line and on a team that is on its third quarterback. The Giants are giving up the 12th most points to quarterbacks at 16.49. You can’t trust Foles this week, as he hasn’t had a good fantasy game since Week 6 of the 2020 season. There is a reason he was the third-string QB. Sit him this week.
Zack Moss (Start, FLEX), Deon Jackson (Sit, FLEX)
It looks like the trade for Zack Moss from the Bills is paying off for the Colts now. With star running back Jonathan Taylor done for the season, Moss has been the main running back. Moss has seen 36 carries over the past two games and has over 50 yards in both those games. He has yet to get into the end zone, which has capped his upside. He faces the Gaints’ defense which is giving up 22.41 points to the running back position which is the 17th most in the league. It’s a solid matchup for Moss who should still see a significant workload. Deon Jackson had a very limited role in the past game after seeing the most carries in Week 15. It could be that with the new quarterback, there was more familiarity with Moss and that Jackson needs another week. You can trust Moss as a FLEX play this week, as he is getting the usage, and the matchup doesn’t scare me. Jackson should be sat this week. There was a lot of hope that he could take a larger role, but given the lack of usage, you can’t trust him in such a crucial week.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Michael Pittman (Start, WR3), Alec Pierce (Sit), Parris Campbell (Start, FLEX), Jelani Woods (Sit, TE2)
It’s a low-volume passing offense so there isn’t much to love about the Colts’ receiving options. Michael Pittman is the leading guy based on snap share, routes run, and targets. Pittman has played on over 90% of the team’s snaps in all but one of the games this year. He only has two touchdowns on the year and has been hurt by the revolving door of quarterbacks. He only has one game under 5 targets so he gets plenty of opportunities, and he can be trusted as a WR3 this week. The Giants as a whole are giving up the eighteenth most points to wide receivers at 32.78 points.
Alec Pierce has had games where he looks like a star in this league and then has games where he completely disappears. He has had more of the latter lately. Without a touchdown, he hasn’t reached the FLEX range since Week 8. He will probably be covered by Fabian Moreau who rates at 54.0 in coverage per PFF. Until Pierce can consistently produce fantasy points without a touchdown, he shouldn’t be in your lineup.
Parris Campbell is primarily playing from the slot role on three-wide sets: He ran 28 (84.8%) of his 33 routes from the slot in Week 16. The Giants’ slot corner is Darnay Holmes who rates at 47.3 in coverage. It’s a solid matchup for Campbell. He did see five targets this past week, which is encouraging. Campbell could shine in this match-up as the Giants will look to shut down Pittman with coverage help from the safety. Campbell can be started as a FLEX play this week.
It looks like Foles may have a favorite tight end in Jelani Woods. He was tied for second on the team in targets with five and was fourth in routes run with 22. He bested Mo Alie-Cox who only ran 15. The Giants are giving up the seventh most points to tight ends at 13.94. Foles seemed to be under constant pressure this past week, and the tight ends and running backs were the hot reads for him. It’s a position that will be tied to Foles forever with the Philly special in the Super Bowl. Woods could be a sneaky play this week but I’m not getting that cute for the championships. He will probably be in the TE2 range. Kylen Granson missed this past week and could be back from his ankle injury and steal some of Woods’s targets.
New York Giants
Daniel Jones (Sit, QB2)
Despite only having one touchdown last week and also tossing an interception, Daniel Jones finished in the QB1 range. He did that on the back of his 334 passing yards and 34 rushing yards against a very poor defense in the Vikings, and now Jones faces the Colts. Despite their struggles overall, the Colts have a defense that is only giving up only 16.31 points to the quarterback, good for 14th in the league. The Giants are still playing for a playoff spot and need to win against the hapless Colts to better their odds of making the postseason. Jones has only been in the QB1 range four times this season. He has a solid floor as he has been below the QB2 range seven times this season with most of those within three points of the range. He probably shouldn’t be started even if he does get into the QB2 range.
Saquon Barkley (Start, RB1)
Zero RB? How about hero RB, which is what Saquon Barkley has been for the Giants and your fantasy team. He has over 5o yards in 12 games this season and has hit pay dirt in 10 games. He isn’t getting a ton of volume, only seeing over 15 carries in ten games but only four out of the last seven. The Colts are giving up the fourth most points to running backs at 26.5, so it’s a great matchup for Barkley, and the managers who risked drafting him will have a solid RB1 for the championship game. You have started him, and he has been your hero. Let him continue to be so this week.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Darius Slayton (Start, FLEX), Richie James (Start, FLEX), Isaiah Hodgins (Start, FLEX), Daniel Bellinger (Sit)
Let’s go Isaiah Hodgins. One of my guys from a month ago has now scored in three out of four weeks, and in the past game had 11 targets, catching 8 of them for 89 yards and a score. He had some big catches when the team needed them. As much as I love to see him breaking out, this week might be hard on him. He will see coverage from Isaiah Rodgers who rates at 81.5 in coverage per PFF. Hodgins is playing on over 80% of the team’s snaps the past four weeks and has run over 30 routes in each game. It’s great volume, but the matchup scares me. He is just starting to find his groove in the NFL in his second year but doesn’t have a history of being a coverage beater. I’m willing to ride the hot hand but only expect him to be in the FLEX range this week.
Darius Slayton continues to be the main weapon for the Giants’ passing attack and draws top coverage, and this week I expect his defender to be Stephon Gilmore, who rates at 80.1. It’s a tough matchup as the two veterans do battle. Slayton has only one game with double-digit targets and only two touchdowns on the year. Since the BYE, he has had over 50 yards in five out of seven games. He can be trusted as a solid FLEX player.
The Colts are giving up the seventh fewest points to wide receivers at 30.37. Even with that, someone like Richie James could find his way to having a good game. He ran 77.3% of his routes from the slot last week and would draw coverage from Julian Blackmon who rates at 59.1. James saw twelve targets last week and caught eight of them for 90 yards. He’s another Giants wide receiver you can put in your FLEX spot.
Tight end Daniel Bellinger is still playing nearly all the offensive snaps but still seeing less than 5 targets. The volume isn’t there right now for him to be trusted for fantasy. The Colts are giving up the 19th most points to tight ends at 10.83. You have to find someone who has more volume or at least gets more opportunities. Sit Bellinger this week.