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
WR Victor Cruz 6-60,1
WR Hakeem Nicks
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 @WAS 0000029020 ***
Eli has multiple touchdowns in three straight against the 'Skins and three straight overall, while Washington has allowed multiple passing scores in five straight. Feels like the 279 and two Eli posted in the earlier meeting is a baseline here.
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @WAS 4002200000 ***
Jennings continues to lead Giants backs in rushing attempts... and he continues to do absolutely nothing of fantasy note with them. No reason to think that changes this week against the Redskins.
RB Shane Vereen, NYG @WAS 2004300000 ***
Vereen is the best of a bad fantasy lot, with receiving scores in two of the last three games making him more relevant than the rest of the Giants' horde of backs.
WR Odell Beckham, NYG @WAS 0061001000 ***
Beckham was overshadowed by Rueben Randle's 7-116-1 in the earlier meeting with Washington, but he's topped 100 yards in three straight coming into this tilt and should be Eli's top target yet again--with his own 7-79-1 from the previous matchup a baseline.
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @WAS 005501000 **
Randle's success in the previous meeting with Washington and his status as the Giants' WR2 make him a viable fantasy option against a Redskins' secondary that's allowed multiple receivers to score in three of the last five games.
WR Dwayne Harris, NYG @WAS 003400000 ***
Harris has scored three times in the past three games, and this week will face a Washington secondary that has given up at least 50 receiving yards to the past dozen NFC East receives to catch a pass against them. It's a streak that dates back to last season, but already this year the Redskins surrendered four 50-yard games to the Eagles and two to the Giants%u2014with multiple WR TDs in each. In the earlier tilt Rueben Randle (7-116-1) got his even with Odell Beckham Jr. catching 7-79-1 of his own so there's room for more than just OBJ. Harris' nine targets (leading to 6-82-1) against the Patriots was twice the attention Randle saw, but as Washington's secondary has demonstrated the more the merrier.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @WAS 4422 ***
Brown has back-to-back 14-point games and tallied a dozen the last time he faced Washington. The Redskins are a little less gregarious at home, but this is still a solid opportunity for Brown.

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 Reggie Bush 90,1 5-30
RB Shaun Draughn 20 2-20
WR Anquan Boldin 4-40
WR Jerome Simpson 2-40
WR Torrey Smith 5-100,1
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 Blaine Gabbert, SF ARI 0000020012 ***
Gabbert has been borderline serviceable in his two starts, but it's tough to see him being anything more than a desperation fantasy play against a defense that held the Niners to just 67 passing yards in the earlier meeting.
RB Shaun Draughn, SF ARI 4006400000 ***
It's been a month since a back rushed for more than 50 yards against the Cardinals, but they've given up almost 65 RB receiving yards per game in that span. Draughn has 12 catches for 78 yards in two games with Blaine Gabbert checking down, so you could do worse than a back who'll touch the ball 15-20 times and generate 75-plus yards from scrimmage.
WR Anquan Boldin, SF ARI 004500000 **
Two games tell us Blaine Gabbert can feed one wide receiver a week, and after missing Gabbert's Niners debut Boldin went 5-93 against the Seahawks last week. He's the best bet of this passing game, which is a little like being the tallest jockey at Pimlico.
WR Torrey Smith, SF ARI 003300000 ***
Smith has been a wingman in both of Blaine Gabbert's starts, totaling 60 yards on three catches. Don't look for Gabbert to suddenly develop a deep ball, which puts Torrey on the fantasy sidelines once again.
TE Vance McDonald, SF ARI 003401000 *
McDonald has seen more targets than Garrett Celek and last week claimed the TE TD as well. Blaine Gabbert loves throwing to tight ends, and with Arizona giving up three TE TDs the past three weeks the Niners' fantasy lottery ticket might be a McDonald touchdown.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF ARI 2211 ***
Dawson scored just one point in the earlier meeting with Arizona. Unlikely he'll be that bad again--but odds are he won't be a whole lot better, either.

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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