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Week 10 Game Recap: New York Giants 21, San Francisco 49ers 31


What you need to know

New York Giants

The only Giants receivers worth starting currently are Shepard and Engram, both have strong value however. Engram has a knack for finding the endzone every week and Shepard can be a monster in PPR leagues with his versatility.

The Giants showed some life on the ground with Darkwa this week but it isn't reliable unfortunately. He is still the clear #1 RB in this offense but he hasn't been able to find the endzone enough this season.

San Francisco 49ers

Plain and simple, San Francisco took advantage of a bad defense that either didn't prepare well or didn't execute what they prepared. In the running game, New York's aggressive overpursuit constantly allowed cut-back runs without a tackler in sight. In the passing game, they constantly blew coverages and missed tackles. To Kyle Shanahan's credit, he gameplanned to take advantage of New York's (many) defensive weaknesses, and it was highly effective. The caution, however, is to not expect this every week unless, during San Francisco's bye, the NFL decides to allow these two teams to play each other each week for the rest of the season.

New York Giants

QB Eli Manning, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 28 - 37 - 273 - 2 TD / 0 INT
Eli Manning had a respectable stat line for fantasy owners but it wasn't representative of his effectiveness throughout the game. Manning's second touchdown came in garbage time on the final drive as the game was out of hand. He forced a lot of passes into tight windows due to the close coverage that the 49ers had on the Giants receivers for a lot of this game. Manning generally moved the ball well between the 20's but several miscues and poor redzone efficiency hampered the entire offensive production. He threw a lot of curl/comeback routes and patterns over the middle to keep the chains moving. Manning lost the ball in the first half with a bizarre play that looked like he tried to throw the ball away at the last second as he was going down but ended up fumbling it instead. He did manage to connect with King/Shepard several times downfield on fade/corner routes, placing the ball where only his receiver could get it. Manning also overthrew Shepard deep along the sideline, and missed Engram over the middle which almost caused another turnover on a tipped ball. His second touchdown came on a simple hook route to Lewis who turned around vs soft coverage and hauled in the catch for the meaningless score.

RB Orleans Darkwa, 26 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 70 - 0, Rec: 2 - 18 - 0 (2 targets)
Orleans Darkwa ran really well for the Giants on sunday and had several explosive runs to keep the defense honest. He had a wide variety of carries throughout the game, owing it to his versatility as a running back. Darkwa showed the power necessary to burst through the hole and carry defenders. He also found big gaps outside on the outside with toss plays and burned the defense with great set up from his offensive line. Darkwa hauled in some passes but he's mostly just a checkdown option for Manning. The Giants did not perform well in the redzone and redzone touches were too few for Darkwa. The offensive line blocked reasonably well for him and he's still clearly the #1 back for this offense. Gallman and Vereen were rotated in as always but they do not get as many touches as Darkwa does in a game. He remains a respectable flex play going forward but expectations should be low as he rarely gets into the endzone.

WR Sterling Shepard, 66 offensive snaps, Rec: 11 - 142 - 0 (13 targets)
Sterling Shepard was an absolute staple for Eli Manning on Sunday as he made big play after big play down the field. Shepard made some incredible catches and got open consistently against the 49ers secondary. He ran routes all over the field and showed his incredible versatility as a receiver. Shepard caught slants/curls/fades/corners and Manning was locked into the receiver. He made an excellent diving catch on a corner route in the first half, just almost scooping the ball off the ground to secure it. Shepard later made an unbelievably impressive one handed grab along the sideline on a fade route, which was held up after further review. Shepard's final catch showed what a truly dangerous athlete he can be, juking a defender in open space before getting many yards after the catch. His value is probably reaching his ceiling in games like this, obviously it will be inflated during Beckham's absence but there's no denying the talent this receiver has. His route running is his best asset, he can get open all over the field.

WR Roger Lewis, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 33 - 1 (4 targets)
Roger Lewis jr. was a non factor in this game and has failed to fill the Beckham void in any shape or form. Lewis was hardly involved in the passing game at all and got most of his targets on the final drive. He ran a nice curl route and snagged a tight ball, despite the defense getting flagged for defensive pass interference on the play. His touchdown came on a simple hook route in the redzone. The defense was playing soft as a 49er victory was secured, allowing Lewis to haul in the ball and stroll into the endzone untouched. He is not startable in fantasy leagues right now, not nearly enough targets to warrant even a roster spot in most leagues.

WR Tavarres King, 53 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 11 - 0, Rec: 2 - 22 - 0 (4 targets)
Tavarres King showed some flashes with his incredible athletic talent but isn't anywhere near a complete receiver to pose a consistent threat right now. He got an end around play in the first half, finding enough room on the outside to secure a first down. King got wide open on an in breaking pattern over the middle, using his speed to achieve separation before securing the first down. He got his hands on a deep pass along the sideline from Manning but he took a big hit after and the ball subsequently was knocked loose. King is a specialty player that the Giants use for certain plays and like to get the ball in his hands from time to time. His hands/size/route running don't resemble that of a typical well rounded receiver unfortunately.

