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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 TB 0000031031 ****
Lovie's defense has held three of the past four QBs they've faced under 250 yards and to one TD toss or less, plus you have to think he has some knowledge of Cutler's game from his days in Chicago. That said, Cutler still has his twin towers plus Matt Forte to lean on, so he should be just fine.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, CHI TB 8006501000 ***
The Bucs have allowed five 80-plus yard rushers in their past six games, so Forte should get his on the ground. Add in his passing game contributions and another quality fantasy outing is in the offing.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI TB 0071101000 ****
It's a solid matchup, Jeffery against a Bucs' secondary that has struggled with big receivers this season. He's a little less consistently targeted than running mate Brandon Marshall, but both are quality fantasy options this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, CHI TB 0081001000 ****
From way back in Week 1, when Kelvin Benjamin debuted with 92 yards and a touchdown, to Week 10 when Julio Jones rolled up 8-119, the Bucs have struggled with receivers of size. The Bears have size times two in Marshall and Alshon Jeffery; no reason to think this passing game can't have the same success.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI TB 004400000 ***
The Bucs haven't given up a tight end touchdown since Week 4, and with outside receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery both expected to have big games there may not be enough left over for Bennett this week.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, CHI TB 2233 ***
Four of the last six kickers to tee it up against the Bucs have scored double-digit points. Unfortunately, Gould hasn't even scored double-digit points in the last month combined so you'll want to get your fantasy kicks elsewhere.

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 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 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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