Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

Prediction: NYG 17, SF 27 (Line: SF by 4.5)

Players Updated: Hakeem Nicks, Andre Brown, Martellus Bennett

Players to Watch: Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs

This will be a great game to watch and not just from a battle of two good teams. These are two good teams with a history. The 3-2 Giants are only 1-1 on the road and the 4-1 49ers are 2-0 at home. The 49ers won 27-20 in week ten last year when the Giants visited but later lost 20-17 in overtime during the Conference Championship when the Giants went on to the Superbowl. Kevin Williams fumbled a punt on his own 24-yard line to let the Giants kick the winning field goal. Maybe the Giants have forgotten in the whole "We won the Superbowl" thing but the 49ers probably are going to remember.

New York Giants
Homefield: Meadowlands Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 DAL 17-24 10 @CIN -----
2 TB 41-34 11 BYE -----
3 @CAR 36-7 12 GB -----
4 @PHI 17-19 13 @WAS -----
5 CLE 41-27 14 NO -----
6 @SF ----- 15 @ATL -----
7 WAS ----- 16 @BAL -----
8 @DAL ----- 17 PHI -----
9 PIT ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
NYG @ SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Eli Manning 300,2
RB Peyton Hillis
WR Victor Cruz 6-60,1
WR Mario Manningham 5-60,1
WR Rueben Randle 3-40

Pregame Notes: The Giants come off one of the lighter stretches of their schedule with their two losses going to opponents who had a good defensive effort (what happened to the Cowboys is another story). So long as the Giants are playing an average or worse team, they are beating up their opponents like a reigning Superbowl Champ should do. But what is more germane this week is what happens when the defense is top notch? So far, less than stellar results.

Eli Manning has thrown for a touchdown in every game and stands at ten touchdown on the season against just five interceptions. His yardage has been healthy in almost all games as well since that season opening loss. Manning passed for over 300 yards and two scores in both meetings with the 49ers last season. He's been effective if not highly productive.

After waiting for five weeks, the Ahmad Bradshaw owners finally saw a payoff when he rushed for 200 yards and one score on 30 carries and added 29 yards on four receptions. That's his first big game of the year and a sign that he is healthy once again. Andre Brown has a concussion and is out so David Wilson was finally given a little work and even he ran for 44 yards and score on just two carries against the visiting Browns. This rushing offense has been very effective every week with a back scoring a touchdown or more and the team gaining good yardage with one exception - week four in Philly against the only decent road defense so far. Until this week anyway.

The Giants as a team only rushed for 89 and 87 yards in the two meetings last year and did not score via the run.

Hakeem Nicks has missed the last three games with foot and knee injuries and his status this week probably won't be clear until Friday. In his place, a different receiver has posted nice stats - Ramses Barden (Wk 3, 9-138) Domenik Hixon (Wk 4, 6-114) and Rueben Randle (Wk 5, 6-82). Hixon remains a factor with 55 yards on five catches last week as well. No matter who the receiver is replacing Nicks, he is having a good game. Victor Cruz has been a fantasy blessing with four touchdowns in the last two games and two 100 yard efforts on the season. Cruz was able to catch ten passes for 142 yards in the Championship game last year.

Martellus Bennett opened the year as the new stud tight end but now has two games with minimal production and he hyper extended his knee early in the Browns game but continued to play as a blocker. His practices this week should help ensure if he is good to play this week and he played almost the entire time last Sunday on a bad knee. Just not as a receiver.

Ramses Barden has been cleared to practice this week after his concussion has improved.

On the road to San Francisco is going to be a big challenge against a defense that has only allowed six touchdowns total this year and no running back has scored on the 49ers or rushed for more than 53 yards as a visitor. Add in a highly motivated and revenge seeking 49er team and this will be uphill for all sixty minutes.

Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 9 9 1 15 2 24
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 6 1 8 24 4 10

QB Eli Manning, NYG ARI 0000020012 ***
Eli's last multiple touchdown game came in Week 12 of last season against Dallas. His last multiple TD outing against a legit defense... wait, do the Eagles count? No? Okay, his last multiple TD outing against a legit defense came in Week 14 of 2012. And the new offense... it isn't helping.
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG ARI 6015300000 ****
Jennings' 50 receiving yards in Week 1 was a welcome bonus--and a necessary one if he's to carve out any fantasy value this week, as the Cards held a decent San Diego ground game to 2.1 yards per carry. Also good for Jennings: the Giants' passing game is so gawd-awful right now they have to give him 15-plus carries even if they're trailing.
WR Victor Cruz, NYG ARI 004500000 ***
You can't fault Victor's frustration, but if he didn't see this coming he may have been the only one. It will take time for the new offense to take in New York; until it does--and especially if Patrick Peterson opts to throw a blanket over Cruz this week--he's a difficult at best fantasy start.
WR Jerrel Jernigan, NYG ARI 003300000 ***
Of course Jerrel Jernigan was the Giants' most targeted wideout in Week 1. Seeing as none of San Diego's receivers mustered more than 50 yards, you should probably lower your already-stooping expectations for Jernigan this week.
WR Rueben Randle, NYG ARI 002300000 ***
The good news is that Randle likely won't draw Patrick Peterson; the bad news is that it's still Eli Manning throwing the ball in his general direction.
TE Larry Donnell, NYG ARI 006601000 **
Donnell is no Antonio Gates, but he could play one this week. Donnell was Eli Manning's go-to guy in Week 1, while Gates found the seams in Arizona's defense to the tune of 6-81. What faint hope there is for the Giants' passing game likely runs through Donnell.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG ARI 2222 ***
It's a good news/bad news situation for Brown--good that the Giants can't make it to the end zone, bad that they struggle to get Brown into range. Wait until the Giants work out the kinks in their offense before banking on him for fantasy help; it could be a while.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL -----
2 DET 27-19 11 CHI -----
3 @MIN 13-24 12 @NO -----
4 @NYJ 34-0 13 @STL -----
5 BUF 45-3 14 MIA -----
6 NYG ----- 15 @NE -----
7 SEA ----- 16 @SEA -----
8 @ARI ----- 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Frank Gore 100,1 1-10
RB Kendall Hunter 10
WR Anquan Boldin 4-40
WR Michael Crabtree 5-70
WR Steve Johnson 4-50
WR Brandon Lloyd 4-50
TE Vernon Davis 5-60
PK Phil Dawson 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Not a bad sign for your offense when the last two games have seen a combined score of 79-3. That's winning kinda big. The 49ers became the first NFL team in history to ever post 300 yards rushing AND passing in a single game. Then again, look how long it took to create the 2012 Buffalo Bills. The 49ers are on such a well balanced roll that it is hard to remember that only three weeks ago they were spanked by the Vikings. Trap game aside, these 49ers are on a warpath this year.

This will be a bit of a reunion as well since Brandon Jacobs not only plays for the 49ers but could be active this week for the first time. Mario Manningham also helps out the wide receiver corps. As we saw with Robert Meachem last week, going against your ex-employer for the first time can be motivating.

Alex Smith passed for a career best 303 yards and three touchdowns in the Bills bloodbath but that was the first time he went over 226 yards or two scores this year. Even last year he never had more than 242 yards on the Giants. Smith is just a game manager but everyone was having such fun with the Bills that even Smith had a big game.

Frank Gore has scored in all but the Vikings loss and produced no fewer than 89 rushing yards when at home this year. Gore was held to only 74 yards on 16 runs in the last meeting with the Giants but is running fresher than late last season. None of the running backs are used for more than an occasional catch so the success of the running effort goes directly to Gore's production and little else. Kendall Hunter has provided minor value in the last two games while the 49ers were whipping on lesser teams but has not been a factor in any tougher matchup.

