Wednesday, September 5, 2012

2012 Regular Season Opener Cowboys @ Giants

Fantasy Football is back!! Here are some thoughts about the regular season opener!

First Quarter:

Nicks and Cruz look like they will be a tough matchup for anyone again this year, with Cruz burning Brandon Carr for a 26 yard gain (finsihing the quarter with 3 catches for 35 yards) on a beautiful lob pass from Manning and Nicks taking advantage of first rounder CB Morris Claiborne twice for 18 yards.

Rookie David Wilson fumbles on his second carry of the season, that's something that he has struggled with in college (7 fumbles in his college career) and needs to correct it if he wants to have a big role this season.

The Giants front four looks great creating a ton of pressure on Romo and forcing him to make his throws quickly one of which is almost picked off by Corey Webster. The Giants pressure was on display when they made a great stop on 4th and inches to stuff Vickers. It is very clear that a healthy Giants defense will be a tough matchup this season.

Martelleus Bennett looks like he will have a big role this season, catching 2 passes for 19 yards in the first quarter as Eli seems to rely heavily on him when he needs to get rid of the ball quickly. I have him 20th at TE for the year, but he has upside for much more.

There was a lot of hype about Dwayne Harris in the pre-season after a 118 yard, two TD game, but it's Kevin Ogletree who is the 3rd WR for the Cowboys finishing the quarter with two big catches for 23 yards.

Second Quarter

The Giants QB pressure continues and the front four creates an easy interception for Michael Boley that is almost taken to the house for a TD. The Cowboys proceed to stuff Bradshaw twice and (with the help of a blatant holding call) hold the Giants to only a FG. 3-0 Giants at the with 9 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, so much for the shootout.

Jason Witten is active but only makes one catch for 3 yards in the first half in limited playing time. I'm not at all surprised, the fact he is playing is amazing, but he should really benefit from the 10 days before next Sundays game.

After his fumble, David Wilson doesn't get another carry in the half, finishing with just 2 carries to 10 carries for Bradshaw. Bradshaw doesn't have a lot of success, only 19 yards but the heavy workload is a good sign for a guy that's battled the injuries he has in the past few seasons.

Dez Bryant has 3 catches for 69 yards and shows off his amazing talent with a big 38 yard catch. However, it is Ogletree who is the Cowboys star of the half finishing with 5 catches for 47 yards and a TD. Laurent Robinson was a beast in the 3rd WR role last season so Ogletree if he sticks there all season has major upside.

Third Quarter

The Dallas offensive line finally starts to play well as they help turn the start of the third quarter into the DeMarco Murray show. This allows the passing game to open up a little more leading to a nice 40 yard pass to Kevin Ogletree for his second TD of the night. Ogletree will be a hot pickup this week and could have a Laurent Robinson like 2011 season. However, keep in mind that with Witten limited and Austin just coming back from his injury, those guys will demand many of the targets going to Ogletree tonight.

Domenik Hixon makes a great catch for a 39 yard gain deep in the Cowboys side of the field. Reuben Randle was expected by most to fill the 3rd WR role, but if Hixon can lock it up, he could be in line for a big season. Ahmad Bradshaw finished off the drive with a 10 yard TD run which may have saved his fantasy day as he struggled in his 12 carries to that point for only 26 yards. After Brandon Jacobs departure, Bradshaw is now the best goal line back the Giants have and should get a ton of GL touches if he stays healthy all season.

DeMarco Murray puts together an amazing run for 48 yards up the sideline after it looked he was going down three times. He has rushed 13 times for 87 by the end of the 3rd quarter against a very good run defense and looks back to being the guy that starred for the Cowboys when he became the starter last season. He's my 8th ranked RB and the only thing holding him back is health.

Fourth Quarter

Tony Romo looks poised in the pocket and begins picking apart a seemingly worn down Giants defense. Romo put together a very good fantasy day with 309 passing yards and 3 TDs and 1 INT. Miles Austin made three big catches including a 34 yard TD, he looks sharp and over his hamstring issue.

Ahmad Bradshaw bursts through a hole for a 32 yard gain, showing great speed and balance. He finishes the game with 17 carries for 78 yards and 1 TD as well as 2 receptions for 15 yards. I have him ranked 19th at RB for the season based on his injury issues, but based on how good he looks tonight, I may have underestimated how effective he will be this season.

Victor Cruz was as sure handed as they come last year, but has 3 drops tonight, hopefully it's just a season opener jitters issue. He still put up a great game in PPR leagues due to his 6 receptions, but only totaled 58 yards. He does lead the Giants with 11 targets, to 6 for Nicks. Perhaps Nicks is a little more limited than he has been letting on. I still like Nicks better for the season.

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