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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 Austin Davis, STL DAL 0000021011 ***
The Rams are still looking for their first TD pass of the season. Until they get one, look elsewhere for fantasy help.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Zac Stacy, STL DAL 6011100000 ***
The Cowboys are giving up almost five yards a carry, and the Rams have no passing game. You do the math.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL DAL 007800000 ***
The Cowboys, shockingly enough, have yet to surrender a WR TD this year. The Rams, to the surprise of no one, have yet to score one. Quick is the most likely to snap that streak, but it's hardly a given.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL DAL 001300000 ***
At his current pace, Britt should get two catches this week. You can afford to wait and see if he continues this torrid climb towards fantasy respectability.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL DAL 005601000 ****
Cooks is a consistent provider of adequate fantasy numbers, but he could most definitely see an uptick against a defense that's already ceded three TE TDs and 186 yards to the position.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL DAL 1122 ***
Legatron has six treys in two games, but he's kicking an uphill battle against a Cowboys defense that's allowed just one FG through the first two 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 @ARI 50100023011 ***
Kaep has been a little slow to get going this season, but a date with the Cardinals should help speed up the process. Arizona allowed Eli Manning to take them for 277 and 2 last week, and in three career starts against Arizona Kaepernick has never failed to throw for at least 250 yards and multiple touchdowns.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF @ARI 6011100000 ***
Gore's 13-carry, 14-yard effort against Arizona at the end of last season was particularly disappointing because up until that point he had consistently killed the Cards with three 100-yard rushing games, 6 100-combo yard games, and a 13 touchdowns in the previous 14 meetings. Gore's share of the San Francisco workload is slipping, however, so you'll have to set your sights a shade lower and hope Carlos Hyde doesn't swipe his goal line look.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @ARI 200000000 ***
Hyde was active and productive in San Francisco's win, absent in the Niners' loss--or maybe the correlation works the opposite way. Right now all he's doing is biting into Frank Gore's numbers, and in a matchup that isn't overly favorable he's a difficult fantasy start at best.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF @ARI 006700000 ****
Two of the last three times Boldin has faced his former squad he has lit them up: 9-149-1 last year and 7-145-1 as a Raven in 2011. And if the Cards throw Patrick Peterson at Michael Crabtree, Boldin will have every opportunity to reach those numbers again.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF @ARI 005600000 ***
Crabtree has 100 yards or a touchdown in five of eight career meetings with the Cards, but he was held to 3-29 in his only game against Arizona last season. Moreover, Patrick Peterson has shut down WR1s thus far this season, leaving WR2s to do the bulk of the producing--and the Niners have a capable alternative in Anquan Boldin. Keep your expectations in check for Crabtree this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF @ARI 005601000 *
Davis scored in both ends of last season's series, including a monster 8-180-2 in the front end of the series when Michael Crabtree was absent. The Cards have been unable thus far to contain Antonio Gates or Larry Donnell, each of whom went for 81 yards, so if Davis' ankle allows he's a quality fantasy play this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @ARI 3322 ***
The Cards have allowed but one field goal this season. However, Dawson has kicked three in each of his matchups with Arizona as a member of the Niners and there's no reason to think he'll stray from that productive path this week.

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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