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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 9
2011
* ATL at IND * DEN at OAK * NYJ at BUF TB at NO
* BAL at PIT * GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN * MIA at KC * SF at WAS Bye Week
* Updated * CLE at HOU * NYG at NE * STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

Prediction: SF 23, WAS 10

Players to Watch: Roy Helu

Update: Fred Davis was held out on Wednesday and then practiced on Thursday and Friday on a limited basis. He is a game time decision on Sunday because of his ankle but expressed optimism that he will be able to play. I am not changing his projections but be aware that there is still a chance that he doesn't play this week.

The 49ers sport the second best record in the NFC at 6-1 and already have a four game lead on the rest of the division. They are 3-0 on the road. The Redskins are 3-4 and on a three game losing streak that includes just getting shut out in Buffalo for the very first time in Mike Shanahan's coaching career.

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 13-8 12 @BAL -
4 @PHI 24-23 13 STL -
5 TB 48-3 14 @ARI -
6 @DET 25-19 15 PIT -
7 Bye - 16 @SEA -
8 CLE 20-10 17 @STL -
9 @WAS -      
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO at WAS Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 190,1
RB Frank Gore 120,1 10 -
RB Kendall Hunter 30 - -
TE Vernon Davis - 40,1 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 50 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 60 -
PK David Akers 3 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The 49ers are getting the job done and not by the work of just one or two players. The rushing effort has become stellar, the passing game credible and Alex Smith has thrown one interception over the last five games. Oh yes, and this just in - the defense has allowed fewer points than any other team. That'll win you games - six of them in fact. There are still tough games ahead and even this is no cakewalk but rethink what you believe about the 49ers.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith has not become a stud fantasy quarterback but in NFL terms - he is a new quarterback compared to previous seasons. He has nine touchdowns against only two interceptions this season. He has scored in each of the last four games though he remains more of a game manager because the rushing and defense takes care of the game.

The Redskins are about average against the position though with many injuries on their offense, field position and such is improving for opponents. While he is capable of more, the safest bet is an average game with one score.

RUNNING BACKS: If you want a magic fantasy backfield, you should have drafted Frank Gore and Fred Jackson because both are performing well in advance of expectations. Gore has become a beast with four straight efforts over 125 rushing yards and a touchdown in each. it is a magic year for whatever reason and Gore is simply one of the most dominating runners in the league this year.

Kendall Hunter has been a good relief since the 49ers tend to rush 30+ times every week and Gore needs the help. it is a testament to the offensive line and blocking but there is no denying that Gore is on a mission.

The Redskins have been only average when faced with a decent runner. They have allowed four runners to top 90 rushing yards and five backs have scored. No reason to expect anything short of the pace Gore has set - he'll get there if only because of volume of carries since the Skins offense is crumbling and opponents run more.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Michael Crabtree continues to redefine his career and comes off his first score of the year when he posted five catches for 54 yards on the Browns. Crabtree has been around 50 to 60 yards each week which is high for a run based offense. Braylon Edwards is working his way back into the offense and gained 42 yards on four catches last week. He'll push the ineffective Ted Ginn back onto the sideline. The receivers are not the main mode of the offense but both are showing up with at least moderate yardage in most games. If they were to improve the 49ers offense would really be something to start to fear.

The Skins have good corners and have only allowed two receiving touchdowns to the position. No reason to expect more than the standard.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis only turned in three catches for 27 yards last week in part because he was playing with a bruised arm. There's no reason to expect it to be an issue this week. Davis has been inconsistent and less productive this year thanks to all the success running the ball. The Skins tend to play the tight ends weaker so Davis stands a decent shot at a touchdown this week but his yardage is likely to remain only moderate at best since Gore is taking over.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 27 12 31 8 6 3
Preventing Fantasy Points WAS 14 7 11 16 29 23


Washington Redskins
Homefield: FedEx Field
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 NYG 28-14 10 @MIA -
2 ARI 22-21 11 DAL -
3 @DAL 16-18 12 @SEA -
4 @STL 17-10 13 NYJ -
5 Bye - 14 NE -
6 PHI 13-20 15 @NYG -
7 @CAR 20-33 16 MIN -
8 @BUF 0-23 17 @PHI -
9 SF -      
Redskins Report | Statistics | Roster
WASHINGTON vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB John Beck - - 210,1
RB Ryan Torain 30 - -
RB Roy Helu - 40 -
TE Fred Davis - 70,1 -
WR Anthony Armstrong - 20 -
WR Jabbar Gaffney - 50 -
PK Graham Gano 1 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Tough times in our nation's capitol. The Skins come off a humbling shutout in Buffalo and are on a three game losing streak with an offense that is only losing more players. On the plus side, the Skins will maybe be favored in Miami next week but then again, maybe only once more when the Vikings visit. The offense is still in search of a quarterback that can run the offense and HC Mike Shanahan's never ending carousel of running backs apparently have no decent prospects. It is already a lost season and it could be yet another big off season of change unless the boat gets turned around. Don't bank on it.

QUARTERBACK: The switch to John Beck has made nothing better than when Rex Grossman was there. At least he has six touchdowns to go along with his nine interceptions. Beck has thrown for only one against three interceptions in his two games as a starter. Beck was sacked nine times last week which is akin to repeatedly diving into an empty swimming pool. The offense has so far just been getting worse.

The 49ers are showing up with a defense that has nine sacks over their last two games. Given his history, no reason to expect more than one score and decent yardage from Beck and only that because of trash time at the end of a game.

RUNNING BACKS: The Redskins signed Tashard Choice to help replace Tim Hightower but Choice is not healthy enough to play yet. Ryan Torain had his monster showing against the Rams (which by now we know is hardly unexpected) and in the three games since he has rushed 20 times for 31 yards. Three game total. In the shutout in Buffalo, Torain netted 14 yards on eight carries while Roy Helu was never given a single carry.

Helu is in on passing downs though since he is an adept blocker and receiver and ended with 20 yards on three receptions. While it would seem rational to let Helu try running, there is no reason to expect anything different than last week. The 49ers have not allowed any rushing touchdowns this year and no runner has gained more than 64 yards. Torain is a very marginal play this week while Helu might get you a few reception points.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Sad really. Anthony Armstrong replaced Santana Moss last week and never caught any of his four passes. Leonard Hankerson finally had his first - and only - NFL catch but only Jabbar Gaffney carries any fantasy value in this unit and even then he only gained 40 yards on four catches even with the trash time in Buffalo. Gaffney is a bye week play for a few yards but with Beck there and Moss not - he's taking a big decrease in fantasy points.

TIGHT ENDS: Fred Davis came through with eight catches for 94 yards in Buffalo but the reality was that he had around 30 yards until the Bills were busy with equipment boxes and cleaning cleats. But trash time all counts and could very well be in play this week. If there is a passing score, Davis is the most likely to snag it.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points WAS 18 30 30 7 22 15
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 20 1 22 27 5 4

WEEK 9
2011
ATL at IND DEN at OAK NYJ at BUF TB at NO
BAL at PIT GB at SD SEA at DAL CHI at PHI (mon)
CIN at TEN MIA at KC SF at WAS Bye Week
  CLE at HOU NYG at NE STL at ARI CAR, DET, JAC, MIN

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