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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 GB 0000026020 ***
Cutler's on a roll, with multiple TD tosses in every game this season. He threw for 262 and 2 the last time he faced Green Bay, and while the Packers have been relatively successful in limiting opposing passers thus far this year... well, did we mention Cutler is on a roll?
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, CHI GB 8016500000 ****
After a couple of disappointing weeks look for Forte to get back in the saddle against the Pack. Last year Forte produced 336 yards from scrimmage and four TDs in the two-game set, and now he catches a reeling Green Bay run D that's allowed the second-most fantasy points to opposing backs.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI GB 0071001000 ***
Jeffery was the understudy to Brandon Marshall in last season's series with Green Bay, but last week's 8-105 while Marshall hobbled on and off the field demonstrates he's just as capable of being a WR1. The Packers haven't surrendered much of anything to opposing wideouts thus far this season, so maybe the best course of action would be start whichever Bears wideout is healthiest--though that seems to change from snap to snap.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, CHI GB 006501000 ***
Marshall has scored the last three times he's faced Green Bay, not to mention four TDs already this season. So if he's healthy enough to take the field he belongs in your fantasy lineup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Santonio Holmes, CHI GB 002200000 ***
The Bears have yet to go three deep into their wide receivers; meanwhile it's been tough enough for opposing WR1s to find success against the Packers, let alone secondary targets. Holmes is an option only if either Brandon Marshall or Alshon Jeffery is ruled out due to injury.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI GB 004400000 ****
Bennett has been money this season, in part capitalizing on one (or both) of Chicago's receivers missing time due to injury. The Packers have locked down tight ends, but with Brandon Marshall still hobbling the door remains ajar for Bennett to carve out fantasy value.
Update: Marshall did not practice all week due to his injured ankle. If he's active you almost have to play him given his track record this season, but be wary of a pre-kickoff scratch.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, CHI GB 2233 ****
The Packers haven't been averse to giving up kicker points; Gould hasn't been opposed to scoring them. A solid fantasy option again this week.

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 PHI 50100025020 ***
Keeping up with Philly takes some doing, and all three opposing QBs have responded by throwing multiple touchdowns. That bodes well for Kaepernick; if you add another TD toss to his usual 250 throwing and 50 rushing, he becomes a significant fantasy contributor.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF PHI 8011100000 ***
This should be a more favorable matchup for Gore, who was stymied by the Cardinals last week. Three different backs have rushed for at least 70 yards against Philly; so long as Gore doesn't cede too many carries to rookie Carlos Hyde he should be able to turn that workload into a fantasy helper.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF PHI 006801000 ***
Lots of opportunities against a secondary that allowed two 100-yard receivers a week ago. Crabtree remains the go-to guy in this passing game, especially if Vernon Davis remains sidelined, and his numbers should reflect that role.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF PHI 004500000 ***
After a big Week 1 Boldin has been quiet--even with Vernon Davis out of the mix last week. Philly just gave up matching 100-yard games to a pair of Redskins receivers, which at least puts Boldin in play for fantasy relevancy this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF PHI 003500000 ***
Johnson stepped up with a big game last week against Arizona, but his 103-yard effort feels more like the exception rather than the rule--especially if Vernon Davis is back in the mix. No reason to chase last week's stat line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF PHI 005501000 **
Captain Obvious says Davis is a must play if healthy. It's not an overly favorable matchup, but Davis is elite and if he's suited up he belongs in your fantasy lineup.
Update: After not practicing all last week (and subsequently not playing in Week 3), Davis practiced on a limited basis all week. That gives hope he'll play, but it's a late game so you'll need to have a backup plan in case he's scratched Sunday afternoon.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF PHI 1144 ***
Dawson has had inconsistent opportunities thus far this season, but a Philly squad that's allowed multiple field goal attempts in every game this year should tilt the scales towards fantasy usability this week.

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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