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 @SF 60000021010 ***
Wilson has one fantasy game of note against the 49ers, and that came in Seattle; his average outing in San Francisco consists of 172 passing yards, eight rushing yards and one TD. He's been running more of late--251 yards the past three games--so if there's fantasy value to be salvaged that's how he'll have to do it. Keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @SF 7013300000 ***
Does Lynch love facing the 49ers? Yes. He's scored in four straight, a total of seven TDs in those games, and topped 100 yards four times in the past six meetings. After seeing Alfred Morris bang out 125 and a touch in San Fran last week, you have to like Lynch's chances of extending his run of success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @SF 006600000 ****
Baldwin is the best bet to be on the business end of enough of Russell Wilson's tosses to be a fantasy factor, but the upside to his fantasy value is limited.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA @SF 004500000 ***
Kearse hasn't been a fantasy factor in almost two months. Why start now?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA @SF 002201000 **
The Niners have allowed three TE TDs in the past three games, but with Seattle it could be Willson or Tony Moeaki or Cooper Helfet doing the damage--which makes all of them risky fantasy plays at best.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @SF 3322 ****
Hauschka's rock steady consistency and reliability trumps a San Francisco defense that's allowed only one kicker all year to top seven points.

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 SEA 30000021011 ***
Kaepernick hasn't solved the riddle of the Seattle secondary; in four career meetings he has three passing scores, seven INTs and a total of 699 yards. He's run on the Seahawks, however, including 130 yards when the teams met last January. He'll need to run again to carve out fantasy value--something he hasn't done in two months, so keep your expectations in check.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF SEA 101000000 **
Hyde has scored three of the past four RB rushing TDs the 49ers have produced, including last week against Washington. He's still a minority carry shareholder, however, so tough to bank on him especially given the matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF SEA 4001100000 ***
In a full season's worth of meetings with the Seahawks, Gore has generated just five TDs. Worse, he's been held out of the end zone in six of seven in San Francisco. On the bright side, Gore has topped 100 combo yards in six of seven at home, rushing for 100-plus in four of those games. He's been a non-factor of late, but if San Fran is angling to win this one the game plan will likely heavily involve Gore.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF SEA 004600000 ***
Crabtree is scoreless in nine meetings with the Seahawks, and you have to believe he'll draw Richard Sherman for some trash talk and fun times here. As far as expecting much fantasy help... don't.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF SEA 004500000 ***
Boldin has been the better option against Seattle, scoring in the last meeting after going 6-93 in the matchup a month previous. Colin Kaepernick has been favoring Boldin of late, so if you must start a San Francisco WR this week he's the better bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF SEA 003201000 **
The tight end position has been an Achilles' heel for Seattle this season, at least until the past three weeks as they've held each of those foes in check. Davis has done nothing of note of late, and while he could be a fallback option with Seattle blanketing the wideouts he can't be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF SEA 2222 ***
Tacking on points for an offense that's been below 20 four of its last five games makes things difficult for Dawson. A stout Seattle defense won't help matters.

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

a d v e r t i s e m e n t