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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 2
2012
* 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
FieldTurf
  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
WR Anquan Boldin 4-70,1
WR Andre Roberts 5-70,1
TE Brandon Pettigrew 5-50,1
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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 18 3 18 2 15 26
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 26 1 30 27 1 23

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Matthew Stafford, DET @GB 0000028011 ***
Stafford travels to Green Bay, where he has historically failed to produce strong fantasy numbers. He has one game in his last four trips with more than two passing touchdowns and none with more than 300 yards. That said, Detroit lost Ameer Abdullah and likes to throw a ton of passes. The Packers looked mediocre vs. Sam Bradford without cornerback Sam Shields. Play Stafford only if you must.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Theo Riddick, DET @GB 3006400000 ***
More work for Riddick is ahead, although it may not matter too much. He's not a good running back, particularly inside, and Detroit's coaching staff knows it. He'll be used in space and as a receiver out of the backfield. Green Bay has stifled running backs so far this year, good for the second best defense of PPR backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Dwayne Washington, DET @GB 300000000 *
No Ameer Abdullah should mean much more of the rookie. The 6-foot-2, 226-pounder brings 4.44 speed to the table. He's leggy and not very elusive, with a penchant for putting the ball on the turf. This matchup (second toughest) isn't a great place to find your first NFL start, and fantasy owners should respond accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marvin Jones Jr., DET @GB 006900000 ***
Jones has overtaken Golden Tate as Matt Stafford's primary target and is even seeing more playing time. The stats agree, too, for fantasy purposes. Green Bay presents a lousy matchup when their top cornerback, Sam Shields, is on the field. His Week 3 status is uncertain. If Shields sits, Jones safely becomes a WR1 in PPR and a WR2 in standard scoring. Bump those numbers down a tier for each if Shields goes.

Update: Shields has been ruled out for Week 3, making Jones that much better of a play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Golden Tate, DET @GB 004500000 ***
Let's forget Week 2 happened ... Tate caught only two of nine targets and finished with 13 yards. That's not likely to happen again In his two full seasons with Detroit, he has snagged 69 percent of his targets. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Green Bay isn't going to be a friendly matchup, though, unless you're a PPR owner willing to accept Tate as a flex who may not crack double figures.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, DET @GB 003300000 ***
Detroit loves three-wide sets, as illustrated by Boldin being one of a Lions trio to play at least 85 percent of the offensive snaps in Week 2. That kind of time, coupled with attention on Golden Tate, makes Boldin playable in PPR formats as a flier.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Eric Ebron, DET @GB 006501000 ***
Ten receptions, 143 yards and a pair of touchdowns allowed ... Green Bay stinks at defending Ebron's position through two games. He's a quality start in any format and a good bet for seeing the end zone.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Matt Prater, DET @GB 2211 ***
Kickers have gone 4-for-4 from both field goal range and extra point kicks against Green Bay, which is only 19th in three-point tries allowed.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  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
SF vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 10 200,1
QB Christian Ponder 200,1
WR Jeremy Kerley 2-20
WR Torrey Smith 3-60
WR Rod Streater 2-30
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 12 13 13 16 7 18
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 8 9 10 5 24 29

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Blaine Gabbert, SF @SEA 20000018012 ***
In Seattle, no thanks. Anywhere, really, but even more so here. Gabbert shouldn't be owned.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @SEA 4003200000 **
Only two other teams have been stiffer competition for running backs in fantasy. Seattle, at home, should hold Hyde in check. Play him only if you have no other choices because of the recent rash of injuries at the position.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Shaun Draughn, SF @SEA 2003200000 ***
Running backs haven't found the end zone yet against Seattle, the third toughest matchup for the position. Sit Draughn in all leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, SF @SEA 004400000 ***
Denver is the only team to have a stronger ranking against wideouts this season. Kerley may catch several balls, but the 'Hawks haven't allowed any touchdowns to the position yet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, SF @SEA 003400000 ***
Smith as 16 targets this year and only five grabs. Yikes. Maybe he gets lucky and finds the end zone again, like he did on one of his three catches last week (10 targets). DFS only.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Quinton Patton, SF @SEA 002200000 ***
Why? He isn't producing enough to matter, and Seattle is thoroughly dominant against fantasy receivers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vance McDonald, SF @SEA 002201000 **
McDonald is probably best left for DFS, but if you have to play him against the No. 4 defense of tights (only six catches allowed), the Rice produce has shown he can produce with limited targets, like last week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @SEA 2211 ***
How many points do you realistically expect San Francisco to score in this one?

WEEK 2
2012
* 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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