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 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 @BUF 0000028021 ***
The Bills have allowed multiple touchdown tosses and at least 243 passing yards in every game this season. It's not like the Giants will have any success running the ball, and Eli's thrown for 279 and 2 or better each of the past two games, so expect another solid fantasy showing here.
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @BUF 3002200000 ***
The Bills haven't allowed a back to top 50 rushing yards on the season, and surrendered only one touchdown to the position, so Jennings' upside is extremely limited.
RB Shane Vereen, NYG @BUF 2004300000 **
As the Giants' pass-catching back Vereen has upside this week because they'll likely struggle to run against the Bills, and because he has the potential for a 6-98 receiving game like Dion Lewis dropped on the Bills a couple weeks back.
WR Odell Beckham, NYG @BUF 0071102000 ***
The Bills have surrendered multiple TDs to wideouts in each of the past two games; each totaled at least 97 yards in the process as well. Sounds like a baseline for Beckham, who even with the possible return of Victor Cruz this week constitutes the vast majority of Big Blue's passing game.
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @BUF 006800000 ***
Randle is coming off a big game against the Redskins, but with Victor Cruz potentially back in the mix and Odell Beckham Jr. still the lead dog it's tough to expect a repeat performance.
TE Larry Donnell, NYG @BUF 004300000 ***
Donnell is still sharing the workload with Daniel Fells, and the Bills have mostly stifled any tight end not named Gronk. Neither of those bode well for his fantasy prospects.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @BUF 1022 ***
Brown quietly leads the league in kicker points, though a date with a tough Bills defense threatens to dampen his spirits and his productivity.

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
WR Anquan Boldin 4-40
WR Jerome Simpson 2-40
WR Torrey Smith 5-100,1
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 GB 50000020012 ***
Teams need to throw to keep up with the Green Bay offense, and the last time Kaepernick ventured above 30 attempts he threw for 335 and 2 against the Steelers. He may get another volume opportunity here, though you shouldn't bank on Colin's passing prowess to save your fantasy bacon. His rushing, on the other hand, seems locked in at 40-plus yards a game--plus he found the end zone last week. That's likely enough to push him from bench into the fringe start gray area.
RB Carlos Hyde, SF GB 8013200000 ***
The Niners' blueprint for beating Green Bay would have to include controlling the ball via Hyde on the ground. Only team to stay within one score of the Pack was Chicago, and they nearly doubled the rushing attempts of Green Bay's other opponents. So know that San Fran will at least try to get Hyde going this week; whether or not they'll stay close enough to stick with that game plan remains to be seen.
RB Reggie Bush, SF GB 2004300000 *
The Niners have been going Brazilian most of the season; no need to rush Reggie into your fantasy lineup until he's been cleared and we have a better idea of his role.
WR Torrey Smith, SF GB 005701000 **
Smith has trailed Anquan Boldin in targets each week this season, so if you're throwing a dart at the San Fran receiving corps looking for fantasy help--aim at Anquan.
WR Anquan Boldin, SF GB 005600000 ***
The Pack has allowed a 75-yard receiver in each game this season, the last two also find the end zone. Since Boldin is the more targeted of San Fran's wideout, if the Niners do start to chuck it he's the pass-catcher with the most fantasy upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF GB 2122 ***
San Fran's offense has struggled thus far, so no reason to put any fantasy faith in Dawson this week.

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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