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 NYG 0000022010 ***
If not for his rushing score in a 52-0 blowout of the Raiders, Hill wouldn't have a single fantasy helper to his credit. Only one of the last six quarterbacks to face the Giants has thrown double-digit touchdown passes; unlikely Hill winds up the second.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL NYG 10012100000 ****
Mason continues to get the bulk of the workload, so when there's a favorable matchup--like against the Giants, who have allowed four 100-yard rushers--he's the primary beneficiary.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Stedman Bailey, STL NYG 004601000 **
If Shaun Hill puts up enough yardage to generate a fantasy-worthy receiver--and that's a reasonably big "if"--Bailey is the most likely candidate; he's been the Rams' top receiver three of the past four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL NYG 005700000 ***
Britt remains in the mix, but he's wildly inconsistent and dependent on a quarterback who doesn't exactly churn out tons of helpful fantasy stats.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL NYG 3002100000 ***
The Rams are becoming more creative in getting the ball to their top pick from a year ago, but he's largely a non-factor as a receiver so you're banking on returns and gimmick plays for him to get you fantasy points--always a risky proposition.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL NYG 002200000 ***
Cook will be the most targeted tight end in a reasonably favorable matchup, but he still has to fend off Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey--as well as hope Shaun Hill throws enough for them to be fantasy relevant.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL NYG 2222 ***
Aside from his five-field goal outing against the Broncos Zuerlein has been mostly ordinary with no more than two field goals in any other contest since Week 2. It's not an overly favorable matchup, so no need to go out of your way to get Legatron into your lineup.

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 SD 40000023020 ***
Kaepernick's last fantasy game of note came in Week 6; in eight subsequent games he's failed to throw multiple touchdowns, topped 240 passing yards only twice (topping out at 263) and rushed for more than 26 yards once. Nothing in that stat line suggests he warrants fantasy consideration here
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Bruce Miller, SF SD 3004400000 *
With Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde both iffy at best this week the backfield load falls on Miller and Alfonso Smith--who combined for 10 yards on six carries last week. At least Miller produced a little something as a receiver with four catches for 56 yards, so if you're in a PPR league and desperate for backfield help he's your guy.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfonso Smith, SF SD 2001100000 ***
Smith could see action as one of the only healthy backs in San Francisco's stable this week. He's done nothing to suggest the experience will be rewarding for fantasy owners.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF SD 006801000 **
It's been a month since a 49ers wideout produced a fantasy helper, and the way Colin Kaepernick is playing further fantasy help is far from imminent from the San Francisco passing attack. If you must start one Boldin has the most recent touchdown and 100 yard game, but even he would be a stretch at this juncture.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF SD 004501000 **
The Niners haven't produced a fantasy helper in quite some time, and the Chargers have been allowing only one fantasy helper per game. If that's the case, Crabtree falls behind Anquan Boldin in the passing game pecking order, though neither has a tremendous shot at a productive fantasy outing.
Update: Crabtree is listed as questionable with a knee injury. He practiced only on a limited basis this week, and there's not enough upside to offset this risk.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF SD 003300000 ***
A Colin Kaepernick-led passing game barely goes two-deep; three deep seems like a wish upon a star.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF SD 002200000 *****
Remember when Vernon Davis used to be good? And... fantasy relevant? It's all a bit hazy at this point.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF SD 1122 ***
The Bolts have given up double-digit kicker points in three straight, four of six, and five of the last eight games. So we're sayin' there's a chance... likely torpedoed by Colin Kaepernick's quarterback play.

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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