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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA * DET at MIN * KC at SD NYJ at OAK
* ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE * PIT at IND
* BAL at STL * HOU at NO NE at BUF * SF at CIN
* UPDATED DEN at TEN JAC at CAR * NYG at PHI * WAS at DAL (mon)

Prediction: SF 10, CIN 24

Players to Watch: A.J. Green, Jerome Simpson

Update: A.J. Green was limited in practices this week because of a sore toe but is still expected to play and not be limited. He is probable on the injury report. Jerome Simpson is not expected to play with his significant legal problems.

The 49ers fell to 1-1 when the Cowboys came roaring back on Sunday and the team suffers from a nearly complete lack of offense. The Bengals drop to 1-1 when they were clipped in Denver but this will be their first home game of the year against one of the worst road teams this decade.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 33-17 10 NYG -
2 DAL 24-27 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 at CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 180,1
RB Frank Gore 50 20 -
TE Vernon Davis - 50,1 -
WR Josh Morgan - 40 -
WR Ted Ginn Jr. - 30 -
WR Kyle Williams - 20 -
PK David Akers 1 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: There is a chance that the 49ers will be without both starting wideouts and the rushing game with Frank Gore has been nearly dormant. The opening win over the Seahawks was nice but that may have to last them for a while. This team reeks of a top five pick in the draft next April.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith is the best quarterback on the roster but that doesn't say much. He had 179 yards and two scores on the injury decimated Cowboys secondary but only 124 yards the previous week. The Bengals have allowed two scores per opponent so far so even Smith should be able to post one touchdown. It is a theory anyway. At the rate things are going, we may see the rookie Colin Kaepernick sooner than later.

RUNNING BACKS: The new offense is not doing any favors to Frank Gore who has rushed 42 times for only 106 yards and a 2.5 yard per carry average. He has caught three passes for around 20 yards in each game so far. He rarely shares the ball but with such meager production, it just doesn't matter that much. The Bengals have been decent against the run and that was in road games. Back at home against a very mediocre rushing attack they should be better.

Gore is a must start because he has the upside to have a big game literally any week. But for his first road game, temper expectations that are already waning.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Braylon Edwards missed most of the Cowboys game with a sprained knee and barring positive news out of practice, I am assuming that he will miss this week. Michael Crabtree has been out with a badly sprained foot and may also not be back. That would leave Josh Morgan, Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams. It might not matter that much if either of the starters return and these substitutes are not reliable enough to consider for an fantasy purposes.

TIGHT ENDS: While Vernon Davis has been quiet this year, that should end this week. In the opener the 49ers never really needed him and last week they mostly used him to block DeMarcus Ware from the Cowboys. WIth a lack of receivers this week, figure Davis has to be the one to keep the offense moving. The Bengals allowed two scores to tight ends in their opener with the Browns.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 26 31 29 13 4 1
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 10 12 11 24 7 3


Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 27-17 10 PIT -
2 @DEN 22-24 11 @BAL -
3 SF - 12 CLE -
4 BUF - 13 @PIT -
5 @JAC - 14 HOU -
6 IND - 15 @STL -
7 Bye - 16 ARI -
8 @SEA - 17 BAL -
9 @TEN -      
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton - - 250,2
RB Cedric Benson 80,1 10 -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 50,1 -
WR A.J. Green - 100,1 -
WR Jerome Simpson - 60 -
WR Andre Caldwell - 60 -
PK Mike Nugent 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: For starting a rookie quarterback on a team that stripped out all the veteran receivers, the early returns are encouraging and should be even more so after this week. The Bengals have the good fortune to start the season against three bad teams and just now finally get to play at home. This should be a solid win for the Bengals. It may be about as easy as it is going to be this year.

QUARTERBACK: The opener saw Andy Dalton injure his forearm and wrist and not finish the game but against the Broncos he passed for 332 yards and two scores and he still has no turnovers yet. The "Red Rifle" has impressed by using his two wideouts the most - not just dumping off to a tight end or running back. In Denver, Dalton completed 14 passes for 260 yards and two scores to his starting wideouts. That'll win a few games.

The 49ers at home gave up 432 yards and three scores to the Cowboys passing game. Figure on Dalton being very safe with two scores and possibly more.

RUNNING BACKS: Cedric Benson has been mostly lackluster this season but he has started out with two road games. He had a 39-yard touchdown run to save his stats in the opener but last week only managed 59 yards on 16 carries in Denver. Take away his 39 yard run and Benson has gained 131 yards on 41 carries for a 3.2 yard per carry average. He should be better at home against a weaker 49er squad though they have not yet allowed a rushing touchdown. They have not been tested much either though with only DAL and SEA as visitors.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The Bengals have lost Jordan Shipley for the season with a torn ACL but won't miss him much anyway. Andre Caldwell will move up and take his place but the slot here has been rarely used. Last week was the breakout for the rookie A.J. Green with 124 yards and a score on ten receptions and Jerome Simpson turning in 136 yards on four catches. That sort of production from a rookie quarterback is very impressive and should see good stats again this week with the 49ers coming off a tough loss to Dallas who got 143 yards and three scores from Miles Austin.

This should be a safe spot to consider Green as your WR3. Simpson might be a decent play in a really large league but Green is the safest bet here.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermaine Gresham opened the season with a nice showing of 6-58 with one touchdown but last week he was left mostly blocking and only had two catches for eight yards while the wideouts went nuts. With the Bengals likely to ge a lead they can sit on with the rush, figure on just a moderate game for Gresham but with a chance for a score.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 17 24 11 17 6 24
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 27 1 32 13 16 6

WEEK 3
2011
ARI at SEA DET at MIN KC at SD NYJ at OAK
ATL at TB GB at CHI MIA at CLE PIT at IND
BAL at STL HOU at NO NE at BUF SF at CIN
  DEN at TEN JAC at CAR NYG at PHI WAS at DAL (mon)

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