TE Evan Engram, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 31 - 1 (9 targets)
Evan Engram continues his streak of finding the endzone and fantasy owners have to be delighted with that. Engram remained an important cog in this offense on Sunday, though Manning had a slightly softer spot for Shepard on the day. Engram was an excellent chain mover for the Giants over the middle, providing an escape route for Manning when under pressure. He showed consistent hands by securing tightly contested balls over the middle and an athletic ability that defenders have to respect. His touchdown came on a redzone passing play. Engram ran an out n'up, getting enough separation for Manning to threw a high ball while the defender was turned around. Manning tried to hit an open Engram over the middle on the final drive but the pass was too high and almost picked off. Engram is an excellent threat over the middle that the Giants have needed for some time. A more balanced offense in the future will only allow him to grow as a player.


San Francisco 49ers

QB C.J. Beathard, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 19 - 25 - 288 - 2 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 5 - 15 - 1
Although Beathard played better than he had in recent games, the best one can describe his performance was that he efficiently took what was given to him. The Giants defense was constantly out of position, blowing coverages, and missing tackles; all of which made for wide-open throwing windows and long completions. To wit, all three of the touchdowns Beathard accounted for featured one or more blatant errors by the opposition. On his touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin, Goodwin ran by the cornerback, who thought he had safety help over the top; he didn't. Beathard's touchdown pass to Celek was aided by both bad coverage and bad tackling. And finally, Beathard's own rushing touchdown resulted from a red zone scramble in which the entire Giants defense for some reason or another decided to remain in the end zone rather than making an attempt to tackle him.

RB Carlos Hyde, 46 offensive snaps, Rush: 17 - 98 - 0, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (3 targets)
This was likely one of the easiest 90-plus yard rushing days of Hyde's career. Sure, there existed a modicum of his usual bruising running style, but the holes were enormous against the Giants. And it wasn't so much that San Francisco's line blocked extremely well, as it was that New York's defense repeated overpursued, thereby allowing wide-open cut back lanes into wide-open terrain. This phenomenon started early, as in the first play of the game. Hyde took a pitch to the left and eluded Olivier Vernon's immediate tackle attempt behind the line. With Jason Pierre-Paul eschewing his backside contain responsibilities, Hyde was able to cut back to the right and run by him for 28 yards.

RB Matt Breida, 17 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 55 - 1, Rec: 1 - 3 - 0 (2 targets)
With Carlos Hyde finding little resistance from New York, Breida returned to his role of giving a breather. That's why it wasn't until a three-play span during garbage time that Breida gained 49 of his 55 rushing yards, the capper being a 33-yard touchdown run. On the play, Breida lined up in a single back formation and took the hand of on an outside zone run. Like Hyde, Breida benefitted from overpursuit by the Giants' front seven, cutting back through a wide chasm and going untouched into the end zone.

WR Kendrick Bourne, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 42 - 0 (3 targets)
Bourne had a higher snap percentage than usual because San Francisco leaned heavily on two-wide receiver sets, and Aldrick Robinson mostly sees the field in three-wide receiver sets. All three of Bourne's targets came on third down, and he was able to convert all three for first downs. All three of his targets came when he was wide open against the Giants' zone coverage.

WR Marquise Goodwin, 48 offensive snaps, Rush: 1 - 18 - 0, Rec: 1 - 83 - 1 (2 targets)
Goodwin was -- understandably, given his personal situation that was only revealed later -- not heavily involved against the Giants. On his lone catch, an 83-yard touchdown, Goodwin split the Giants' disguised -- and ultimately blown -- Cover-2 zone. Dominique-Rodgers Cromartie dropped from slot cornerback to second safety just prior to the snap, but bit on the slot receiver's route, thereby leaving fellow cornerback Janoris Jenkins several yards behind Goodwin on his post route and with no safety help.

WR Louis Murphy, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 48 - 0 (2 targets)
Murphy started after being signed midweek, but didn't see his first target until the third quarter -- and what a target it was! On the play, Murphy went uncovered, running free through the middle of New York's Cover-3 zone: At the time of his reception, no Giants defender was within 10 yards. Being so wide open allowed Murphy to add 23 yards after the catch.

WR Aldrick Robinson, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
With San Francisco focusing on the run and therefore leaning heavily on 21 personnel (i.e., two running backs, two wide receivers, and one tight end), Louis Murphy and Kendall Bourne saw the field ahead of Robinson for much of the first half. Robinson's only target came early in the second quarter lined up outside against Janoris Jenkins -- which seems to contradict the above 21-personnel hypothesis. Regardless, he beat Jenkins' zone coverage on a dig route and made a tough catch in the middle of the field.

TE Garrett Celek, 56 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 67 - 1 (6 targets)
Celek did almost all of his damage on three consecutive plays inside the two-minute warning before halftime. First, he made a nice hands adjustment for a 7-yard gain. Then he reached down to catch a low throw across the middle for 9 yards. To cap things off, he scored a 47-yard touchdown by beating Jonathan Casillas' man-to-man coverage and then juking Janoris Jenkins near the 20-yard line.