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 WAS 30000023020 ***
The Redskins have allowed multiple TDs to every non-rookie QB they've faced over the past two months, so there's hope for Kaepernick. However, it's been a month and a half since Kaep threw for multiples and he's stopped running as well so despite the favorable matchup he's a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF WAS 9001100000 ***
Gore continues to cling to fantasy relevancy, but keep your expectations in check against a Washington defense that's allowed only four RB rushing scores all year--three of them in one aberration of a game in Minnesota.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF WAS 200000000 ***
It's still Frank Gore's gig, which makes Hyde a fantasy afterthought.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF WAS 006801000 ***
Boldin remains in the mix in San Francisco, with a floor of something in the 5-50 range and upside from there. It's not an overly favorable matchup, but after watching Mike Evans have his way with the Washington secondary neither Boldin nor Michael Crabtree should have much difficulty shaking free.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF WAS 004601000 ***
Crabtree's the more likely of the two San Francisco receivers to emulate what Mike Evans did last week. In fact, there's probably enough there for both Crabtree and Boldin to carve out fantasy relevancy, though the pecking order seems to have Crabtree at the top.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF WAS 002200000 ***
Davis hasn't done much of anything since scoring twice in Week 1; until that changes, no reason to reward him with a fantasy starting spot.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF WAS 1133 ***
Dawson is averaging more than 10 points per home game and just posted back-to-back double-digit efforts on the road. Coming home to face the Redskins, he should continue to get his kicks.

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 @BUF 50000019011 ***
The Bills shut out Vick a month ago and have allowed just two TD passes in two games since. Vick is getting more comfortable in the offense but he's still a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @BUF 400000000 ***
The Jets broke Buffalo's maiden with three RB TDs when they met back in Week 8; that total accounts for 75 percent of all the RB TDs the Bills have allowed this season. Can lightning strike twice? Risky to bet a fantasy start on that happening here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @BUF 2002200000 ***
Johnson is hanging around as the Jets' change of pace back, but he was ineffective when last these teams met and isn't likely to see enough touches to warrant fantasy consideration here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, NYJ @BUF 2006601000 **
Harvin is getting his touches, but that doesn't necessarily mean he's a viable fantasy play. Between the Jets' struggling pass defense and a stout Buffalo run D you likely have a more reliable fantasy option at your disposal.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @BUF 005500000 ***
Decker is now essentially splitting the targets with Percy Harvin, and while that still puts him atop the Jets' passing game pecking order often times there simply isn't enough productivity to go around. It wasn't enough the last time these teams met, and this week's rematch is shaping up much the same way.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @BUF 003200000 ***
Buffalo has allowed only two TE TDs all year, but Amaro did have 51 yards in the previous meeting and scored last week so he's a fringe fantasy option here.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @BUF 3311 ****
Folk scored five points when the Jets hosted the Bills a month ago; he's done nothing this year to suggest a big uptick on that number when he heads to Buffalo 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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