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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

Prediction: SF 20, SEA 17 (Line: SF by 1)

Players Updated: Sidney Rice

Players to Watch: Michael Crabtree. Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick

This is the late game on Sunday and should be a great one. This is probably for all the marbles in the NFC West or at the least to see if the Seahawks reach the playoffs. The 49ers already won 13-6 when they hosted this game in week seven. The 49ers also won 19-17 in Seattle last year in another year ending game. This one will be all about defense and likely low scoring unless the defenses can notch a score or two.

The forecast is for rain which will only slow this game down even more.

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 32-7
3 @MIN 13-24 12 @NO 31-21
4 @NYJ 34-0 13 @STL 13-16
5 BUF 45-3 14 MIA 27-13
6 NYG 3-26 15 @NE 41-34
7 SEA 13-6 16 @SEA -----
8 @ARI 24-3 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SF @ SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Colin Kaepernick 60,1 210
QB Christian Ponder 20 190,1
WR Jeremy Kerley 3-40
WR Torrey Smith 4-60
WR Rod Streater 4-60
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 1 XP

Pregame Notes: The 49ers can clinch the division with this game and realistically, even if they lost they only need to beat the visiting Cardinals in week 17 to secure the title by probably a half game. But this game takes another importance - the 49ers are currently the #2 seed and while they won't catch the Falcons to reach the #1, a loss here may allow the Packers to sneak past and get the #2 seed. Provided both the Packers and 49ers win or lose this week, the season finale for each will still have meaning since it will be for second round home field and a bye.

The difference this time around from seven weeks ago is that Colin Kaepernick has taken over at quarterback. Alex Smith passed for 140 yards and one score on the visiting Seahawks in week seven. In five starts, Kaepernick has not thrown for fewer than 185 yards and has been above 200 in all others.

He comes off a season best four scores and 216 yards in New England. Defending against a running quarterback is not what the Seahawks often do. The passing game should be better too with the Seahawks already missing RCB Brandon Browner who is on suspension and LCB Richard Sherman has his hearing on Friday when he will discover if he can play or not.

Frank Gore rushed for 131 yards on 16 carries in the first meeting and caught a season best 51 yards on five receptions. He has not passed 100 rush yards since and won't likely again this week in Seattle. LaMichael James is getting eight carries per week for about 30 yards but has only one reception.

Vernon Davis just missed on a long scoring pass last week but still ended up with just one reception for 10 yards. He's lost all fantasy value in the last month and did not have any catches in the last meeting with the Seahawks. He did not even get any targets.

The rookie A.J. Jenkins is suiting up but hasn't caught a pass so far. Randy Moss scored on the Patriots as a tip of the hat to his old employer but remains outside of any fantasy value. Michael Crabtree only ended with four receptions for 31 yards in the last meeting with the Seahawks but has been golden in almost every game since and scored three times in just the last two games. He already has eight touchdowns and three 100 yard games in this breakout season.

This will be a defensive battle though missing the starting corners could be an issue if Sherman is out as well. Crabtree should already get Browner's replacement anyway and Seattle has to decide how to defend the same offense as before only with a running quarterback.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 11 11 23 11 8 13
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 2 7 4 1 1 5

