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 @SD 0000021011 ****
The Chargers haven't allowed a visiting QB to throw multiple touchdowns against them since Russell Wilson turned the trick back in Week 2. And Hill has just one TD on the year, so he's an unlikely candidate to snap that string.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL @SD 7011100000 ***
The Chargers haven't allowed much on the ground; then again, only two opposing backs have had at least 20 carries against them, and both topped 95 yards. So if Mason gets a workload similar to last week he should be a fantasy factor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL @SD 1003301000 **
Cunningham clings to value as a change of pace back to Tre Mason. He's been seeing more work as a receiver of late, and there's some fantasy value there against a defense that's allowed the second-most RB receiving TDs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL @SD 003400000 ***
Britt has scored in two of the last three, had a monster game with Shaun Hill at the helm... and has just about sucked enough people into believing he's finally tapped into his vast potential that it's time for him to vanish once again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL @SD 1002100000 ***
Eventually the Rams will figure out how to use Austin. Keep repeating that, and click your heels together three times and it just might come true.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL @SD 002200000 **
It's a tough matchup against a Chargers defense that's allowed only two TE TDs all year--especially when Cook often times cedes red zone looks to Lance Kendricks. You can find a more reliable fantasy option elsewhere.
Update: Cook is listed as questionable and practiced only on a limited basis this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL @SD 0022 ***
Legatron is coming off a five-FG game, his first notable fantasy outing in two months. A repeat is unlikely on the road, where he has two field goals in his last four games.

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 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 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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