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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Sortable Player Projections
Game Predictions Summary

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WEEK 8
2010
*GB at NYJ *CAR at STL *MIN at NE *HOU at IND
*DEN at SF WAS at DET *SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL *BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
*UPDATED MIA at CIN *TEN at SD *PIT at NO NYG, PHI

Prediction: DEN 20, SF 13

Update: Troy Smith has been named the starting quarterback for this London game which makes it all the more impossible to forecast. Vernon Davis has been held out of practices but is still expected to play. Eddie Royal is still being bothered by his groin but is likely to play at least a limited role.

Update #2: Vernon Davis had some work on Friday and is expected to play but he could be limited because of his ankle.

The Broncos have lost their last three games and yet at 2-5 are not that far out of contention in the AFC West. Denver only has a 1-2 road record but the 49ers just lost a quarterback. The Broncos were just creamed by the visiting Raiders and that should focus them this week. This game is being played in London at Wembley Stadium so that always assures an odd game that generally ends lower scoring. But try the roast beef.

Denver Broncos (2-5)
Homefield: Invesco Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @JAC L 17-24 10 KC --
2 SEA W 31-14 11 @SD --
3 IND L 13-27 12 STL --
4 @TEN W 26-20 13 @KC --
5 @BAL L 17-31 14 @ARI --
6 NYJ L 20-24 15 @OAK --
7 OAK L 14-59 16 HOU --
8 @SF -- 17 SD --
9 Bye - - - -
Broncos Report | Statistics | Roster
DENVER at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton - - 250,2
RB Knowshon Moreno 50 20 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 60,1 -
WR Eddie Royal - 40 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 70,1 -
PK Matt Prater 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: Flip a coin. Is it worse to be beaten by the Raiders 59-14 or that it was the third straight time they had won in Denver? The Broncos lost to the Ravens and Jets in somewhat competitive games but getting waxed by the Raiders cuts pretty deeply. With only a bye waiting on the other side, this game needs to be a win to prevent the next two weeks from being all about a 2-6 record in a season already lost.

QUARTERBACK: Kyle Orton has scored at least once in every game and half of the time he has passed for two along with very healthy yardage. He currently has 11 touchdowns against only four interceptions but hasn't had more than 210 passing yards for the last two weeks after starting the year with 295+ yards in the first five games.

The 49ers secondary has been suspect the entire season and five opponents have passed for more than 250 yards on them. They too have allowed 11 passing scores and have been stout against the run which only serves to make Orton throw even more. Expect at least a healthy game here and a good chance for big stats. It is London weather so that could impact the passing.

RUNNING BACKS: Last week was nothing but Knowshon Moreno during the blowout loss but at least Correll Buckhalter and Laurence Maroney will be used for change of pace and relief work. But Moreno is clearly the most talented runner of the bunch and he added three catches for 37 yards and two touchdowns last week. This will remain a committee of sorts though Moreno is taking a definite lead role.

The 49ers have their problems but run defense is not really one of them. No runner has topped 100 yards in a game against them and only two have rushed in scores. The majority of opponents do not have a runner with more than 50 yards so look for a mediocre showing by Moreno this week.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Certainly these wideouts have slowed down significantly in the last three weeks and why not? They faced the Ravens and Jets and then were slapped around by some bad-mojo destiny against the Raiders. Demaryius Thomas remains on the outside looking in but the starters here are more waiting for a softer secondary than losing any talent level. The 49ers have been tougher on wide receivers when they are visitors to San Francisco and none of them have scored there or had more than 95 yards. But the loss of Alex Smith this week really depressed what the 49ers can accomplish and I believe that translates into decent numbers for the wideouts as the Broncos do not use a tight end for receptions much. The 49ers sacrificed a home game for this London trip and that's always a huge variable in the game.

I am assigning the scores here but it is more a place to put them than a high confidence.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DEN 4 30 1 32 10 28
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 17 16 9 16 30 27
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) DEN 13 -14 8 -16 20 -1


San Francisco 49ers (1-6)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SEA L 6-31 10 STL --
2 NO L 22-25 11 TB --
3 @KC L 10-31 12 @ARI --
4 @ATL L 14-16 13 @GB --
5 PHI L 24-27 14 SEA --
6 OAK W 17-9 15 @SD --
7 @CAR L 20-23 16 @STL --
8 DEN -- 17 ARI --
9 Bye - - - -
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO vs DEN Rush Catch Pass
QB David Carr - - 140
QB Troy Smith - - 130
RB Frank Gore 110,1 10 -
TE Vernon Davis - 40 -
WR Josh Morgan - 30 -
WR Ted Ginn Jr. - 20 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 40 -
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough loss in Carolina and 1-6 pretty much ensures that the 49ers are done and that Mike Singletary will be released at the end of the year because the team wants "to head in a new direction". This weak offense is made even worse with the chance that Alex Smith may not play. Traveling to London to play? It is just too much to expect the reeling 49ers to respond with much.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith sprained the AC joint in his left shoulder and since he is being seen by a doctor in London, information is hard to get. It looks most likely that he will not play and that David Carr will get the start. Carr has proven to be a godsend for Smith because he is the only one that can play and make everyone want to get Smith back in a hurry. Carr entered the Carolina game and only managed to complete 5 of 13 passes for 67 yards and one interception.

Denver has been soft against the pass but Carr in London does nothing to inspire confidence. Leave him on the waiver wire.

RUNNING BACKS: Frank Gore has topped 100 rushing yards in each of the last two games and even added 57 yards on four catches in Carolina. But Gore has not scored a rushing touchdown since week two. Fortunately, the Broncos have literally allowed ten rushing touchdowns in just the last three weeks. That makes Gore perhaps the only player in the entire game with a very bright outlook no matter what happens with the weather.

This should be a week to showcase running by Gore while the Broncos rely more on the pass. Expect at least a solid game here that could potentially be a big one.

WIDE RECEIVERS: It will either happen with Michael Crabtree or it won't happen at all - which is normally the case most weeks. The 49ers only have three touchdown passes to the wideouts and two went to Crabtree. On the road against probably Champ Bailey means no player here is an attractive fantasy start this week or really any.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis has battled knee problems but after being limited in practice last week he had no problems playing in the Carolina game. Davis recorded his fourth straight game with a touchdown and ended with 74 yards on four catches. With Carr playing, Davis had five targets and two catches for 20 yards. This is a week likely to end that touchdown scoring streak.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 17 17 29 6 31 27
Preventing Fantasy Points DEN 22 19 21 19 13 12
Advantage(+) or Disadvantage(-) SF 5 2 -8 13 -18 -15

WEEK 8
2010
GB at NYJ CAR at STL MIN at NE HOU at IND
DEN at SF WAS at DET SEA at OAK ATL, BAL
JAC at DAL BUF at KC TB at ARI CHI, CLE
  MIA at CIN TEN at SD PIT at NO NYG, PHI
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