FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

Prediction: SEA 10, SF 23 (Line: SF by 8)

Players to Watch: Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson

The battle of the NFC West (not counting Arizona). Both teams are 4-2 but the Seahawks are only 1-2 away from Seattle and have yet to score more than one touchdown and 16 total points in a road game. The 49ers come off a humbling loss to the Giants and will be primed to redeem themselves.

The 49ers swept the Seahawks last year, winning 33-17 at home and later 19-17 in Seattle.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ -----
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA -----
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI -----
5 @CAR 16-12 14 ARI -----
6 NE 24-23 15 @BUF -----
7 @SF ----- 16 SF -----
8 @DET ----- 17 STL -----
9 MIN ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA @ SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 10 170,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 80 1-10
WR Doug Baldwin 2-30
TE Zach Miller 3-30
PK Steven Hauschka 1 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks are perfecting the close win with seven points being the only thing separating them from a 1-5 record. Taking down the visiting Patriots reversed the three game trend of not scoring more than 16 points in a game and that needed 14 points scored in the final half of the fourth quarter. No arguing that the Seattle defense is keeping them in every game and the offense has been just good enough more often than not.

Russell Wilson comes off a career best game of 293 yards with three touchdowns against the Pats. Wilson only threw five scores over the previous five games so it was highly out of character and something that happened in the late fourth quarter when the Patriots apparently let up just a little too much. More germane to this week - Russell has been reliable for nothing more than one score and 150 or so passing yards per week.

Marshawn Lynch is not enjoying as productive season as he did in 2011 when he was scoring every week. His yardage has been solid with 85+ rushing yards in all but the recent game against the Patriots. But he has no role as a receiver and scored only twice so far. Robert Turbin shows up for only four or five carries per game and is no touchdown hawk. Lynch runs 20 carries or more in every game but one and yet has been rarely more than a moderate fantasy play.

The Seahawks still have little use for the tight ends other than blocking and have thrown just one touchdown to the position.

Last week made the wideouts seem very productive with Sidney Rice (3-81), Doug Baldwin (2-74) and Braylon Edwards (2-21) all catching one touchdown each. But their yardage was just the product of one long catch if even that. Rice scored for the first time since the season opener and has only two efforts that went over 45 yards this season. Baldwin scored for the first time and had never gained more than 37 yards in a game. Braylon Edwards has been a nonfactor.

Playing in San Francisco is unlikely to replicate anything from the home game against the Patriots. The 49ers have only allowed six passing touchdowns all year and just one runner has scored on them. This is a likely the worst match-up of the year for the Seahawks.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 28 23 27 25 20 24
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 5 1 7 11 6 12

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA @STL 30100020020 ***
Plenty of reasons to shrug off last week's disappointing showing against the Cowboys and get back in the saddle--to name two, Wilson's multiple TD track record prior to last week (as in, every game) and the Rams' multiple TD track record this season (as in, every game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @STL 8004200000 ***
Lynch has a strong track record against the Rams: 100-plus yards in three of the last five, 88 or more rushing yards in five of the last six, and touchdowns in four of the last six meetings. The Rams have allowed only one RB TD on the year but gave up 100-plus yards to DeMarco Murray and Bobby Rainey. No reason Lynch can't keep to his appointed rounds in St. Louis this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Ricardo Lockette, SEA @STL 001301000 **
Lockette has two of the three receiving TDs scored by Seahawk wideouts this year, which makes him a viable reach against a Rams' secondary that's surrendered seven WR TDs in the past three games. But it's always a risk mining the depths of a Seattle receiving corps that hasn't produced a double-digit fantasy game since Week 2, and only then because of Percy Harvin's rushing stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @STL 003301000 **
Kearse has the two biggest yardage games by a Seahawk receiver this year: 62 and 61. No Seattle wideout other than Percy Harvin has had a double-digit fantasy game, so while this is a favorable matchup the table scraps for non-Harvin Seahawks are scarce.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @STL 004600000 ****
While WRs against the Rams is a favorable matchup, the Seahawks don't tend to throw enough to make a secondary target like Baldwin a safe fantasy bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA @STL 002100000 ****
Assuming Miller returns from injury he's an unlikely candidate for fantasy help given that no Seattle TE has scored or topped 50 yards this season.
Update: Miller has been ruled out for this week due to his ankle injury. Not that you were banking on him for much anyway.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @STL 1133 ***
Hauschka's had just one off week in an otherwise solid season; the Rams have allowed double digits to three of the five kickers they've faced. Plenty of reason to like what Hauschka brings to the fantasy table this week.

