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 SEA 30000021011 ***
Kaepernick hasn't solved the riddle of the Seattle secondary; in four career meetings he has three passing scores, seven INTs and a total of 699 yards. He's run on the Seahawks, however, including 130 yards when the teams met last January. He'll need to run again to carve out fantasy value--something he hasn't done in two months, so keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF SEA 101000000 **
Hyde has scored three of the past four RB rushing TDs the 49ers have produced, including last week against Washington. He's still a minority carry shareholder, however, so tough to bank on him especially given the matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF SEA 4001100000 ***
In a full season's worth of meetings with the Seahawks, Gore has generated just five TDs. Worse, he's been held out of the end zone in six of seven in San Francisco. On the bright side, Gore has topped 100 combo yards in six of seven at home, rushing for 100-plus in four of those games. He's been a non-factor of late, but if San Fran is angling to win this one the game plan will likely heavily involve Gore.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF SEA 004600000 ***
Crabtree is scoreless in nine meetings with the Seahawks, and you have to believe he'll draw Richard Sherman for some trash talk and fun times here. As far as expecting much fantasy help... don't.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF SEA 004500000 ***
Boldin has been the better option against Seattle, scoring in the last meeting after going 6-93 in the matchup a month previous. Colin Kaepernick has been favoring Boldin of late, so if you must start a San Francisco WR this week he's the better bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF SEA 003201000 **
The tight end position has been an Achilles' heel for Seattle this season, at least until the past three weeks as they've held each of those foes in check. Davis has done nothing of note of late, and while he could be a fallback option with Seattle blanketing the wideouts he can't be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF SEA 2222 ***
Tacking on points for an offense that's been below 20 four of its last five games makes things difficult for Dawson. A stout Seattle defense won't help matters.

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 Michael Vick, NYJ MIA 30000017011 ***
Geno Smith will start at quarterback for the Jets this week. As if it even matters.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ MIA 5002100000 ***
Ivory is no longer the Jets' clear-cut go-to back; he essentially split carries with Chris Johnson last week and doesn't fit the mold of the few backs who have found success against Miami--namely, speed guys.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ MIA 3002100000 ***
Johnson has a couple solid outings against the Dolphins on his resume, though they came two and four years ago as a Texan. Given that the Dolphins just let CJ Anderson run all over them, there's a chance the Jets find a way to do the same with this CJ and/or Chris Ivory. Not a good chance, mind you, but a chance nonetheless.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ MIA 005501000 **
The Dolphins have given up some big WR outings; however there's a big difference between the likes of Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas catching passes from Matthew Stafford and Peyton Manning... and Decker trying to catch errant tosses from Geno Smith. Subdue your expectations accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ MIA 004400000 ***
The advantage Harvin has is that there are ways to get him the ball that don't involve Geno Smith's accuracy. Whether the Jets go out of their way to do that here remains to be seen.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ MIA 002300000 ***
There's barely enough passing game productivity to feed one, maybe two wide receivers in New York. Kerley is running a distant third to Eric Decker and Percy Harvin, so there's no reason to think he'll be a fantasy factor here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ MIA 1111 ***
Folk has a total of 20 points over the past for games, kicking for an offense that hasn't topped 25 all year. Neither of those bode well for his fantasy prospects this week.

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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