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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

Prediction: CHI 13, SF 17 (Line: SF by 4.5)

Players Updated: Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffrey, Alex Smith

Players to Watch: Alex Smith/Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Jason Campbell

The 7-2 Bears come off their loss to the Texans and head to meet the 6-2-1 49ers who are fresh off their tie with the Rams. Two great defenses meet but the 49ers are at home and the Bears are likely without Jay Cutler.

Chicago Bears
Homefield: Soldier Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 IND 41-21 10 HOU 6-13
2 @GB 10-23 11 @SF -----
3 STL 23-6 12 MIN -----
4 @DAL 34-18 13 SEA -----
5 @JAC 41-3 14 @MIN -----
6 BYE ----- 15 GB -----
7 DET 13-7 16 @ARI -----
8 CAR 23-22 17 @DET -----
9 @TEN 51-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
CHI @ SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Jay Cutler
RB Matt Forte 70 3-20
WR Alshon Jeffery 3-40
WR Brandon Marshall 7-80,1
WR Josh Morgan 2-30
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Bears have to be concerned now that Jay Cutler has suffered yet another concussion and will at the least be doubtful this week. He has a history of them back to college and the Bears cannot afford to be without him. Last season was going well until Cutler was lost in week 11. They strung five consecutive losses after that while struggling to mount any offense. With only a one game lead on the Packers who already beat them, the season is in jeopardy without Cutler.

Last week Jason Campbell came in once Cutler was out and completed 11 of 19 passes for 94 yards. He was wise enough to complete six passes to Brandon Marshall for 84 yards in the second half. Campbell's a veteran who was never quite good enough to be the solution as a starter. One game out and while he never scored, he gives some promise that it may not be quite as "crash and burn" as it was last year.

Matt Forte is a concern this week. He's been plenty productive almost every week but only managed 39 yards on 16 carries when faced with a formidable defense of the Texans. This week he is on the road to San Francisco where the #1 defense against running backs waits. Bad timing if the passing game is also likely to drop a notch this week.

What to expect from the offense with Campbell under center is hard to know other than it will not be as good as it was with Cutler obviously. Campbell spent his half of playing time looking for Marshall. He threw ten passes his way so over half of his throws went to the only receiver that matters for the Bears. Marshall merely has all but one of the wide receiver touchdowns for the Bears and no other wideout has produced more than 50 yards in any game. Marshall already has six 100 yard games and is already a marked man by the defense. Without Cutler, he's going to have to work even harder because without him the Bears have very nearly nothing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 24 19 22 32 5 1
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 3 1 13 7 4 13

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jay Cutler, CHI @SF 0000029021 ***
If your league penalizes for INTs... well, you likely knew that going in so Cutler's picks won't come as a surprise. But he's also a solid bet for multiple touchdowns and decent yardage, and for as vaunted a defense as the Niners sport they've allowed 281, 407 and 348 yards in their last three regular-season tilts.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, CHI @SF 8007600000 ****
It wouldn't be off base to characterize Forte as a rich man's DeMarco Murry. And given that Murray carved out 143 yards from scrimmage against the Niners in the season opener, Forte's fantasy prospects are favorable once again this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, CHI @SF 006701000 *
Marshall remains the top dog in Chicago's passing game pecking order, especially if Alshon Jeffery's injury limits his availability. The Niners held Dez Bryant in relative check (4-55) in the season opener, but don't let that dissuade you from plugging Brandon into your fantasy lineup.
Update: Marshall did not practice all week and is listed as questionable for this week's game in San Francisco. With Alshon Jeffery also questionable, the Bears will take some pregame monitoring for fantasy purposes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI @SF 004701000 *
Jeffery has some injury issues to deal with, so keep tabs on his status later in the week. Assuming he goes, he's an every week fantasy start with upside against a defense that allowed three different wideouts to top 50 yards last week in Dallas.
Update: Jeffery's only practice this week came on a limited basis Friday, and he is officially listed as questionable for this week due to the hamstring injury that knocked him out of Chicago's Week 1 loss to Buffalo. You'll likely need to wait for a game time confirmation to use Jeffery with confidence this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Santonio Holmes, CHI @SF 002300000 ***
The Niners forced Tony Romo to diversify last week, and he responded by generating three 50-yard receivers and another with 42. Holmes is clearly the third wheel in Chicago, but if San Fran takes a similar approach to defending Marshall and Jeffery he could force himself into the fantasy photo.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI @SF 003300000 ***
With both Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery in and out of the lineup with various nicks and bruises last week, Bennett stepped up with 10 targets, eight catches, 70 yards and a TD. He could be in line for something similar if Jeffery's injury limits his availability; otherwise temper expectations as Bennett is clearly behind Marshall and Alshon in the passing game pecking order.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, CHI @SF 2222 ***
Old Candlestick wasn't particularly kind to opposing kickers; six of the eight who visited San Fran last season left with one or zero field goals. Whether or not the new digs will be as frustrating remains to be seen; in the interim, Gould remains a decent fantasy play tacking on points for a reasonably prolific offense.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL 24-24
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 CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 180,1
QB Colin Kaepernick
RB Frank Gore 70 3-20
RB Kendall Hunter 20 2-10
WR Anquan Boldin 4-40
WR Michael Crabtree 4-60,1
WR Steve Johnson 6-90,1
WR Brandon Lloyd 4-60,1
TE Vernon Davis 4-50
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams clearly took the 49ers by surprise last week and just to make it more surreal, David Akers missed a 41 yard field goal that would have won the game. The 49ers also lost Alex Smith to a concussion but Colin Kaepernick played reasonably well and should have had the credit for a comeback win were it not for Akers.

