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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 SEA 0000024021 **
The Seahawks have allowed multiple TD tosses and at least 250 passing yards in each of their last four games. So while prior to the season using the Rams' third string quarterback against the defending Super Bowl champs would have been enough to get you a date with a mental health professional, this week it actually makes sense. Davis against the Seahaws; who woulda thunk?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Zac Stacy, STL SEA 4003200000 ***
The Cowboys have been the only team to effectively run the ball against Seattle, but the Rams ain't the Cowboys and Stacy ain't DeMarco Murray. Plus, he's now involved in a menage a trois at running back, sharing carries with Benny Cunningham and, appropriately enough, Tre Mason. None of that adds up to good fantasy news for Stacy this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Benny Cunningham, STL SEA 3003200000 ***
The good: Cunningham has two of the Rams' three RB rushing scores this year. The bad: he's facing a Seahawks defense that allowing just 3.4 yards per carry and 78 rushing yards per game to opposing backs. The ugly: Benny has to share the workload with two other Rams backs. The way I figure, there's really not too much future here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Tre Mason, STL SEA 300000000 ***
Mason averaged eight yards per carry in his NFL debut and now owns a share of the Rams' backfield workload. However, it's just a share and it's anything but a favorable matchup; his initial fantasy impact will have to wait at least another week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Kenny Britt, STL SEA 003501000 **
Britt's been consistently targeted if not consistently productive, and there are opportunities to take advantage of the Seattle secondary. If Brian Quick can't take advantage, Britt would be the next best bet.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brian Quick, STL SEA 004500000 ***
The Seahawks secondary hasn't been infallible, but good luck identifying which Ram might do the damage. Quick seems the logical choice, but that only means there's a very good chance he'll see more of Richard Sherman than the average TV viewer subjected to Sherman's media blitz of commercial saturation. Temper your expectations accordingly, because you get out what you put in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tavon Austin, STL SEA 004300000 ***
Tough to be the second-best "athletic receiver whose team can't figure out how to get them the ball enough to be effective" in the game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jared Cook, STL SEA 006601000 ****
Even Achilles had a heel, and for the Seahawks that heel is the tight end. Seattle has allowed seven TE TDs on the season, including two last week, and with 30 targets over the past three games it's clear Cook is on the Rams' passing game radar.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Greg Zuerlein, STL SEA 2222 ****
Legatron has just one week of double-digit points this season, and a date with the Seahawks doesn't feel like an opportunity to change that number.

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 @DEN 50000027021 ***
Denver's defensive numbers are a bit deflated by facing Geno Smith and Drew Stanton the past two weeks; look for Kaepernick to be more in line with what Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson did to the Broncos earlier in the year: solid yardage, multiple scores, and more than a dash of rushing stats to sweeten the pot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF @DEN 400000000 ***
The Niners have been mostly willing to commit to the ground game and Gore, which has worked well at home but failed to yield favorable fantasy numbers on the road. It's taken significant workloads to produce anything resembling fantasy help against Denver, so there's hope for Gore this week--just not a lot.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @DEN 300000000 ***
Hyde is too junior a member of this backfield committee to bank on for fantasy assistance, especially in a difficult road matchup like this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF @DEN 005601000 ***
You'd think shooting it out with the Broncos would yield bigger fantasy numbers for wideouts, but Denver has allowed just three WR TDs and no wideout has topped 60 yards against them since Reggie Wayne's 98 in the season opener. Crabtree clings to fantasy value due to a high number of targets, but it's a good week to lower expectations.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF @DEN 004500000 ****
The Broncos haven't surrendered much to opposing wideouts, and the Niners have been splitting up their productivity to the point that despite his consistent targets Boldin is a risky fantasy proposition at best this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Lloyd, SF @DEN 003500000 ****
80-yard touchdowns are nice and all, but Lloyd's targets are too unreliable to be banked on for fantasy help, especially in what projects to be a less than fruitful matchup for 49ers wideouts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF @DEN 004500000 ***
Johnson gives Colin Kaepernick a viable third option in the San Francisco passing game, but he's clearly behind Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin in the pecking order and as such can't be banked on for fantasy assistance.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF @DEN 004401000 **
A healthy VD could make some fantasy noise against a Denver defense that just ceded 10-68-1 to Jace Amaro and has let every opposing TE who gets to four catches score or top 80 yards.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @DEN 2222 ****
The Broncos have allowed between five and eight kicker points in every game this year. Dawson's recent success (37 points in the last three games) suggest he'll be at the high end of that range.

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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