FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
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
FieldTurf
  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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points NYG 9 9 1 15 2 24
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 6 1 8 24 4 10

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Eli Manning, NYG @WAS 0000024021 ***
Before you get too giddy about Eli's back to back semi-respectable fantasy efforts, consider that in 19 career outings against the Redskins he's had exactly one multiple touchdown game--and that came almost five years ago. Washington checked ordinary QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Chad Henne before ceding 325 and 3 to Nick Foles; Eli is much closer to the former than the latter, so plan accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Rashad Jennings, NYG @WAS 5005500000 ***
Washington's run D numbers are a bit puffy; the Jags only ran the ball seven times against them, and while they did keep Philly's dynamic duo of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles bottled up they had no answer for Arian Foster. Jennings is more like Foster, a bruiser that will get 20-plus carries and forge a solid fantasy outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Victor Cruz, NYG @WAS 005801000 **
Signs of life from Cruz last week, and the surge should continue against a Redskins defense that has struggled to cover Jeremy Maclin, DeAndre Hopkins, and even Allen Robinson. Plus, in four career meetings with Washington Cruz has averaged almost 90 yards per outing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Rueben Randle, NYG @WAS 004400000 ***
Even with a couple improved weeks under their collective belt the Giants are still barely feeding one fantasy receiver--and right now that guy is Victor Cruz. Starting Randle here means crossing your fingers and hoping for a red zone look.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Larry Donnell, NYG @WAS 006601000 ***
Donnell is ceding touchdowns to Daniel Fells and facing a defense that, aside from one long Marcedes Lewis pass, has shut tight ends down cold. You can find a better fantasy alternative.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Josh Brown, NYG @WAS 1122 ***
Brown kicked his first field goal of the season last week, but this offense is still a work in progress and not nearly equipped to bring along a kicker fantasy-wise.

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 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.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 5 12 22 6 5 17
Preventing Fantasy Points NYG 20 16 22 7 17 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colin Kaepernick, SF PHI 50100025020 ***
Keeping up with Philly takes some doing, and all three opposing QBs have responded by throwing multiple touchdowns. That bodes well for Kaepernick; if you add another TD toss to his usual 250 throwing and 50 rushing, he becomes a significant fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF PHI 8011100000 ***
This should be a more favorable matchup for Gore, who was stymied by the Cardinals last week. Three different backs have rushed for at least 70 yards against Philly; so long as Gore doesn't cede too many carries to rookie Carlos Hyde he should be able to turn that workload into a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF PHI 006801000 ***
Lots of opportunities against a secondary that allowed two 100-yard receivers a week ago. Crabtree remains the go-to guy in this passing game, especially if Vernon Davis remains sidelined, and his numbers should reflect that role.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF PHI 004500000 ***
After a big Week 1 Boldin has been quiet--even with Vernon Davis out of the mix last week. Philly just gave up matching 100-yard games to a pair of Redskins receivers, which at least puts Boldin in play for fantasy relevancy this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF PHI 003500000 ***
Johnson stepped up with a big game last week against Arizona, but his 103-yard effort feels more like the exception rather than the rule--especially if Vernon Davis is back in the mix. No reason to chase last week's stat line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF PHI 005501000 **
Captain Obvious says Davis is a must play if healthy. It's not an overly favorable matchup, but Davis is elite and if he's suited up he belongs in your fantasy lineup.
Update: After not practicing all last week (and subsequently not playing in Week 3), Davis practiced on a limited basis all week. That gives hope he'll play, but it's a late game so you'll need to have a backup plan in case he's scratched Sunday afternoon.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF PHI 1144 ***
Dawson has had inconsistent opportunities thus far this season, but a Philly squad that's allowed multiple field goal attempts in every game this year should tilt the scales towards fantasy usability this week.

WEEK 6
2012
PIT at TEN (THU) *DET at PHI *MIN at WAS *STL at MIA
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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