Vernon Davis continues his rule as King of the Tight Ends with his first 100 yard game of the year to go along with his four touchdowns so far. Davis has been golden in all but the Jets game and is second only to Tony Gonzalez so far this year. Davis gained 112 yards and a score in the last meeting with the Giants.

Michael Crabtree comes off his best game of the year with 113 yards and his first touchdown but he had been little used in the last two road trips. He's easily the primary wideout here but still a marginal fantasy choice. Mario Manningham contributes only three or four catches per game for marginal yardage but did score against the Bills and more importantly has his ex-employer showing up this week with plenty of reasons to want to have a good game here. Randy Moss has been such a nonfactor you have to assume he is playing football again only because his wife wanted him out of the house.

Of course Kyle "Butterfingers" Williams has his first score of the year during the Beating of the Bills. He would have plenty of reason to want to have a good game this week since he lost two fumbles in the Championship game and his second one was the one that all season ticket holders agree lost the game and sent the Giants forward to win the 49ers Superbowl.

This game could go in several directions. The 49ers have to be pumped to play this particularly at home again. The Giants defense has been nothing special this year and their offense has saved them. What happens in this game depends mostly on if the 49ers can crush all facets of the Giants offense or if Eli Manning is able to pass enough to make this into a game.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 5 12 22 6 5 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 20 16 22 7 17 5

QB Colin Kaepernick, SF CHI 30100023011 ***
Kaep did just enough last week in Dallas, containing himself to 201 and 2 while his defense and ground game did the rest. He may have to work a bit harder this week to keep pace with the Bears' offense, but he certainly doesn't come to the table empty handed--or footed, as it were.
RB Carlos Hyde, SF CHI 401000000 ***
Hyde certainly flashed in the season opener, offering a taste of what's to come once Frank Gore finally calls it a career. He'll be the junior partner in this committee, but considering that the Bills had three backs top 60 combo yards last week there should be more than enough for two Niners to get their fantasy fill.
RB Frank Gore, SF CHI 700000000 ***
Chicago still has issues stopping the run, which bodes well for Gore as the lead dog in San Francisco's backfield tag team. Gore should get the early looks; whether or not that also yields goal line opportunities marks the difference between a solid fantasy outing and a really good one.
WR Anquan Boldin, SF CHI 004701000 ***
That Bolden carved out 8-99 against a porous Dallas secondary isn't surprising; that it came at the expense of Michael Crabtree's numbers is. Maybe it's injury related; maybe it's Colin Kaepernick's comfort level. Whatever the case, at this juncture Boldin deserves the same fantasy consideration Crabtree gets; plan your lineup accordingly.
WR Michael Crabtree, SF CHI 004400000 ***
Crabtree was less WR1 and more third wheel in the San Francisco passing game last week, taking a back seat to both Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. That should be the exception rather than the rule; we'll give him another opportunity to prove that theory before relegating him.
WR Steve Johnson, SF CHI 002300000 ***
With Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and Anquan Boldin all fighting for whatever targets exist in this run-first offense there's hardly enough to make Johnson worthy of fantasy consideration.
TE Vernon Davis, SF CHI 005600000 ***
Shutting out Scott Chandler, like the Bears did last week, is one thing; limiting Davis is another thing entirely. Not saying he'll put up 130-plus yards on the Bears like Jimmy Graham and Jordan Reed did last season, but another solid fantasy outing is definitely on the radar.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF CHI 1133 ***
Dawson is still looking for his first field goal of the 2014 season; odds are he'll get it--and then some--this week, as he booted multiple treys in seven of eight by The Bay last year.

BUF at ARI *GB at HOU *NE at SEA *DEN at SD (MON)
*CIN at CLE *IND at NYJ *NYG at SF Bye:
*Updated DAL at BAL *KC at TB OAK at ATL CAR, CHI, JAC, NO

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