Since becoming a major player in the New York Giants offense in Week 3, receiver Victor Cruz had his second-lowest output of the season in Week 15 against the Washington Redskins. Not the best time to have a dud for fantasy owners counting on him in their semifinals. But Cruz could be 2-for-2 in coming up short when the Giants face the Jets in Week 16.
Cruz had just 44 yards on five catches and nine targets against the 13th-ranked pass defense of the Redskins. His other dud was a two-catch, 12-yard game against Buffalo in Week 6.
Now Cruz and the Giants face the Jets and their seventh-ranked pass defense.
It is a pass defense that has only allowed nine touchdowns to receivers all season. Two of those came in the Week 1 game against Dallas, three came against Buffalo in Week 12 and only Kansas City’s Jerheme Urban has scored against them in the last three weeks.
Buffalo’s Steve Johnson is the only receiver to gain 70 or more yards on New York since its Week 8 bye. Johnson caught three balls for 84 yards in the Week 9 meeting and 77 yards and a score on four catches in Week 12. Outside of Johnson, Dwayne Bowe came closest to 70 yards when he needed 10 targets to grab six balls for 69 yards in Week 14.
Just since the Jets’ Week 8 bye, here are how a few totals for standout receivers not named Steve Johnson’ totals read out: Vincent Jackson 1-for-15, Wes Welker 6-for-46, Demaryius Thomas 2-for-37, Santana Moss 5-for-42, Jeremy Maclin 3-for-57 and DeSean Jackson 2-for-28.
The Week 15 dud ended a run for Cruz where he had not dipped below double digits since the Week 6 dud. In the seven games between, he scored 124 fantasy points for a 17.7-point per game average.
It’s hard to sit a receiver that has produced 17.7-points per game for a long stretch of the season and had two games above 24 points prior to that, but lower your expectations for Cruz against a Jets team that has been extremely stingy against receivers for a long stretch of the season as well.
By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter