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 ARI 40000018010 ***
Wilson hasn't topped 200 yards in a month and has as many games without a passing touchdown as with. Fortunately for his fantasy value he also has 244 rushing yards and a rushing TD in that span. The Cards won't be an easy nut to crack on either count--they've allowed only 85 QB rushing yards all year--so consider Wilson a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA ARI 8022200000 ****
Back to back 100-yard efforts, six touchdowns in the past three games... so what if the Cards are a tough run-game matchup on paper, it's Beast Mode. Never go against Beast Mode.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA ARI 004500000 ****
The good news is, Baldwin has the last two Seattle WR TDs. The bad news is, it's taken five weeks to score those two TDs. That's too inconsistent a contribution to be trusted with a fantasy start.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA ARI 003400000 ***
Kearse has pieced together a couple under-the-radar fantasy helpers the past two weeks, totaling 124 yards. But if that's the upside, you'll want to look for a higher fantasy ceiling elsewhere.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Luke Willson, SEA ARI 002200000 ***
The Cards have allowed just one TE TD in their past six games, so it's not a favorable opportunity for the rarely used Willson.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA ARI 1133 ***
Hauschka's been money for at least eight points in every home game this year; no reason to expect different in a big divisional battle.

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 WAS 30000023020 ***
The Redskins have allowed multiple TDs to every non-rookie QB they've faced over the past two months, so there's hope for Kaepernick. However, it's been a month and a half since Kaep threw for multiples and he's stopped running as well so despite the favorable matchup he's a fringe fantasy option at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF WAS 9001100000 ***
Gore continues to cling to fantasy relevancy, but keep your expectations in check against a Washington defense that's allowed only four RB rushing scores all year--three of them in one aberration of a game in Minnesota.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF WAS 200000000 ***
It's still Frank Gore's gig, which makes Hyde a fantasy afterthought.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF WAS 006801000 ***
Boldin remains in the mix in San Francisco, with a floor of something in the 5-50 range and upside from there. It's not an overly favorable matchup, but after watching Mike Evans have his way with the Washington secondary neither Boldin nor Michael Crabtree should have much difficulty shaking free.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF WAS 004601000 ***
Crabtree's the more likely of the two San Francisco receivers to emulate what Mike Evans did last week. In fact, there's probably enough there for both Crabtree and Boldin to carve out fantasy relevancy, though the pecking order seems to have Crabtree at the top.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF WAS 002200000 ***
Davis hasn't done much of anything since scoring twice in Week 1; until that changes, no reason to reward him with a fantasy starting spot.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF WAS 1133 ***
Dawson is averaging more than 10 points per home game and just posted back-to-back double-digit efforts on the road. Coming home to face the Redskins, he should continue to get his kicks.

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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