Giants vs. Cowboys: Fantasy Projections for Sunday Night Football Matchup

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 8, 2013

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 10:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants warms up before the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 10, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Tonight, two of the NFL's most notable teams will face off when the New York Giants travel to Dallas to take on Jerry Jones' Cowboys in a very intriguing Week 1 clash. 

As always, outside of fans of the Giants and Cowboys, most spectators will be watching to see how their fantasy draftees perform under the bright lights at Cowboys Stadium during this NFC East showdown. 

Heading into this high-stakes matchup, there are a number of players on both teams who will be counted upon to put up big fantasy numbers, so this is a game that stands a good chance at being a make-or-break affair for fantasy owners. 

Here's a look at how the top dogs on each team will fare in Dallas this evening. 


Dez Bryant 

It's no secret that the Cowboys offense lives and dies through the air, so it's difficult to imagine a Dallas game plan that doesn't involve Dez Bryant putting up impressive stats. 

And against the Giants, Bryant's been extraordinarily productive in the past, as noted in ESPN's fantasy spin heading into the game: 

Bryant's talent seems to really shine versus the Giants, as he's posted a team-high 473 yards and four touchdowns in the past six games versus New York.

Last year, the 2010 first-rounder posted at least 85 yards in each of the Cowboys' two meetings with New York, despite hauling in a total of only nine catches. 

Given his past success against the G-men, it's reasonable to think that the former Oklahoma State star is a pretty safe bet to register close to 100 yards receiving, and if things go well for Jason Garrett's offense, a touchdown or two in the process. 

Projected stats: 90 yards receiving on five catches, and one touchdown. 


Victor Cruz

As of now, Victor Cruz appears to be ready to go in Dallas, but his heel has to be at least somewhat of a concern for fantasy owners. 

According to Rotowire, Cruz will be on the field for the Giants, but his lack of production against the Cowboys in the past is certainly worth keeping in mind. 

Cruz seems close to putting his heel issue in the rearview mirror, and while he struggled against Dallas in 2012, his 19 targets in the two matchups indicate he'll be targeted often by Eli Manning. 

Despite his struggles last season against Dallas, Cruz figures to be a near-lock to be much better than he was during his last trip to Cowboys Stadium, when the 26-year-old managed just 17 yards on two catches. 

There's a reason the New Jersey native has put up back-to-back 1,000-yard campaigns, so fantasy owners shouldn't be too worried about his performances against Dallas from last season. 

Projected stats75 yards receiving on six receptions, and one score for good measure. 


Tony Romo

As one of the most polarizing big-name players in the game, the general public's opinions on whether Romo belongs in the conversation when discussing the sport's most dangerous quarterbacks varies wildly. 

However, what isn't really up for debate is Romo's status as an elite fantasy signal-caller, because the three-time Pro Bowl selection has recorded more than 4,000 passing yards in each of his last three full seasons. 

In fact, despite Romo's well-documented shortcomings in big games, the 33-year-old is coming off his most impressive fantasy season to date, as the Eastern Illinois product put up nearly 5,000 yards for the Cowboys' pass-heavy offense. 

But it is worth keeping in mind that during Romo's last home clash with the G-men, his 437-yard passing day was spoiled due to his four interceptions. 

Projected stats: 27-42 passing, 325 yards and two touchdowns. 


Eli Manning

Heading into his season opener, Eli Manning has to be hoping that this showdown goes better than his dates with the Cowboys went in 2012. 

That's because the 32-year-old managed just one touchdown pass in two games, and he didn't manage a QBR higher than 58.1 in either tilt.  

No, Manning didn't throw any picks against the Cowboys in 2012, but he never seemed to find his groove against Rob Ryan's defense, so that's worth keeping in mind for fantasy owners. 

Nonetheless, if the younger Manning brother has showed us anything over the course of his decorated career, it's that he shows up to play on big stages. 

Projected stats: 22-35 passing, 230 yards and one touchdown.