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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
RB Frank Gore 50 1-10
WR Anquan Boldin 5-70,1
WR Michael Crabtree 5-80,1
WR Steve Johnson 6-80,1
WR Brandon Lloyd 4-60
TE Vernon Davis 1-20
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 30100023011 ***
Kaep did just enough last week in Dallas, containing himself to 201 and 2 while his defense and ground game did the rest. He may have to work a bit harder this week to keep pace with the Bears' offense, but he certainly doesn't come to the table empty handed--or footed, as it were.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Carlos Hyde, SF CHI 401000000 ***
Hyde certainly flashed in the season opener, offering a taste of what's to come once Frank Gore finally calls it a career. He'll be the junior partner in this committee, but considering that the Bills had three backs top 60 combo yards last week there should be more than enough for two Niners to get their fantasy fill.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Frank Gore, SF CHI 700000000 ***
Chicago still has issues stopping the run, which bodes well for Gore as the lead dog in San Francisco's backfield tag team. Gore should get the early looks; whether or not that also yields goal line opportunities marks the difference between a solid fantasy outing and a really good one.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Anquan Boldin, SF CHI 004701000 ***
That Bolden carved out 8-99 against a porous Dallas secondary isn't surprising; that it came at the expense of Michael Crabtree's numbers is. Maybe it's injury related; maybe it's Colin Kaepernick's comfort level. Whatever the case, at this juncture Boldin deserves the same fantasy consideration Crabtree gets; plan your lineup accordingly.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Michael Crabtree, SF CHI 004400000 ***
Crabtree was less WR1 and more third wheel in the San Francisco passing game last week, taking a back seat to both Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis. That should be the exception rather than the rule; we'll give him another opportunity to prove that theory before relegating him.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Steve Johnson, SF CHI 002300000 ***
With Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and Anquan Boldin all fighting for whatever targets exist in this run-first offense there's hardly enough to make Johnson worthy of fantasy consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Vernon Davis, SF CHI 005600000 ***
Shutting out Scott Chandler, like the Bears did last week, is one thing; limiting Davis is another thing entirely. Not saying he'll put up 130-plus yards on the Bears like Jimmy Graham and Jordan Reed did last season, but another solid fantasy outing is definitely on the radar.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, SF CHI 1133 ***
Dawson is still looking for his first field goal of the 2014 season; odds are he'll get it--and then some--this week, as he booted multiple treys in seven of eight by The Bay last year.

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
RB Marshawn Lynch 100,1 1-10
TE Zach Miller 3-40
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 @SD 20000019010 ***
Wilson is efficient, effective, and a bit of a fantasy enigma. Usually his team will run the ball and he'll do just enough for the win--not necessarily enough to load your fantasy stat sheet. Is he capable? Sure, and the Chargers just let Carson Palmer go for 304 & 2 against them. But he's as apt to give you 200 and 1 or 150 and 2 as he is something that's really helpful fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Marshawn Lynch, SEA @SD 9011100000 ***
San Diego's run D wasn't particularly tested last week; that will change when Lynch gets his customary 15-20 carries. It's early in the season, he's well rested... no reason not to pencil him in for his usual Beast Mode fantasy outburst.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Percy Harvin, SEA @SD 3006700000 ***
The Seahawks will get Harvin his touches, but he'll find himself facing the usual quandaries: he may not get to a receiving or rushing milestone like 100 yards, so your league needs to reward combo yardage (or each yard individually) for maximum effect; and because Seattle's defense is so stout, there's really no need to blow Harvin up for a gaudy stat line.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Doug Baldwin, SEA @SD 005600000 ***
Even though he's a solid WR2 he's on a team that doesn't need to throw a bunch. Worse, Russell Wilson is starting to spread the ball around to tertiary targets, making Baldwin that much more difficult to trust fantasy-wise.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Zach Miller, SEA @SD 003400000 ***
Miller has the distinct displeasure of being a low-end target on a run-first team, and this matchup isn't favorable enough for him to be banked on for fantasy help.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Steven Hauschka, SEA @SD 2233 ****
With a defense like they have, the Seahawks can afford to settle for field goals--good news for Hauschka, as it's better to count by threes.

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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