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 3-26 15 @NE -----
7 SEA ----- 16 @SEA -----
8 @ARI ----- 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SF vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 180,1
RB Frank Gore 60,1 4-30
WR Anquan Boldin 6-80,1
WR Michael Crabtree 3-40
WR Steve Johnson 6-80,1
WR Brandon Lloyd 3-50
TE Vernon Davis 5-60,1
PK Phil Dawson 3 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The 49ers just experienced both extremes. They demolished the Bills 45-3 in a game where everything worked and then lost 3-26 to the Giants when nothing went right and it was like a combination bitch slap by the Giants and Destiny. Loss aside, this is the week that the 49ers want to win along with the next game in Arizona. Take those two down and they'll reach the week 9 bye with a clear title to the NFC West.

Alex Smith toasted the Bills for 303 yards and three scores but last week versus the Giants he was back to 200 yards and no scores. Smith has only thrown one touchdown in the last four weeks other than the Bills fluke. He's not only just a game manager, the loss to the Giants was further proof that Smith is not going to be more than a caretaker. He has no ability to lead the team back from a deficit despite having greatly improved weapons this year.

And the 49ers are using Colin Kaepernick more in what is becoming a timeshare situation. Kaepernick is a much better runner with two touchdowns already and has a much bigger arm for the deep throws. Last week he passed for 82 yards on four completions. That makes Smith even less attractive for any fantasy start and if it is not a shift in the making towards changing starters, it is at least breaking down the position into a committee of sorts.

Frank Gore was on a nice streak this year with four touchdowns and solid rushing stats other than in Minnesota during the trap game. He scored four times over the first five games but was held to just 36 yards on eight runs during the debacle last week. Gore shares little and always take his off the top.

After starting the season with four scores in three weeks, Vernon Davis has been less prolific. Week five saw him post 106 yards on five catches against the Bills but he did not score and sandwiched that game with only 28 yards against the Jets and 37 yards versus the Giants. Perhaps it was just a New York thing. Davis is still a safe start every week but not above the odd bad game because he still only gets seven targets per week tops.

Last week finally saw the 49ers realize that Randy Moss was on the roster when he turned in 75 yards on just two catches but it was an odd game in many ways. Mario Manningham had a season best 72 yards on five catches and his ten targets were double his previous best. He was going against his old team and it showed. Michael Crabtree has occasionally flirted with fantasy relevance but was held to just 26 yards and that wasn't even his season worst. He too apparently does not like New York teams.

This week the 49ers are at home on a Thursday night game. They need to prove to themselves and the league that they still are one of the top teams in the NFC despite the stumble against the Giants. This game is not likely to be high scoring but the 49ers should persevere if only thanks to the venue.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 13 14 20 9 13 23
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 2 3 9 19 12 19

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colin Kaepernick, SF @DEN 50000027021 ***
Denver's defensive numbers are a bit deflated by facing Geno Smith and Drew Stanton the past two weeks; look for Kaepernick to be more in line with what Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson did to the Broncos earlier in the year: solid yardage, multiple scores, and more than a dash of rushing stats to sweeten the pot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF @DEN 400000000 ***
The Niners have been mostly willing to commit to the ground game and Gore, which has worked well at home but failed to yield favorable fantasy numbers on the road. It's taken significant workloads to produce anything resembling fantasy help against Denver, so there's hope for Gore this week--just not a lot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @DEN 300000000 ***
Hyde is too junior a member of this backfield committee to bank on for fantasy assistance, especially in a difficult road matchup like this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF @DEN 005601000 ***
You'd think shooting it out with the Broncos would yield bigger fantasy numbers for wideouts, but Denver has allowed just three WR TDs and no wideout has topped 60 yards against them since Reggie Wayne's 98 in the season opener. Crabtree clings to fantasy value due to a high number of targets, but it's a good week to lower expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF @DEN 004500000 ****
The Broncos haven't surrendered much to opposing wideouts, and the Niners have been splitting up their productivity to the point that despite his consistent targets Boldin is a risky fantasy proposition at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Lloyd, SF @DEN 003500000 ****
80-yard touchdowns are nice and all, but Lloyd's targets are too unreliable to be banked on for fantasy help, especially in what projects to be a less than fruitful matchup for 49ers wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF @DEN 004500000 ***
Johnson gives Colin Kaepernick a viable third option in the San Francisco passing game, but he's clearly behind Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin in the pecking order and as such can't be banked on for fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF @DEN 004401000 **
A healthy VD could make some fantasy noise against a Denver defense that just ceded 10-68-1 to Jace Amaro and has let every opposing TE who gets to four catches score or top 80 yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @DEN 2222 ****
The Broncos have allowed between five and eight kicker points in every game this year. Dawson's recent success (37 points in the last three games) suggest he'll be at the high end of that range.

WEEK 7
2012
SEA at SF (THU) *DAL at CAR *NYJ at NE DET at CHI (MON)
*ARI at MIN *GB at STL *PIT at CIN Bye:
BAL at HOU *JAC at OAK TEN at BUF ATL, DEN, KC,
*UPDATED *CLE at IND *NO at TB *WAS at NYG MIA, PHI, SD

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