FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

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 Jay Feely 2 XP
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 @MIN 0000026011 **
Cutler returns to the lineup, facing a team he's thrown for 620 yards and six touchdowns (with four INTs) against in the past two games. He won't have Brandon Marshall, but you have to think his "WTF" approach to throwing into coverage will be exacerbated in what could be his final game as a Bear. That's both good and bad; caution on using Cutler if you're penalized for picks.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, CHI @MIN 8016500000 ***
Forte is working on a 10-game touchdown drought against the Vikings, but hopefully you play in a yardage league because he's had triple-digit combo yards in each of his last four against Minnesota. The Vikings have given up 100-plus combo yards to six of the last seven feature backs they've faced. PPR leaguers are also fond of the matchup; Forte has 25 catches in those same four against the Vikings.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI @MIN 0071001000 **
In his last two against the Vikings, Jeffery has 23 catches (not a misprint) for 384 yards and three TDs. With no Brandon Marshall to get in his way, all that stands between Jeffery and more monster numbers is a banged-up Xavier Rhodes.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquess Wilson, CHI @MIN 003400000 ***
Wilson has been an adequate replacement for Brandon Marshall, but not necessarily someone you should be going out of your way to get into your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI @MIN 006600000 **
Bennett was nearly nonexistent with Jimmy Clausen at the helm last week, so he'll welcome the return of Jay Cutler. And on the heels of the Vikings giving up 149 yards and a TD to the position last week, Bennett will be happy to be facing Minnesota as well.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Jay Feely, CHI @MIN 1122 ***
Hope Feely didn't opt for performance-based pay, as the Bears have provided him with exactly zero field goal opportunities since signing him to replace the wounded Robbie Gould one month ago. He could match the three points Gould scored in the earlier meeting with Minnesota, but that's hardly enough to stir the fantasy pot.

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 ARI 30000021010 **
On behalf of all of Kaepernick's fantasy owners: where the heck has THAT been all year? Keep matched his best three-game rushing total with 151 yards and a score to augment his typical 114 and 1 passing performance, the result being his first fantasy helper in two and a half months. A repeat isn't out of the question against an Arizona defense that just gave up 88 and 1 on the ground to Russell Wilson, but at this point it's hard to believe there are any fantasy teams with Kaepernick on them who qualified for the playoffs, let alone made it to the final game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF ARI 701000000 ***
The Niners should have been wearing throwback uniforms last week given the way Gore turned back the clock with a season-high 26 carries for a season-high 158 yards. Contrast that with the six carries for 10 yards he dropped on the Cardinals in the earlier meeting and you can see why fantasy owners might have been frustrated. Those same Cardinals just gave up 113 and 2 to Marshawn Lynch at home, so another solid outing for Gore certainly isn't out of the question here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF ARI 004601000 **
Crabtree hasn't been seen fantasy-wise since Week 11; no reason to dust him off now.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF ARI 003300000 ***
Boldin is the more likely of San Francisco's receivers to generate some fantasy help, especially against his former team; in four previous meetings he's topped 140 yards twice and scored once. He's also been over 50 yards in 10 of his last 12, which may not sound like much but when Colin Kaepernick is throwing the ball is viewed as a streak of Lou Gehrig proportions.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF ARI 001200000 ***
After seeing what Luke Willson did to these Cardinals you want to reach for Davis... and then you realize, fantasy-wise, he hasn't been there since Week 1. And you weep.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF ARI 1133 ***
Dawson has one multiple field goal outing in his last five, hasn't seen double-digit points since Week 11, and scored a mere two points in the earlier meeting with Arizona. You can find a kicker with a few more positive trends than that.

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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