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Colin Kaepernick, SF @CHI 50100022021 ***
Chicago is not allowing a lot of yardage (248.8) over the last five weeks, but this group has given up touchdowns at the 12th most generous clip. Kaepernick is on a roll of late, and Chicago is also without three linebackers. There should be points to be had via his legs in this one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF @CHI 6005401000 ***
Chicago has been losing linebackers like crazy in the past few weeks, so Hyde has a good shot at producing for gamers. Overall, it's not a great matchup using data from the past five weeks, but runners have scored three times in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jeremy Kerley, SF @CHI 004401000 **
Chicago has allowed receivers to average a touchdown per game since Week 7, and this is a top-15 matchup for yards per game, touchdowns per reception, and points per reception. Kerley could be sly bye week fill-in.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Torrey Smith, SF @CHI 003300000 ***
Smith has a fleeting chance at fantasy success this week, but he needs to find the end zone to live up to a spot in a lineup. He's better left for DFS formats. The Bears have given up four WR touchdowns in the last four games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vance McDonald, SF @CHI 004500000 ***
Three of the 19 touchdowns allowed have turned into six points. Low volume receptions and yards, high probability for scoring ... McDonald has some upside.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF @CHI 1133 ***
This is a routine matchup for Dawson, whose fantasy worth has been on the rise with San Francisco's recent offensive uptick.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @ARI 16-20 10 NYJ 28-7
2 DAL 27-7 11 BYE -----
3 GB 14-12 12 @MIA 21-24
4 @STL 13-19 13 @CHI 23-17
5 @CAR 16-12 14 ARI 58-0
6 NE 24-23 15 @BUF 50-17
7 @SF 6-13 16 SF -----
8 @DET 24-28 17 STL -----
9 MIN 30-20 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SEA vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Russell Wilson 30 210,1
TE Jimmy Graham 6-60,1
PK Steven Hauschka 1 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: Hard to argue with back-to-back games with 50 points or more. All of that doesn't so much matter this week other than the Seahawks have to be feeling plenty good about their offense lately despite racking up wins on bad teams. At 9-5, the Seahawks are currently in the lead for the #5 seed wildcard and even a loss this week doesn't necessarily mean they are out but will mean the final home game against the Rams has to be a win and then sort through the tie breakers with the other 10-6 teams.

Russell Wilson comes off his best game of the year by exponential factor when he had his standard 205 yard, one touchdown effort in Buffalo but added three rushing touchdowns and 92 yards on nine runs. He had never scored as a runner before and only once before topped 35 yards as a runner. Wilson only managed 122 passing yards and no scores in San Francisco back in week seven and ran for only 10 yards on three scampers.

Marshawn Lynch faces one of the top rushing defenses in the league but he already gained 103 yards on 19 runs back in week seven and his only efforts under 100 yards in the last eight weeks were all in road games, not at home. Lynch scored eight touchdowns in the seven games since the last 49ers matchup. His last three home games all produced over 120 rushing yards with at least one score.

The passing effort was so bad in the previous matchup that no tight end or wideout Golden Tate had a reception in the game and the best receiver ended up as Ben Obamanu with only three catches for 50 yards. This will be a defense battle to be sure and the 49ers were able to pin down even Tom Brady for three quarters last week.

The only fantasy play here is Marshawn Lynch just the same as really any other game this year. Wilson had a monster game as a runner last week but that's not likely to happen here.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 17 6 21 23 17 8
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 4 2 1 14 2 11

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Russell Wilson, SEA CAR 20000028020 ***
Carolina has buckled down against quarterbacks in the last five weeks, giving up only 20.8 points per contest. Some of that success was based on weak passing matchups, though. Wilson was finding his stride until last week's road bump versus the Buccaneers. He's a fine start in Week 13.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Thomas Rawls, SEA CAR 6013300000 ***
Running backs have thrashed Carolina through the air, accounting for 42 catches for 356 yards in the last five games. Not one of those grabs went for a touchdown, and only one of 88 rushing attempts has scored. Even if Rawls doesn't score, there should be yardage opportunities.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA CAR 007901000 ***
The Panthers have given up the second most catches per game to receivers, which has led to the 13th highest per-game yardage figure since Week 7. Carolina has given up so many receptions that allowing six TDs on 82 catches doesn't look as bad as the reality of six in five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Tyler Lockett, SEA CAR 003400000 ***
Lockett is looking as explosive as ever, and he has deep-league appeal, as well as in DFS, for those looking to roll the dice. The Panthers have given up the fifth most fantasy points per game in PPR scoring over the past five games.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Jermaine Kearse, SEA CAR 002300000 ***
Starting Kearse is throwing away a lineup spot. Avoid him in all leagues.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Jimmy Graham, SEA CAR 006701000 ***
This is squarely a mid-tier matchup for Graham. Carolina has allowed averages of 4.8 receptions and 52.4 yards since Week 7, with two of 24 catches going the distance.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA CAR 1133 ***
The Panthers have given up the 14th most fantasy points, on average, to the position based on allowing the ninth most field goal attempts per outing since Week 7.

WEEK 16
2012
ATL at DET (SAT) CLE at DEN NO at DAL *SF at SEA
BUF at MIA *IND at KC *NYG at BAL STL at TB
CHI at ARI MIN at HOU OAK at CAR *TEN at GB
*Updated CIN at PIT *NE at JAC SD at NYJ WAS at PHI

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