FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

Prediction: SF 23, NYJ 13 (Line: SF by 4.5)

Players to Watch: Bilal Powell, Jonathan Grimes

Player Updated: Jonathan Grimes

So maybe the 2-1 49ers are not all that and a delicious sour dough bowl of clam chowder. The loss in Minnesota makes this third road game in four weeks a little more important. The 2-1 Jets have taken down two of their divisional rivals and then lost horribly in Pittsburgh. The 49ers defense should be plenty good enough here though the same thing was said just last week.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL -----
2 DET 27-19 11 CHI -----
3 @MIN 13-24 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 @ NYJ Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 220,1
RB Frank Gore 90,1 2-10
RB Kendall Hunter 20 1-10
WR Anquan Boldin 4-50,1
WR Michael Crabtree 6-70,1
WR Steve Johnson 4-60,1
WR Brandon Lloyd 6-100,1
TE Vernon Davis 5-70,1
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: It all went surprisingly south last week when the 49ers just never was in the game in Minneapolis. They trailed the entire way and the Vikings defense put the clamps on them. It was almost surrealistic but an example of the volatility of this season of parity.

Smith remains a game manager and hangs around 220 yards every week with one or two touchdowns. He's only thrown one interception so far though and his performance against the Vikings was a clear sign that the 49ers just did not prepare enough for the sloppy game.

Frank Gore was scoring every week but left Minnesota with just 63 yards on 12 runs as the 49ers largely abandoned the running effort with a growing deficit on the scoreboard. Kendall Hunter has become invisible by now with four runs for no gain last week. This is Gore's show for whatever that may mean each week. In all cases, it almost never means more than one reception per game.

Vernon Davis is the star with a score in every game (two vs. DET) and while there are all those other receivers now in San Francisco, Smith still just looks for Davis. Difference this year is that he is not constantly doubled and tripled covered.

Randy Moss went back to Minny but only caught three passes for 27 yards and he's just not much in the game plan. Hard to drop for a fantasy team since the 49ers are almost certain to need him later, but no way he can be considered a starter. He just doesn't get nearly enough passes to matter. Michael Crabtree remains the primary wideout and yet still has not scored. This is still a mostly pedestrian passing attack and the only change is that Davis is more open this season.

The Jets just lost Darrelle Revis for the year with a torn ACL and that is just good fantasy news for all opponents. Maybe a little less so with the 49ers.The Jets defense just became ordinary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 19 18 22 5 7 26
Preventing Fantasy Points NYJ 9 25 15 14 11 6

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colin Kaepernick, SF SD 40000023020 ***
Kaepernick's last fantasy game of note came in Week 6; in eight subsequent games he's failed to throw multiple touchdowns, topped 240 passing yards only twice (topping out at 263) and rushed for more than 26 yards once. Nothing in that stat line suggests he warrants fantasy consideration here
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF SD 6004300000 ***
Update: Gore practiced on a limited basis Thursday and Friday as he works his way back from a concussion, but the Niners expect him to go on Sunday. He hasn't exactly been lighting the world on fire anyway, so unless someone planted a hypnotic suggestion that he's Eric Dickerson you'll be better served finding fantasy help elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bruce Miller, SF SD 1002200000 *
With Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde both iffy at best this week the backfield load falls on Miller and Alfonso Smith--who combined for 10 yards on six carries last week. At least Miller produced a little something as a receiver with four catches for 56 yards, so if you're in a PPR league and desperate for backfield help he's your guy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF SD 006801000 **
It's been a month since a 49ers wideout produced a fantasy helper, and the way Colin Kaepernick is playing further fantasy help is far from imminent from the San Francisco passing attack. If you must start one Boldin has the most recent touchdown and 100 yard game, but even he would be a stretch at this juncture.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF SD 004501000 **
The Niners haven't produced a fantasy helper in quite some time, and the Chargers have been allowing only one fantasy helper per game. If that's the case, Crabtree falls behind Anquan Boldin in the passing game pecking order, though neither has a tremendous shot at a productive fantasy outing.
Update: Crabtree is listed as questionable with a knee injury. He practiced only on a limited basis this week, and there's not enough upside to offset this risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF SD 003300000 ***
A Colin Kaepernick-led passing game barely goes two-deep; three deep seems like a wish upon a star.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF SD 002200000 *****
Remember when Vernon Davis used to be good? And... fantasy relevant? It's all a bit hazy at this point.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF SD 1122 ***
The Bolts have given up double-digit kicker points in three straight, four of six, and five of the last eight games. So we're sayin' there's a chance... likely torpedoed by Colin Kaepernick's quarterback play.

