Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

Prediction: DET 17, SF 27 (Line: SF by 6.5)

Players to watch: Brandon Pettigrew

Players Updated: Calvin Johnson

The Lions outlasted the Rams but that should have never been such a close game. The 49ers return home after their upset of the Packers in Green Bay and now that the offense is looking as good as the defense, this team might be scary "let meet in New Orleans on February 3rd" kind of good.

The 49ers won 25-19 in Detroit last year.

Detroit Lions
Homefield: Ford Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 STL 27-23 10 @MIN -----
2 @SF ----- 11 GB -----
3 @TEN ----- 12 HOU -----
4 MIN ----- 13 IND -----
5 BYE ----- 14 @GB -----
6 @PHI ----- 15 @ARI -----
7 @CHI ----- 16 ATL -----
8 SEA ----- 17 CHI -----
9 @JAC ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Stats | Roster
DET @ SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matthew Stafford 10 300,2
PK Matt Prater 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: Facing the Rams should have been a freebie complete with party favors and time to beat the crowd home. Instead it became throwing the winning touchdown with only ten seconds left to play to secure the win. Like the Eagles, this team struggled with turnovers and almost let the unthinkable happen against a weaker opponent. Matthew Stafford passed for 355 yards but just the one score with ten seconds left to play. He also threw three interceptions including one returned for a touchdown.

Stafford passed for 293 yards and two scores when the 49ers visited last year.

Kevin Smith provided more than adequate rushing with 62 yards and one score on 13 carries and four catches for 29 yards with the game winning score. No other back had more than one carry though Joique Bell made his a touchdown from one-yard out. So far, Smith is playing well enough to be the starter and has yet to be injured.

It turned into a pass-heavy game and that meant big numbers from Calvin Johnson (6-111) and Nate Burleson (6-69) while the littlest sleeper in the league only posted once catch for 14 yards. Titus Young added a run for 11 yards but only had the two touches in the game. In the meeting with the 49ers last season, Johnson produced 113 yards on seven catches while Burleson scored on his four grabs for 34 yards. Titus Young - still just one catch.

What may be a sign of better things is that Brandon Pettigrew was the primary receiver with ten targets and five catches for 77 yards. Pettigrew scored once and collected eight receptions for 42 yards in the last meeting with the 49ers.

Playing in San Francisco is not going to be any easier and the 49ers just dropped the hammer on the Packers in Green Bay. The rushing effort is about to get a major slow down but Matthew Stafford will get his passing yards if only later in the game when it no longer matters.

Gaining Fantasy Points DET 18 3 18 2 15 26
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 26 1 30 27 1 23

QB Matthew Stafford, DET ATL 0000030030 ***
Stafford hasn't faced Atlanta in the last two years. This defense shut down the Packers a week ago, albeit one without Jordy Nelson for most of the game. The Packers also didn't have their two starting tackles. Stafford's blindside protection is a problem, therefore volume passing may be his only hope for a strong fantasy outing.
RB Theo Riddick, DET ATL 1006601000 **
Only in PPR leagues, as the usual disclaimer goes ... this is a fine week to chance it, since the Falcons have given up the most receptions (19) to running backs and the third-most receiving yards (143). No team has granted more scores this season.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET ATL 8003200000 ***
Abdullah looked the part last week and was close to giving Detroit a 100-yard rusher in what might as well be forever. Atlanta has been gouged by the position, yielding 166 yards on the ground, 143 through the air, and a pair of touchdowns each rushing and receiving.
WR Golden Tate, DET ATL 0071001000 ***
Two games worth of data say Atlanta is pretty solid against wideouts, but that could be a fake trend. Green Bay and Chicago had no receivers to speak of in each contests with the Falcons. Tate is a must-start each and every week.
WR Kenny Golladay, DET ATL 004601000 ***
Detroit has shown a desire to send him deep, which is encouraging if gamers want to take a shot in the dark. Golladay is also a capable red zone weapon. Atlanta has been mediocre vs. wideouts, and there's a chance this develops into a shootout.
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET ATL 004400000 ***
Unless he finds the end zone, Jones is a wasted lineup spot most weeks. Atlanta has given up only one receiver TD in two games, albeit against the Bears and a hobbled Green Bay cast.
TE Eric Ebron, DET ATL 003300000 ***
The Falcons have allowed tight ends 13 catches for 139 yards and no scores through two games. Ebron showed up to play in Week 2 after a quiet start, and he has been known to disappear from one week to the next. Play him with caution if you don't have better choices for upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET ATL 2233 ***
Enemy feet have accounted for only 10 fantasy points in two games this year when facing the Falcons.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL -----
2 DET ----- 11 CHI -----
3 @MIN ----- 12 @NO -----
4 @NYJ ----- 13 @STL -----
5 BUF ----- 14 MIA -----
6 NYG ----- 15 @NE -----
7 SEA ----- 16 @SEA -----
8 @ARI ----- 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
WR Pierre Garcon 3-40
WR Aldrick Robinson 5-70,1
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: If ever one game said this is the year, this is the year. The 49ers went to Green Bay where they held the Packers to two offensive touchdowns and one returned punt. Cedric Benson went from glowing reports to only gaining 18 yards on nine carries. They held the three main receivers to less than 65 yards each. But it was not only a defensive victory.

The 49ers offense - on the road - scored three times and kicked three field goals. Alex Smith completed 20 of 26 for 211 yard and two touchdowns with no turnovers. He relied mostly on Michael Crabtree (7-76) but threw touchdowns to Randy Moss (4-47) and Vernon Davis (3-43). The passing stats may have gone bigger but the rushing attack was holding it own.

Frank Gore gained 112 yards and one score on just 16 carries like it was the first half of 2011 again. He looked fresh and fast. Kendall Hunter was given nine runs and gained 41 yards but was not thrown any passes.

It was an offense that just all worked and took down the same team that went 15-1 last season. At their house.

This week is a rematch of sorts with the Lions and last year Gore rumbled for 141 yards and a score on just 15 carries. Crabtree ended with 77 yards and nine receptions but that may change with the new receivers. This offense has regained the rushing form of last season and is not only passing more, but passing better and more efficiently. Attach that to perhaps the best defense in the league and yeah, maybe this is the year.

I like the chance of a defensive score this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 12 13 13 16 7 18
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 8 9 10 5 24 29

QB Brian Hoyer, SF LAR 0000017001 ***
Hoyer is averaging only seven fantasy points and faces the second-best defense of his position this week. Nope.
RB Carlos Hyde, SF LAR 10015300000 ***
No team has given up more yards (295) to running backs than the Rams in two weeks. Hyde's opponent has allowed a trio of scores and rates as the fifth-best matchup to exploit.
WR Pierre Garcon, SF LAR 005500000 ***
The Rams have granted only one touchdown on just 13 catches so far, which helps create the third-lowest fantasy points per game average. Garcon is merely a peripheral play in PPR setups.
WR Marquise Goodwin, SF LAR 003300000 ***
Boom or bust, Goodwin trends toward the latter this week. The Rams have had their way with wideouts so far.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, SF LAR 2211 ***
The Rams have provided kickers five FGAs and four extra points, with only three treys and as many point-afters going through the pipes.

* CHI at GB (THU) * DAL at SEA * MIN at IND * TB at NYG
ARI at NE * DET at SF * NO at CAR * TEN at SD
* BAL at PHI * HOU at JAC * NYJ at PIT * WAS at STL
* Updated CLE at CIN KC at BUF * OAK at MIA DEN at ATL (MON)

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