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 KC 60100025020 ***
Shutting down Tom Brady doesn't carry the same weight it once did; in other words, it's not necessarily a matchup to be feared for Kaepernick. He's augmenting his throwing with 50ish rushing yards, and there's always the threat of a touchdown, so he remains a solid play in performance-based scoring systems.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF KC 600000000 ***
Gore has scored in both home games this year and is coming off a 24-119 showing against the Eagles. KC's run D is nothing special, and if the Niners are going to keep feeding Gore 15-plus carries he's going to keep producing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF KC 006701000 ****
KC's pass defense has been nothing special, and on the road they're allowing both WR1s and their primary wingman to have fantasy success. That means Crabtree, still the most consistently targeted Niner, should have no problems getting his this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF KC 004600000 ***
Boldin is having to battle a continuing challenge from Stevie Johnson for looks in the Niners' run-heavy offense. So long as Vernon Davis remains injured the tight end-sized Boldin remains the more favorable option. Even if VD is back, Boldin still at least belongs in the conversation for a fantasy start this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF KC 004500000 ***
Johnson scored last week and topped 100 yards the week before, but he's still a third wheel in the passing game of a run-heavy offense--a role that makes it difficult to bank on him for fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF KC 006501000 ***
A healthy Davis would be a lock for best bet status against a Chiefs defense that's allowed four TE TDs already this year. However, health has been a troublesome issue for VD thus far this season so make certain he has clearance from the tower before plugging him into your lineup.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF KC 1133 ****
After a disappointing first three weeks Dawson unloaded with four field goals in last weeks' win over Philly. Nothing to this matchup that suggests he'll match that total, so he goes back to being a fair to middlin' fantasy play this week.

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 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 @SD 20100020011 ***
Geno is still looking for his first multiple touchdown game of the season... but it's tough to see while he's looking over his shoulder waiting for Michael Vick to replace him. San Diego isn't the likely venue for Smith to rebound.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Ivory, NYJ @SD 500000000 ***
Not only has Ivory taken a bite out of Chris Johnson's carries, he's also seeing work in the passing game. That's key because the Bolts don't give up much on the ground; however, no team has allowed more RB receptions, receiving yards or receiving TDs. With more targets than CJ?K the past three games, Ivory should be able to salvage fantasy value with his pass-catching.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Chris Johnson, NYJ @SD 4002100000 ***
Johnson's still the home run hitter, only now he's losing at-bats to Chris Ivory. Worse, the place where he could really do some open-field damage--the passing game--is becoming Ivory's as well. Tough to look to CJ?K for any sort of fantasy help short of crossing your fingers and hoping for the homer.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Eric Decker, NYJ @SD 004601000 ***
No receiver has scored or topped 70 yards against the Chargers since Week 1... but let's be honest, the Seahawks, Bills, and Jaguars hardly sport elite pass-catching talent. Decker made it through last week's game without aggravating his troublesome hamstring, even scoring in the process, and is the best option for any sort of passing game production in San Diego.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, NYJ @SD 003200000 ***
On the heels of 81 yards and a touchdown, Kerley contributed just one catch for three yards last week. With Eric Decker healthy and the Bolts far from a fantasy-friendly matchup, don't expect much assistance from Kerley this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jace Amaro, NYJ @SD 006600000 ***
With back-to-back 50-plus yard games, Amaro is becoming a bigger part of the Jets' offense. The Chargers have yet to allow a TE TD so it's not a great matchup, but his role is pushing him closer and closer to fantasy relevancy--just not this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Nick Folk, NYJ @SD 3311 ***
The Chargers have yet to allow a double-digit scoring effort to an opposing kicker, and a Geno Smith led offense on the road is unlikely to break that maiden.

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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