Kaepernick completed 11 of 17 for 117 yards against an inspired Rams secondary and he kept plays alive with eight runs for 66 yards and one touchdown. While Smith does have a much better command of the offense, Kaepernick's running adding a new and valuable feature to the offense. The 49ers are hopeful that Smith will be able to play this week since he has no history of concussions, already feels good and it is a Monday night game.

Frank Gore oddly plays better when faced with a good defense. He rushed for 131 yards against the Seahawks but then only 55 yards in Arizona. Last week he scored once and gained 115 total yards on the Rams. Gore underwent x-rays after the game but his problem was never disclosed and he's expected to be fine but it bears watching in practice this week.

Vernon Davis is growing dissatisfied and disillusioned with his current role as the decoy player. More accurately, he is the one that defenses are intentionally focusing on and Smith has been unwilling (or just did not need) to force feed a covered Smith with other weapons to use. Davis hasn't scored since week three and only once gained more than 40 yards in the last five games. That's quite a drop from starting the year with four scores in the first three games.

Michael Crabtree has no complaints because he is the one benefiting from the secondary keying on Davis. Crabtree scored three times in just the last two games and has been noticeably better this year. Unfortunately, that mostly applies only when the 49ers are facing a weaker secondary. Crabtree remains the primary receiver but even he only gets around six targets in most games.

The health of Frank Gore and Alex Smith matter most this week with a tough Bears defense showing up. This is bound to be a low-scoring affair with no players turning in big stats.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 11 16 20 15 16 25
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 1 4 8 17 5 24

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colin Kaepernick, SF CHI 30100023011 ***
Kaep did just enough last week in Dallas, containing himself to 201 and 2 while his defense and ground game did the rest. He may have to work a bit harder this week to keep pace with the Bears' offense, but he certainly doesn't come to the table empty handed--or footed, as it were.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF CHI 401000000 ***
Hyde certainly flashed in the season opener, offering a taste of what's to come once Frank Gore finally calls it a career. He'll be the junior partner in this committee, but considering that the Bills had three backs top 60 combo yards last week there should be more than enough for two Niners to get their fantasy fill.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF CHI 700000000 ***
Chicago still has issues stopping the run, which bodes well for Gore as the lead dog in San Francisco's backfield tag team. Gore should get the early looks; whether or not that also yields goal line opportunities marks the difference between a solid fantasy outing and a really good one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF CHI 004701000 ***
That Bolden carved out 8-99 against a porous Dallas secondary isn't surprising; that it came at the expense of Michael Crabtree's numbers is. Maybe it's injury related; maybe it's Colin Kaepernick's comfort level. Whatever the case, at this juncture Boldin deserves the same fantasy consideration Crabtree gets; plan your lineup accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF CHI 004400000 ***
Crabtree was less WR1 and more third wheel in the San Francisco passing game last week, taking a back seat to both Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. That should be the exception rather than the rule; we'll give him another opportunity to prove that theory before relegating him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF CHI 002300000 ***
With Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and Anquan Boldin all fighting for whatever targets exist in this run-first offense there's hardly enough to make Johnson worthy of fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF CHI 005600000 ***
Shutting out Scott Chandler, like the Bears did last week, is one thing; limiting Davis is another thing entirely. Not saying he'll put up 130-plus yards on the Bears like Jimmy Graham and Jordan Reed did last season, but another solid fantasy outing is definitely on the radar.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF CHI 1133 ***
Dawson is still looking for his first field goal of the 2014 season; odds are he'll get it--and then some--this week, as he booted multiple treys in seven of eight by The Bay last year.

WEEK 11
2012
MIA at BUF (THU) *CLE at DAL *NO at OAK TB at CAR
*ARI at ATL GB at DET NYJ at STL *CHI at SF (MON)
*BAL at PIT *IND at NE PHI at WAS Bye:
*UPDATED CIN at KC JAC at HOU *SD at DEN MIN, NYG, SEA, TEN

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