The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, Guest. You are not logged in.   | Login  |  Help
HOME FANTASY DRAFT KIT IN SEASON ARTICLES NEWS STATS FORUMS TEAMS PLAYERS NFL DRAFT NFL ABOUT TICKETS myHuddle

FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 4 SF at STL (THU) CIN at CLE NYG at KC SEA at HOU
PIT at MIN (London) IND at JAC PHI at DEN WAS at OAK
CHI at DET NE at ATL BAL at BUF MIA at NO (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at TB DAL at SD NYJ at TEN On Bye: CAR, GB

Prediction: SF 20, STL 24 (Line: SF by 3)

Players of Interest: Colin Kaepernick, Daryl Richardson

This is a Thursday game worth watching (not that any game is not worth watching). The 49ers opened the season steam rolling the Packers and the world was great. Now two weeks later and they've only scored ten points while giving away 56 and lost to the visiting Colts by 20 points. The confidence has been shaken and the 49ers offense looks suddenly very ordinary. The Rams are only 1-2 after losing two road games in Atlanta and Dallas. This week is very pivotal because one of these teams drops to 1-3.

The Rams pulled the upset when they won 16-13 in St. Louis last year and they also had the 24-24 tie in San Francisco.

1 GB 34-28 10 CAR -
2 @SEA 3-29 11 @NO -
3 IND 7-27 12 @WAS -
4 @STL - 13 STL -
5 HOU - 14 SEA -
6 ARI - 15 @TB -
7 @TEN - 16 ATL -
8 @JAC - 17 @ARI -
9 BYE WEEK ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
SF @ STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Blaine Gabbert 180
QB Colin Kaepernick 50 240,1
RB Frank Gore 90,1 2-20
WR Anquan Boldin 8-90,1
TE Vernon Davis 5-60
PK Phil Dawson 2 FG 2 XP

Pregame Notes: The 49ers level of play has been somewhat surreal compared to expectations and past history. Their failures have been in every facet of the game and the 84 points allowed over three weeks ranks as 8th worse in the NFL. Were it not for the 34 points in the season opener, this offense would rank very near the bottom in points scored. The season is still young and any coach will say their team should never panic. Guess what - this team needs to panic. Everyone should be losing an eyebrow on this team.

QUARTERBACKS: After opening with 423 yards and three touchdowns, the world was all okay. Then Colin Kaepernick was crushed by the Seahawks and only managed 13 of 28 passes for 127 yards and three interceptions. At least he rushed for 87 yards in that game. But then he was held to only 150 yards by the visiting Colts and ran for 20 yards. That set off the alarms. Missing Vernon Davis has proven to be catastrophic since there are no other reliable receivers, not even Anquan Boldin who has morphed back into being a mediocre possession receiver.

Kaepernick passed for 208 yards and rushed for 84 yards in St. Louis last year.

RUNNING BACKS: Frank Gore was visibly upset on the sidelines last week after only getting 11 rushing attempts despite gaining 82 yards. Kendall Hunter ended up scoring the lone rushing touchdown as this team has abandoned the run for the last two weeks. Falling behind forces the need to throw though and Gore is not a part of the passing equation.

Gore ran for 58 yards and one score in St. Louis last season.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Take away Anquan Boldin's 208 yard season opener and this entire unit looks like the 49ers are once again in need of anyone to be more than mediocre. Boldin was held to 57 yards on six catches versus the Colts after his one catch game up in Seattle. Marlon Moore and Quinton Patton combine for one catch for six yards on the season. This is just not working. Even in the big opener, Boldin was the only one with more than 36 yards or a score.

The 49ers may bring Jon Baldwin up and give him a try after scratching him in games so far. It is not like he could do any worse.

TIGHT ENDS: This is where the 49ers must get healthy. Vernon Davis left the Seattle loss with a hamstring strain and was held out of the loss to the Colts. He was a game day decision last Sunday and the speculation was that they wanted him healthy for this divisional matchup because, you know, the 49ers were going to dominate the Colts and not need Davis. This may end up as a game time decision again or at least the 49ers are likely make it look that way. I will assume that a mostly unlimited Davis will play but check on his status Thursday evening. If he sits again, that doesn't bode well for the passing effort.

Davis was held to only two catches for 15 yards in St. Louis last year.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams have been uneven on defense. After being great against the run for the first two weeks, they were shredded by DeMarco Murray in his annual one decent game. The Rams are weakest against the pass with every opponent scoring at least twice via the air and averaging just over 300 yards per game. Unfortunately there is no Larry Fitzgerald or Julio Jones on this team. The Rams also held Tony Gonzalez to only 33 yards and Jason Witten to 67 yards. The expectation is that the 49ers are going to establish the run and with that Gore becomes a must start. But Kaepernick, Boldin and Davis are riskier starts on the road after two very bad games and facing a team they never beat in 2013.