New York Jets
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 BUF 48-28 10 @SEA -----
2 @PIT 10-27 11 @STL -----
3 @MIA 23-20 12 NE -----
4 SF ----- 13 ARI -----
5 HOU ----- 14 @JAC -----
6 IND ----- 15 @TEN -----
7 @NE ----- 16 SD -----
8 MIA ----- 17 @BUF -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYJ vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Michael Vick 40 250,2
RB Chris Johnson 20 5-30
RB Bilal Powell 20 2-20
WR Eric Decker 6-80,1
WR T.J. Graham 3-30
WR Percy Harvin 20 8-90
WR Jeremy Kerley 4-50
PK Nick Folk 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Jets outlasted the Dolphins last week but losing Darrelle Revis throws a whole new light on the entire team literally. Revis was the center of the defense and the defense was good enough because of him. And a good defense meant the offense could cough and sputter and yet the Jets still got away with it at times. The Jets are not going to fall apart because of this. But they are not going to get any better.

So far Mark Sanchez is hard to measure as he has faced two divisional rivals - always a different affair for any quarterback - and posted decent enough stats but the one game against the Steelers was a 10-27, 138 yard flop. This will be a big test for him and the 49ers have been very good against the pass.

The interesting development for the Jets is the apparent realization by Rex Ryan that maybe centering the entire rushing game on Shonn Greene is not the optimal solution. Greene has rushed 57 times and gained 157 yards for a hefty 2.7 yard per carry average. Greene has always been a slug but the coaches still supported him. Ryan appears to either be seeing the light or he finally got the negatives from some incriminating photos. This may end up with more use of Bilal Powell and Joe McKnight as he mentioned, but this is a bad week to see what other backs might do given a bigger chance.

Dustin Keller has missed two games with a hamstring strain and in his place the Jets use both Jeff Cumberland and Konrad Reuland in the same minimal way. The tight ends have not scored for the Jets this year or even gained more than 33 yards in any game.

Stephen Hill opened the year with 89 yards and two scores but now has gone two weeks with nine targets and zero catches. Safe to drop your week one free agent grab. Santonio Holmes comes off his first big game but so far he has only mattered when facing weak division defenses. Against the Steelers he only produced three catches for 28 yards though he scored once because he used to live there way back when. Jeremy Kerley has two scores on the year and has been consistent with around 50 yards or so per week. Holmes and Kerley make up nearly all of the receiving talent for the Jets. That's not enough for the rest of the season.

The Jets face a defense that will shut down the run game and force Sanchez to throw. And that is just never a good ending for the Jets. Problem too is that the only weakness at all for the 49ers defense is against tight ends which the Jets just never use.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYJ 21 30 8 28 13 2
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 24 2 18 29 13 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Geno Smith, NYJ NE 30000020011 ***
Geno hasn't been a fantasy helper all year, and with something similar to the 226 and 1 he posted on the Patriots earlier this season he's unlikely to start now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ NE 801000000 ***
The Jets are still solid against opposing running backs; they haven't allowed an RB TD since Week 9. But big backs who get carries--like Ivory himself, who put up 21-107-1 in the earlier meeting with the Jets--have tended to have success against the Jets. So we're sayin' there's a chance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ NE 5002100000 ***
CJ?K has essentially split carries with Chris Ivory over the past two weeks. New England's not a defense prone to give up much more than the minimum, but there's some opportunities for a fresh CJ?K, especially against some pretty tired-looking defenders.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ NE 006701000 ***
Decker is housing all the targets, what with a hurt Harvin and really no alternative. It's a nice gig if you can get it, one that certainly helps pad a college resume.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ NE 2002200000 ***
No writeup available
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ NE 004300000 ***
Bottom line, with so little going on in the Jets' passing game there's no reason to look behind Decker and (when healthy) Amaro for fantasy contributions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ NE 003200000 ***
Amaro is a big target with a ton of potential, a word that means "talented but hasn't actually done anything yet." You should have better options at your disposal.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ NE 1122 ***
Only occasionally does Folk kick in a fantasy contribution, though the fact he did so with 13 against the Patriots earlier this year warrants mention. As does the fact that AFC East kickers have multiple treys in three of four against the Patriots, as opposed to just half (five of 10) of non-divisional kickers.

WEEK 4
2012
CLE at BAL (THU) *MIN at DET *OAK at DEN *TEN at HOU
CAR at ATL *NE at BUF *SD at KC *WAS at TB
*CIN at JAC *NO at GB *SEA at STL *CHI at DAL (MON)
*Updated *MIA at ARI *NYG at PHI *SF at NYJ Bye: IND, PIT

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