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
WR Doug Baldwin 2-30
TE Jimmy Graham
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 CAR 20000028020 ***
Carolina has buckled down against quarterbacks in the last five weeks, giving up only 20.8 points per contest. Some of that success was based on weak passing matchups, though. Wilson was finding his stride until last week's road bump versus the Buccaneers. He's a fine start in Week 13.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA CAR 6013300000 ***
Running backs have thrashed Carolina through the air, accounting for 42 catches for 356 yards in the last five games. Not one of those grabs went for a touchdown, and only one of 88 rushing attempts has scored. Even if Rawls doesn't score, there should be yardage opportunities.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA CAR 007901000 ***
The Panthers have given up the second most catches per game to receivers, which has led to the 13th highest per-game yardage figure since Week 7. Carolina has given up so many receptions that allowing six TDs on 82 catches doesn't look as bad as the reality of six in five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA CAR 003400000 ***
Lockett is looking as explosive as ever, and he has deep-league appeal, as well as in DFS, for those looking to roll the dice. The Panthers have given up the fifth most fantasy points per game in PPR scoring over the past five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA CAR 002300000 ***
Starting Kearse is throwing away a lineup spot. Avoid him in all leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA CAR 006701000 ***
This is squarely a mid-tier matchup for Graham. Carolina has allowed averages of 4.8 receptions and 52.4 yards since Week 7, with two of 24 catches going the distance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA CAR 1133 ***
The Panthers have given up the 14th most fantasy points, on average, to the position based on allowing the ninth most field goal attempts per outing since Week 7.

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
QB Christian Ponder 10 240,1
WR Jeremy Kerley 5-70,1
WR Torrey Smith 4-70
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 @CHI 50100022021 ***
Chicago is not allowing a lot of yardage (248.8) over the last five weeks, but this group has given up touchdowns at the 12th most generous clip. Kaepernick is on a roll of late, and Chicago is also without three linebackers. There should be points to be had via his legs in this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @CHI 6005401000 ***
Chicago has been losing linebackers like crazy in the past few weeks, so Hyde has a good shot at producing for gamers. Overall, it's not a great matchup using data from the past five weeks, but runners have scored three times in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, SF @CHI 004401000 **
Chicago has allowed receivers to average a touchdown per game since Week 7, and this is a top-15 matchup for yards per game, touchdowns per reception, and points per reception. Kerley could be sly bye week fill-in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, SF @CHI 003300000 ***
Smith has a fleeting chance at fantasy success this week, but he needs to find the end zone to live up to a spot in a lineup. He's better left for DFS formats. The Bears have given up four WR touchdowns in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vance McDonald, SF @CHI 004500000 ***
Three of the 19 touchdowns allowed have turned into six points. Low volume receptions and yards, high probability for scoring ... McDonald has some upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @CHI 1133 ***
This is a routine matchup for Dawson, whose fantasy worth has been on the rise with San Francisco's recent offensive uptick.

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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