WHAT TO WATCH: This all comes down to giving the ball to Frank Gore more and Colin Kaepernick improving as a passer against a weaker secondary.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 24 23 30 12 29 29
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 22 25 27 15 11 23

 

1 ARI 27-24 10 @IND -
2 @ATL 24-31 11 BYE WEEK
3 @DAL 7-31 12 CHI -
4 SF - 13 @SF -
5 JAC - 14 @ARI -
6 @HOU - 15 NO -
7 @CAR - 16 TB -
8 SEA - 17 @SEA -
9 TEN - ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
STL vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 250,2
RB Daryl Richardson 70 5-40
WR Tavon Austin 20 7-60
WR Chris Givens 4-50,1
WR Austin Pettis 4-40
TE Jared Cook 5-50,1
PK Greg Zuerlein 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The Rams were destroyed by the Cowboys in a game that just never stayed within reach. The Rams are back at home where they had their only win so far and with only the Jaguars on the other side of this matchup, there is a chance for a turn-around before the schedule becomes very tough the rest of the season. The rushing effort remains one of the worst in the league but at least the passing attack is still growing as the rookies are brought along. The best part of this game for the Rams is not so much what they have, it is the missing defenders on the 49ers side.

QUARTERBACKS: After two very nice games to open the season, Sam Bradford was held to only 240 yards and one score in Dallas. It was one bad game - getting sacked six times while having none in the first two weeks. He's still on a pace for 4700 yards and 32 touchdowns but then again the schedule is just about to get much worse. Bradford has new weapons and is still learning how best to use them.

RUNNING BACKS: The expectations were low going into the season and apparently rather prophetic since this unit has yet to score a touchdown or gain more than 65 rush yards in a game. All combined, the Rams only have 44 rushes for 139 yards and a 3.2 yard average. Daryl Richardson was nursing a bad foot which was stepped on in the Dallas game and forced him out with nary a carry. Isaiah Pead took over but only ran six times for 20 yards. Where these backs have any success is as a receiver. The primary back is getting at least five receptions per week and Richardson is expected to return. That makes him nothing more than a desperation play in a reception points league.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The receivers are still determining their roles and each are getting looks. Austin Pettis scored in each of the last two games. Tavon Austin has exactly six receptions in all three games and scored twice in Atlanta. Chris Givens has yet to score but has been as good as 105 yards. With a poor rushing attack, the wide receivers are responsible for keeping the Rams in games. This is a young crew that is improving. With a tougher schedule looming, their success or failure will be the determining factor in most games.

TIGHT ENDS: Jared Cook opened the year with a monster game but then flopped with just one catch in Atlanta. In Dallas, he split the difference and turned in five receptions for 44 yards while just missing one long gainer. He remains a solid part of the game plan but no more important than any of the starting wide receivers. Cook is hardly going to surprise anyone this year but the more the wideouts improve, the more room he will have to operate.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: This is where it is interesting and harder to gauge. The 49ers are going to be without their best run stopper and pass rusher Aldon Smith. They will also be without ILB Patrick Willis. They have already allowed an uncharacteristic six touchdowns to opposing running backs and they are on the road as well. That's still not enough to think that Richardson or Pead is going to morph into a RB1 but it does soften up the defense considerably. Their inability to stop the run led to low passing efforts by both Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck in their winning efforts. Aaron Rodgers not only tagged them with 333 yards and three scores, he produced two wideouts with 100+ yard games and a nice effort by the tight end Jermichael Finley as well and that was back when SMith and Willis were still on the defense. It is a bit much to expect a big game here by any player but Bradford, Cook, Givens and Austin are moderate plays.

WHAT TO WATCH: The Rams sorely miss having a running back capable of even average play. The 49ers are weakest against the run so Richardson gets a shot at a meaningful game if he is up to it.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 9 27 11 3 21 28
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 15 30 8 9 12 24

WEEK 4 SF at STL (THU) CIN at CLE NYG at KC SEA at HOU
PIT at MIN (London) IND at JAC PHI at DEN WAS at OAK
CHI at DET NE at ATL BAL at BUF MIA at NO (MON)
*UPDATED ARI at TB DAL at SD NYJ at TEN On Bye: CAR, GB


a d v e r t i s e m e n t