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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections |  Projections by Team | Game Predictions Summary

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

Prediction: SEA 17, SF 27

Players to Watch: Marshawn Lynch, Braylon Edwards, Kendall Hunter, Zach Miller

Update: Sidney Rice is listed as doubtful to play and has not practiced this week because of his shoulder. He is removed from the projections this week.

This is likely to be a messy game with the Seahawks on the road where they are always far less and now sporting a new and yet not better cast of starters. The 49ers have their annual turnover of the coaching staff and are installing new schemes but with much the same players. Neither team looks much like a contender this year but one-on-one could make this an interesting game.

The Seahawks lost 21-40 in San Francisco last season. They opened the season with a 31-6 win over the visiting 49ers.

Seattle Seahawks
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @SF - 10 BAL -
2 @PIT - 11 @STL -
3 ARI - 12 WAS -
4 ATL - 13 PHI -
5 @NYG - 14 STL -
6 Bye - 15 @CHI -
7 @CLE - 16 SF -
8 CIN - 17 @ARI -
9 @DAL -      
Seahawks Report | Statistics | Roster
SEATTLE at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson 20 - 180,2
RB Marshawn Lynch 70 10 -
TE Zach Miller - 40,1 -
WR Sidney Rice - 30 -
WR Mike Williams - 50,1 -
WR Ben Obamanu - 30 -
PK Olindo Mare 1 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Seahawks brought in a new OC in Darrell Bevell and a new quarterback to run his offense. Tarvaris Jackson has already known the scheme since Bevell was the OC at Minnesota for the last five seasons. The Seahawks also brought on Sidney Rice to upgrade the wideouts and Zach Miller is the better tight end. But this team still appears one quarterback short of being a decent offense.

QUARTERBACK: Tarvaris Jackson may know the offense but He's never had more than 2000 passing yards or nine scores in a year. He's never played more than 12 games in a season so relying on him to be a starter seems optimistic. The oddity of Jackson is not that they added him or even that they are starting him since he does know the offense. It is that they have no one behind him that he could be grooming or teaching. Jackson is as good as it gets in Seattle and historically - that is not all that great.

The Seahawks passed for 285 yards and two scores in San Francisco last year though Matt Hasselbeck also had four interceptions.

RUNNING BACKS: Marshawn Lynch gets to play the "Peterson" role in the new offense though little he has done in the past suggests that he'll be up to the challenge. The three man rotation of 2010 only totaled 76 yards on 20 carries in San Francisco last season and the Seahawks will still use a third down back of either Leon Washington or Justin Forsett. Between this road trip to San Francisco and then Pittsburgh next week, Lynch will be running uphill until week three.

The 49ers have been good against the run when at home and the Seattle passing game is going to be hard pressed to win the game. Expect just moderate play from Lynch.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Seahawks acquired Sidney Rice after being impressed with his one healthy season of 2009. But Rice is again injured and is nursing a shoulder sprain that may keep him out this week I will project for him to play but be limited and update it later if needed. First week out in a new offense, with a new quarterback and a bad shoulder hardly sparks excitement. The Seahawks will still rely on "Big" Mike Williams as the #2 in the offense and the slot is likely Ben Obamanu again since Golden Tate has not yet earned the role. Not much special here unless Rice can somehow rediscover his one good year in Minnesota only this time without the same offense around him or Brett Favre throwing passes.

The 49ers secondary has been the problem and that should favor these otherwise average receivers. But starting any wideout for the Seahawks is a major risk in week one.

TIGHT ENDS: The Seahawks picked up Zach Miller which proved a good move when John Carlson was shut down with a torn labrum in his shoulder. Miller was the leading receiver in Oakland and comes to a team that historically has sparse use of the position. But new OC Darrell Bevell comes from the Vikings so think more "Vishante Shiancoe" sort of role here. There is some upside here, particularly with a spotty cast of wideouts.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 27 30 19 28 20 13
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 22 10 28 1 22 17

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA - 10 NYG -
2 DAL - 11 ARI -
3 @CIN - 12 @BAL -
4 @PHI - 13 STL -
5 TB - 14 @ARI -
6 @DET - 15 PIT -
7 Bye - 16 @SEA -
8 CLE - 17 @STL -
9 @WAS -      
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 250,2
RB Frank Gore 100,1 40 -
RB Kendall Hunter 20 20 -
TE Vernon Davis - 70,1 -
WR Josh Morgan - 30 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 60,1 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 20 -
PK David Akers 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: Another year, another new offense for the team to learn. Jim Harbaugh is the new head coach but inherits almost all the same players and problems. This week will be the most "winnable" game until Cleveland finally shows up in seven weeks. The team still smacks of an offense looking for a quarterback and in a perpetual cycle of learning a new scheme.

I like the chance for a defensive score in this game. It is the Tarvaris Factor.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith is again the starting quarterback but the 49ers used their 2.04 pick on Colin Kaepernick who will show up at some part of the season, once Smith has again disappointed and the team enters their annual "what the heck" stage. That may not be all bad this week though - Smith passed for 255 yards and three scores when the Seahawks visited last year.

RUNNING BACKS: Frank Gore remains the primary back though underpaid in his opinion. He missed the final five games of 2009 with a fractured hip that has since fully healed. He broke his streak of four straight 1000 yard seasons but remains one of the most productive backs in the league and a true dual threat as a receiver. But his lack of scores is his fantasy failing and that is unlikely to change this year. Gore is 28 and should have another year or so left in him.

The rookie Kendall Hunter has won the #2 role and should get at least some third down work. He is worth watching since he offers a true complement to Gore since he is only 5'7" and 199 pounds. He could work into a more significant role as the season progresses.

Gore did not play in this game last year but Brian Westbrook had six catches for 87 yards and a score in that game. The 49ers never had more than 60 rushing yards from any runner against the Seahawks in 2010 and no rushing scores.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Michael Crabtree is still not 100% over his broken foot from June and his availability for the opener is still not certain. I will assume he plays limited and disappoints as usual. But the 49ers added Braylon Edwards this summer to ensure at least one wideout can outrun the weaker arm of Alex Smith. This first game should see Edwards as the better wideout but it bears tracking since his stock in trade has been long catches that rarely exist in San Francisco.

Josh Morgan led the team with 82 yards and a score in the last meeting with the Seahawks.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis is again the favorite to be the leading receiver for the 49ers and he turned in five catches for 70 yards and a touchdown when the Seahawks visited last year. He had eight catches for 73 yards in the first meeting as well. Always a safe start.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 22 16 30 5 28 19
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 28 26 30 17 21 19

NO at GB (thu) CIN at CLE MIN at SD SEA at SF
BUF at KC DET at TB PHI at STL NE at MIA (mon)
  CAR at ARI IND at HOU PIT at BAL OAK at DEN (mon)

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