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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU* CIN at CAR* SD at SEA*
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC* IND at DEN*
DET at MIN* TEN at NYG WAS at STL* NYJ at MIA
*updated CLE at BAL* PIT at TB* OAK at ARI* GB at CHI

Prediction: SF 16, KC 20

The 49ers are going to pop a vein in HC Mike Singletary's head if they don't get a win soon. The Saints outlasted them last week and the Seahawks doled out the surprise whooping in week one. The Chiefs are 2-0 after clipping the Chargers at home and then winning a squeaker in Cleveland. The 49ers are favored by a couple of points but I still like those home Chiefs to pull off something improbable again to get the win. The 49ers were 6-2 at home last year but only 2-6 on the road and never had a non-divisional win away from home.

San Francisco 49ers (0-2)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SEA L 6-31 10 STL --
2 NO L 22-25 11 TB --
3 @KC -- 12 @ARI --
4 @ATL -- 13 @GB --
5 PHI -- 14 SEA --
6 OAK -- 15 @SD --
7 @CAR -- 16 @STL --
8 DEN -- 17 ARI --
9 Bye - - - -
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO at KC Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 230,1
RB Frank Gore 60 50 -
TE Vernon Davis - 80,1 -
WR Josh Morgan - 50 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 20 -
PK Joe Nedney 3 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: Certainly no shame in losing to the reigning NFL champs but the 49ers started their season on a sour note when they were ambushed in Seattle. Now they have this game and a road trip to Atlanta and hosting the Eagles before it starts to lighten up. Frank Gore was in top form on Monday night but the 49ers were just not quite good enough to win. The 49ers are not only really close to being a powerful, complete team, they have actually been there for a while and seem stalled.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith is averaging 250 passing yards per game but threw just one touchdown against four interceptions. He's been very good between the 20-yard lines but just hasn't been able to knock it in. The ground game came to life on Monday against the Saints but the concern yet again is that was a home game.

Smith goes against a secondary that has allowed well over 200 passing yards per week and at least one touchdown. Consider him a safe play for that average level of production. Anything more than one passing score would be a big success.

RUNNING BACKS: Frank Gore was running as well as ever when he bulldozed the Saints for 112 yards on 20 carries and one touchdown. He added seven receptions for 56 yards and a second score. But the previous week on the road, he could only gain 38 yards on the ground and needed six receptions for 45 yards to maintain his fantasy value. Anthony Dixon finally was given his first run in the NFL when he trotted on the field and stole a 3-yard touchdown run from Gore.

The Chiefs have been very good against the run and allowed only one rushing score and never more than 75 yards per runner. Expect a moderate to good game from Gore but mostly from his role as a receiver.

WIDE RECEIVERS: This remains the problem area of the offense with Michael Crabtree still lagging not only expectations but even what he did last year after no training camp. Crabtree only has three catches on the season despite getting 11 passes. Ted Ginn Jr. remains out with a bad knee and Dominque Ziegler takes his place with nothing more than one short catch. Josh Morgan has been the only mildly productive wideout because he had 70 yards on six catches last week. But he only accounted for just three receptions and 32 yards in the season opener on the road.

Hard to rely on any of these receivers and with only one passing score on the season (to Gore no less), there is not much optimism for a quick turn around. Morgan offers some marginal yardage but the rest are untouchable for now.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis remains the lead receiver in this offense with games of 8-73 and 4-78 but he hasn't score yet. With the wideouts not contributing as much as desired, the bleed over favors not only Davis but also Delanie Walker who gets two or three catches per week as well.

The good news this week is that the Chiefs have been weakest against tight ends so expect no less than another 70 yard day from Davis with a chance for that first touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 22 7 30 6 26 31
Preventing Fantasy Points KC 22 9 21 29 3 3


Kansas City Chiefs (2-0)
Homefield: Arrowhead Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SD W 21-14 10 @DEN --
2 @CLE W 16-14 11 ARI --
3 SF -- 12 @SEA --
4 Bye - 13 DEN --
5 @IND -- 14 @SD --
6 @HOU -- 15 @STL --
7 JAC -- 16 TEN --
8 BUF -- 17 OAK --
9 @OAK -- - - -
Chiefs Report | Statistics | Roster
KANSAS CITY vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Cassel - - 190,1
RB Jamaal Charles 50,1 20 -
RB Thomas Jones 30 - -
TE Tony Moeaki - 40,1 -
WR Dexter McCluster - 20 -
WR Chris Chambers - 30 -
WR Dwayne Bowe - 50 -
PK Ryan Succop 2 FG 2 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Chiefs managed to nip the Browns and now suddenly find themselves at the top of the AFC West. Granted two games is hardly a big accomplishment but another win at home this week and that early bye is a happy 3-0 week. The offense still is a work in progress with Charlie Weis at the helm and so far the defense has been just good enough. But another game at home is a good chance for a win before the schedule starts to slap them around after the bye week.

QUARTERBACK: Matt Cassel is hardly making anyone think of Tom Brady in a Weis system so far. The season opener was in the driving rain so he gets a pass but in Cleveland he only completed 16 of 26 passes for 176 yards and two interceptions. It was an interception return that scored the only touchdown in Cleveland.

This week pits Cassel against the 49ers who have allowed two passing scores to each opponent with moderate yardage. Look for a better effort from Cassel with at least one touchdown.

RUNNING BACKS: No matter that it makes no sense, the Chiefs are using Thomas Jones as the starting back and even relying on him despite an obvious and growing disparity in yards per carry. So far Jones has turned in 33 carries for 122 yards and a 3.7 YPC. Jamaal Charles has rushed 22 times for 141 yards and a 6.4 YPC. The only possible explanation aside from HC Todd Haley using crystal meth is that he never watched last year when Charles was ripping apart all opponents while already a Chief. And one early week he saw Thomas Jones run for the Jets.

Until Haley wants to put the best players on the field, Charles and Jones will share their workload and Jones will receive the most touches even though not the most yards will result.

The 49ers have been very good against running backs and only reception yardage makes them rank as if they were average. No runner has exceeded 46 rushing yards on the 49ers. That makes Jones even more worthless and Charles an option only if they will throw it to him. Charles bread and butter is the long breaker though so he has upside even this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Like the 49ers, here is where the offensive disconnect has been and that is in part because of installing a new complicated offense with Charlie Weis. Not only have no touchdowns been scored by a wideout, no one gained more than 45 yards in a game. There will be better days down the road but the install is going very slowly. This unit was much more productive last year when they knew what they were doing.

For now, it is just a big risk to use any Chiefs wideout even though the 49ers secondary can be beaten.

TIGHT ENDS: The rookie Tony Moeaki has not only been effective, he's the leading receiver and scorer for the Chiefs after two weeks. He had ten targets in San Diego - twice any other receiver - and caught five for 58 yards. He's not going to help anyone win their fantasy league but he is offering rare consistency and some value for a rookie tight end. The 49ers are weaker against tight ends as well so Moeaki is the better bet to score yet again.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points KC 32 14 32 13 15 3
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 24 13 9 19 29 29

WEEK 3
2010
BUF at NE DAL at HOU CIN at CAR SD at SEA
ATL at NO SF at KC PHI at JAC IND at DEN
DET at MIN TEN at NYG WAS at STL NYJ at MIA
  CLE at BAL PIT at TB OAK at ARI GB at CHI
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