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
WR Calvin Johnson 8-100,1
WR Lance Moore 5-70
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.

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

QB Matthew Stafford, DET ARI 0000024012 ***
Stafford's been held in check by some pretty good defenses this year, but the problem is Arizona's no slouch themselves. Only one QB has topped 200 yards, and only Nick Foles last week tossed multiple scores. Probably not going to end particularly well for Stafford again this week.
RB Ameer Abdullah, DET ARI 4002200000 ***
Abdullah's no Todd Gurley, in style or workload. He'll have to chip away a chunk of Theo Riddick's passing game snaps just to be fantasy relevant this week.
RB Theo Riddick, DET ARI 005400000 ***
It'd be a little easier to like Riddick's PPR fantasy prospects this week if he and Ameer Abdullah didn't see the same number of targets last week. Three backs have posted at least four catches for 40-plus yards on the Cardinals, and that feels like Riddick's floor this week. If he stays on the field over Abdullah in passing situations, he'll move from fringe fantasy helper to legit PPR contributor.
WR Golden Tate, DET ARI 005501000 **
Only two wideouts have topped 50 yards against Arizona this year, and both do most of their work out of the slot. That bodes well for Tate, who sees 73% of his snaps in that role.
WR Calvin Johnson, DET ARI 004400000 ***
Only two wideouts have topped 50 yards on the Cardinals, and both play out of the slot. That leaves Calvin to another game of heavy targets and limited upside.
TE Timothy Wright, DET ARI 003200000 ***
Wright steps into the void left by Eric Ebron's injury, but it's a lousy matchup--no tight end has scored or topped 50 yards against Arizona, and only Martellus Bennett has exceeded as much as 30 yards--so you don't want to dig this deep.
TE Eric Ebron, DET ARI 00000000 *
Doesn't look as if Ebron will be available this week due to a knee injury, but it's a lousy matchup for him anyway. Both the Lions and fantasy owners should give him the weekend off.
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K Matt Prater, DET ARI 3311 ***
Prater has yet to top four points this season; tough to see him doing so this week against a Cards' D that's allowed only one field goal attempt the past two weeks and a total of seven touchdowns on the season.

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
SF vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 10 200,1
RB Reggie Bush 90,1 5-40
WR Anquan Boldin 4-70,1
WR Torrey Smith 3-60
TE Vernon Davis 4-40,1
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.

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

QB Colin Kaepernick, SF @NYG 40000019002 ***
Hope for Kaepernick? His lone fantasy helper saw him throw 46 passes, and every Giants opponent has thrown the ball at least 40 times. Pretty thin nail to hang your fantasy hat on this week.
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @NYG 5001100000 ***
Hyde's had one good game and done virtually nothing since; a cross-country trip to face a Giants defense that's given up more RB receiving yards than rushing yards doesn't seem like an end to his slump.
RB Reggie Bush, SF @NYG 1002200000 ***
If you make the assumptions that Bush is finally healthy enough to get significant touches, and that he's the Niners' pass-catching back, then it's an intriguing matchup against a Giants D that's already the fourth-most RB receptions and third-most RB receiving yards as well as RB receiving scores in each of the past two games.
WR Torrey Smith, SF @NYG 004500000 ***
The lesser target on a run-heavy team in a matchup with a defense that doesn't allow much to opposing wideouts... nothing in that sentence suggests Smith warrants fantasy attention here.
WR Anquan Boldin, SF @NYG 004400000 ***
Only two wideouts have topped 65 yards all season against the Giants, and both were Falcons. Not that fantasy expectations for Boldin are high these days, but this week even less so.
TE Vernon Davis, SF @NYG 003300000 ***
The Giants have allowed big fantasy games to every tight end they've faced this season. Too bad Davis is two years past his fantasy expiration date--and two weeks from his last target.

* 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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