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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 0000026021 ****
Four straight quarterbacks have thrown for multiple touchdowns against the Packers, something Josh McCown also did back in the Week 9 meeting between these clubs. You'll have to trust Cutler to bounce back from 222 & 1 in last week's 54-11 shellacking at the hands of the Eagles, but he had multiple touchdowns in each of the four previous home games he both started and finished so it shouldn't take a great leap of faith.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Forte, CHI GB 8015300000 ***
The Packers have allowed 100-yard rushers in two straight, four of five, and six of eight--a stretch that includes Forte's 125 & 1 back in Week 9. Five of those six 100-yard backs (including Forte) also scored touchdowns. No Clay Matthews, a motivated Bears team gunning for a playoff spot... it all adds up to a very nice fantasy day for Forte.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Alshon Jeffery, CHI GB 005801000 ****
Jeffery's 5-60-1 against Green Bay in the earlier meeting, coupled with Jay Cutler's slight preference for Brandon Marshall, relegate Jeffery to the WR2 role. No biggie: secondary targets have scored in three of four and six of eight against the Pack, so it's all good for Alshon.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Brandon Marshall, CHI GB 005701000 ***
Doesn't matter if Marshall is WR1 or WR2, though his 13 targets and 7-107-1 in the earlier meeting with Green Bay suggest he's still the alpha. WR1s have topped 100 yards in four of six against the Pack and either scored or topped 100 yards in six of eight. Marshall has 100 yards or a touchdown in three straight and seems to be Jay Cutler's favorite--good news for his fantasy prospects this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Santonio Holmes, CHI GB 002200000 ***
Holmes might be the most talented Jets' wideout, but his health is questionable and his quarterback shaky. It adds up to a distinct lack of fantasy reliability.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Martellus Bennett, CHI GB 003400000 ***
It's been a while since Bennett found the end zone, but he has 156 yards in the past two games as an alternative to Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. And against a Packers defense that's allowed TE TDs in three straight, Bennett just might make his way back to the end zone as well.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, CHI GB 2244 ***
Gould tallied nine points in his last meeting with the Packers, has hit double-digits in his last two at home, and will be kicking to get the Bears into the playoffs. Not a bad combo if you're looking for points.

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 20000020021 ****
From a fantasy perspective Kaepernick has largely disappointed since his 412 & 3 back in Week 1. He did throw for 252 & 2 against Arizona earlier this year, but he has just one game with multiple touchdown passes in the past month and hasn't topped 275 passing yards since Week 1 so he's no lock for fantasy success here.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF @ARI 500000000 ***
The Cardinals have allowed just two RB TDs in Arizona and just five running back scores on the season. Gore owns the only 100-yard effort the Cards have given up, but Kendall Hunter swiped the TD when these clubs met back in Week 6. Frank hasn't scored on the road since Week 8 in Jacksonville, but if he sees the same 20-plus carries he's received each of the past two games he's a decent bet for fantasy productivity even given the tough matchup.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF @ARI 005601000 ***
Boldin scored last week, and he continues to be just as targeted as Michael Crabtree. Between a stout Arizona secondary that hasn't allowed a WR TD since Week 10 and a run-first 49ers offense there's not a ton of upside here, but both wideouts are still solid bets to be at minimum fantasy helpers.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF @ARI 003400000 ***
Arizona hasn't allowed a WR TD since Week 10; then again, they haven't had to face Crabtree yet, and he scored four times in the two-game series last year. Coming off a 102-yard outing, Crabtree is a solid bet to pace the San Francisco passing game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF @ARI 006801000 *****
The last time Davis saw the Cardinals he torched them for 8-180-2. Last week he broke hearts by pitching a shutout on Monday night, but this matchup with the most TE-friendly defense in the league should help him regain at least some of his street cred.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @ARI 2222 ***
Dawson had a dozen in the earlier meeting with Arizona and has double-digit points in four straight. No reason he won't get his kick on once again 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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