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 Chris Ogbonnaya 4-30
WR Victor Cruz 6-60,1
WR Kevin Ogletree 3-40
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 PHI 0000026021 ***
The last time Manning saw the Eagles it didn't go so well. In fact, he hasn't thrown a touchdown against Philly in either of his two previous meetings. With nothing for either team to play for except pride, expect Manning to have a game more in line with his last two home dates with the Eagles: 334 and 2, 208 and 5.
RB Andre Williams, NYG PHI 5011100000 ***
No reason for the Giants to risk the banged-up Rashad Jennings here, and Williams is coming off an impressive 26-110 showing against the Rams last week. He handled the load the last time the Giants met Philly, rushing for 58 yards on 16 carries; expect an uptick against a defense that's allowed at least 80 to three straight feature backs.
Update: Turns out Williams is also banged up, as he was limited in practice all week by a shoulder injury. If he can't go, the Giants may just throw all game--or give meaningful carries to Orleans Darkwa.
WR Odell Beckham, NYG PHI 00101202000 ***
Beckham's lone dog during his remarkable rookie season came in Philly back in Week 6. Now he's sporting a three-game streak of 100-yard games, an eight-game streak of 90-yard games, and a three-game scoring streak with six TDs in that span. You gotta think he'll bounce back against an Eagles secondary that's given up more fantasy points to wide receivers than any other team in the league.
WR Rueben Randle, NYG PHI 003500000 ***
Not since the Packers in Week 11 have multiple receivers posted fantasy helpers against the Eagles; it's been pretty much one guy each week doing the bulk of the damage. And in New York, that one guy is Odell Beckham Jr.
WR Preston Parker, NYG PHI 003300000 ***
Parker's the third wheel in a Giants' passing game that's somewhere between unicycle and one of those old-fashioned bicycles with the hugh front tire and the much smaller rear tire. In other words, look for fantasy help elsewhere.
TE Larry Donnell, NYG PHI 003200000 ***
Giants tight ends amassed 75 yards in the earlier meeting with Philly, but only six of them went to Donnell. Also working against Larry this week: the Eagles have allowed only one TE TD all year, none in their past 13 games. You're bound to find more favorable trends elsewhere.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG PHI 1133 ***
Brown didn't even swing the leg in the earlier meeting with Philly, and he has just two field goals in five NFC East contests this season. Get your fantasy kicks elsewhere.

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 ARI 30000021010 **
On behalf of all of Kaepernick's fantasy owners: where the heck has THAT been all year? Keep matched his best three-game rushing total with 151 yards and a score to augment his typical 114 and 1 passing performance, the result being his first fantasy helper in two and a half months. A repeat isn't out of the question against an Arizona defense that just gave up 88 and 1 on the ground to Russell Wilson, but at this point it's hard to believe there are any fantasy teams with Kaepernick on them who qualified for the playoffs, let alone made it to the final game.
RB Frank Gore, SF ARI 701000000 ***
The Niners should have been wearing throwback uniforms last week given the way Gore turned back the clock with a season-high 26 carries for a season-high 158 yards. Contrast that with the six carries for 10 yards he dropped on the Cardinals in the earlier meeting and you can see why fantasy owners might have been frustrated. Those same Cardinals just gave up 113 and 2 to Marshawn Lynch at home, so another solid outing for Gore certainly isn't out of the question here.
WR Michael Crabtree, SF ARI 004601000 **
Crabtree hasn't been seen fantasy-wise since Week 11; no reason to dust him off now.
WR Anquan Boldin, SF ARI 003300000 ***
Boldin is the more likely of San Francisco's receivers to generate some fantasy help, especially against his former team; in four previous meetings he's topped 140 yards twice and scored once. He's also been over 50 yards in 10 of his last 12, which may not sound like much but when Colin Kaepernick is throwing the ball is viewed as a streak of Lou Gehrig proportions.
TE Vernon Davis, SF ARI 001200000 ***
After seeing what Luke Willson did to these Cardinals you want to reach for Davis... and then you realize, fantasy-wise, he hasn't been there since Week 1. And you weep.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF ARI 1133 ***
Dawson has one multiple field goal outing in his last five, hasn't seen double-digit points since Week 11, and scored a mere two points in the earlier meeting with Arizona. You can find a kicker with a few more positive trends than that.

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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