FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

Prediction: STL 6, SF 20 (Line: SF by 11)

Players Updated: Danny Amendola

Players to Watch: Frank Gore, Danny Amendola

The 3-5 Rams are a perfect 0-3 on the road and travel to San Francisco where they have not won since 2007. The 49ers have beaten the Rams in seven of their last eight games and both defenses should ensure this game remains lower scoring.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @DET 23-27 10 @SF -----
2 WAS 31-28 11 NYJ -----
3 @CHI 6-23 12 @ARI -----
4 SEA 19-13 13 SF -----
5 ARI 17-3 14 @BUF -----
6 @MIA 14-17 15 MIN -----
7 GB 20-30 16 @TB -----
8 NE 7-45 17 @SEA -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL @ SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 220
WR Kenny Britt 4-60
WR Chris Givens 2-50
TE Jared Cook 5-60
TE Lance Kendricks 2-30
PK Greg Zuerlein 2 FG

Pregame Notes: The Rams road woes are going to be a problem since they only left St. Louis three times in the first eight games and now have five road games and homestand against the Jets, 49ers and Vikings left. No matter - this was a 2-14 team last year and already has surpassed that win total. And while the offense still languishes in mediocrity, at least the defense has so quickly improved in just one season. HC Jeff Fisher has already made a very positive turnaround if only by how fewer points they lose games. Coming off a 2-14 season, it is something.

Sam Bradford's passing has been limited to mostly home games. His eight touchdowns saw seven of them scored in St. Louis and only the season opener in Detroit resulted in any away touchdowns. Hosting weaker secondaries like the Redskins and Patriots allowed Bradford's stats to look better than they really are. This is still an offense with a sub-standard passing attack.

The committee backfield is a new feature for a Fisher offense and it ensures that there is marginal fantasy value here at best. Steven Jackson is being kept plenty fresh - for what there seems no answer - but he has never rushed for more than 76 yards in a game. Jackson scored just once all year and ends south of 60 yards in just about every single week. Daryl Richardson drains off between 20 and 40 yards in most games and even takes away receptions. Put the two together and you still would have someone who never scores and barely reaches 100 total yards most weeks.

Danny Amendola insists that he will play this week after missing four weeks with a broken clavicle. He still has the lone 100+ yard game by a Rams receiver this year and catching five or even six passes for 60 yards or so made him the best receiver by a large margin. Chris Givens has come on in the last month with two scores and 60+ yards and the coaching staff wants to involve him more. He was the second wideout drafted by the Rams but has really outplayed Brian Quick. Overall - this is a fairly motley cast of receivers about to play one of the top defenses in the league in their stadium.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 26 29 15 26 16 23
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 1 1 5 8 4 15

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Shaun Hill, STL OAK 0000021010 ***
Hill is oh-for-recent memory when it comes to producing fantasy relevant games; no reason to expect one here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL OAK 11021100000 ***
Only three teams have allowed more fantasy points to opposing running backs than the Raiders. And since the Rams can't/won't/don't pass, it's a prime opportunity for Mason to go off.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL OAK 005801000 **
Britt's still in the mix in St. Louis, but sharing minimal productivity with Stedman Bailey makes him a difficult fantasy start at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL OAK 004500000 ***
Bailey may have usurped Kenny Britt as the Rams' go-to receiver, so if you're interested in a chance at the slim pickings the St. Louis passing game offers he's your guy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Lance Kendricks, STL OAK 001101000 ***
Oakland has surrendered three TE TDs in the past three games, and with Kendricks being the guy the Rams tend to call when they order a Code Red Zone he's almost as viable a fantasy option as Jared Cook. Which is to say, risky at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL OAK 003300000 ***
The Raiders have allowed three TE TDs in the past three games, and Cook remains the more targeted of the Rams' tight ends so he has a mildly better chance of being a fantasy factor.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL OAK 2233 ****
Over the past two months Legatron has had one big game and a whole bunch of meh. There's a little upside to facing the Raiders, but it's still the same old Ram offense not getting him the opportunities.

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 13-6 16 @SEA -----
8 @ARI 24-3 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SF vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 10 190,1
QB Colin Kaepernick 20 10
RB Frank Gore 80,1 4-20
RB Kendall Hunter 30 2-10
WR Anquan Boldin 5-70
WR Michael Crabtree 4-70,1
WR Steve Johnson 5-40
WR Brandon Lloyd 4-40,1
TE Vernon Davis 4-60

Pregame Notes: The 49ers defense has been awe-inspiring over the last five weeks. Take away the loss to the Giants and four times they held opponents to no more than six points. With the punchless Rams coming in, that little trend is not going anywhere.

Alex Smith comes off a feel good game when he posted a season high three touchdowns and 232 yards in Arizona before their bye last week. He still only threw 12 touchdowns this season and twice posted games with no touchdowns including the recent home game against the Seahawks. Smith is more likely to remain with one score if that when faced with a decent defense. He's certainly not proven to be any better than the defense allows.

Frank Gore is again slowing down in the second half of the year though mostly because the 49ers are letting Kendall Hunter take 10 or so carries each week. Gore has not rushed more than 16 times in a game since week four. He has not scored since week five when he totaled four on the year. He may be fresher for the playoffs but that is little consolation to fantasy owners.

Vernon Davis opened the year with four scores in the first three weeks. He has not scored since and opposing defenses took notes and decided they most wanted to shut down the tight end. Over the last four weeks, Davis was held below 40 yards in three of them and only racked up 106 yards because it was the visiting Bills in week five. Davis is opening up the rest of the field for other receivers but defenses are plotting to limit his first and foremost. The difference this year is that Smith actually has other options instead of throwing it to Davis anyway.

The wideouts are still only average in production but that is a leap up from last year. Michael Crabtree's numbers are up and he comes off two scores in Arizona. Randy Moss was forgotten but caught a 47 yard bomb for a score last week on his only catch in the game. Mario Manningham only scored once but usually comes up with 30 or so yards in most games. Overall - not that great but good enough attached to a defense that doesn't allow any touchdowns.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 14 18 22 13 14 24
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 19 17 16 25 18 21

  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 10
2012
IND at JAC (THU) DEN at CAR *NYJ at SEA TEN at MIA
ATL at NO *DET at MIN OAK at BAL *KC at PIT (MON)
*BUF at NE *HOU at CHI *SD at TB Bye:
*UPDATED DAL at PHI NYG at CIN *STL at SF ARI, CLE, GB, WAS

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