Not much has gone well for the New York Giants this year. They are 0-6 after losing Thursday night to the Chicago Bears, Eli Manning has thrown 15 interceptions and their defense couldn't stop a snail with a dumbbell attached to it.
There was one bright spot amidst the gloom, though. Brandon Jacobs, rescued from the free-agency scrap bin, put in a vintage performance against the Bears, rushing for 106 yards and two touchdowns.
With the Giants facing pedestrian run defenses in the next few weeks, picking up Jacobs is essential to help your fantasy league. He's a must-start fantasy player next week.
Jacobs put up those numbers against the 13th-ranked rush defense of the Bears. The Bears give up 102 rushing yards per game, and Jacobs took advantage of that.
Next week, the Giants play the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have the 15th-ranked rush defense, giving up an average of almost 105 yards per game. It gave up two touchdowns to Le'Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers in his NFL debut and two rushing touchdowns to Joique Bell of the Detroit Lions.
It's pretty easy for running backs to get in the end zone against the Vikes.
The Giants don't really have other options besides Jacobs. ESPN.com reports that David Wilson is scheduled to miss at least a few games and Da'Rel Scott is barely passable as a backup. The passing game is a mess and Eli Manning can't seem to throw to his own receivers.
In other words, the Giants don't have a choice but to run.
The ESPN twitter account put it best:
Giants are 0-6. Eli Manning has thrown 15 INTs. On a good note: 2008 Brandon Jacobs has returned.— ESPN (@espn) October 11, 2013
After the Vikings, the Giants travel to Philadelphia to take on the Eagles' 17th-ranked rush defense. The Eagles give up 108 yards per game on the ground.
Jacobs rushed for 34 yards on 11 carries when the Giants faced the Eagles at the beginning of October, but he should get more carries than that next time around. He had 22 carries against the Bears on Thursday—that's the type of output he should be getting on a weekly basis.
Let's be clear: Jacobs is not going to save your fantasy team. The Giants are a mess. After a few weeks, teams are just going to gang up on the run and force Eli Manning to beat them.
Yes, that sounds weird, but that's how bad Manning has been.
What Jacobs can do, however, is give you a solid bye-week replacement. He has a few favorable matchups in the coming weeks and knows how to find the end zone.
Put another way, you could do a lot worse. Jacobs is back in game shape and running with the same power that made him such a valuable running back.
He won't regain his 2008 form, when he rushed for 1,089 yards and 15 touchdowns, but he can get you upwards of 10 points. After his big performance on Thursday, he's a must-start for next week.