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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 12
2011
GB at DET (thu) * BUF at NYJ DEN at SD PIT at KC
MIA at DAL (thu) * CAR at IND HOU at JAC * TB at TEN
SF at BAL (thu) * CHI at OAK * MIN at ATL * WAS at SEA
* UPDATED ARI at STL * CLE at CIN * NE at PHI * NYG at NO (mon)

Prediction: SF 20, BAL 24

The 49ers are 9-1 and already have a five game lead on their division. Safe to say all they are playing for now is playoff seeding. The Ravens are 7-3 and tied with the Steelers for the AFC North lead. This is the late game on Thanksgiving and the much ballyhooed Battle of Brothers since Jim Harbaugh visits John Harbaugh with bigger things to win than the turkey wishbone. The 49ers are 4-0 on the road and the Ravens are 5-0 at home. This could be a defensive struggle since the 49ers are #1 in points against (138) and the Ravens are #4 (176). In the end the difference is likely that the Ravens score big at home - never less than 29 points.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 33-17 10 NYG 27-20
2 DAL 24-27 11 ARI 23-7
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 19-11      
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO at BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 210,1
RB Frank Gore 70,1 - -
RB Kendall Hunter 30 10 -
TE Vernon Davis - 50 -
WR Kyle Williams - 40,1 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 20 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 60 -
PK David Akers 2 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: This will be a big game since it is on Thanksgiving and between head coaching brothers but the 49ers could not show up for the next month and still walk away with the NFC West. This should end up as a chess match of the defenses trying to force errors and really, this is just the same team playing itself. Great defense, great rusher, passing as needed. The 49ers also catch a break with Ray Lewis likely out again this week.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith comes in mostly as a game manager who makes few mistakes - only four interceptions on the season. And he has scored in each of the last seven games with marginal yardage most weeks. Going to Baltimore means facing a great secondary that has never allowed more than one touchdown to any quarterback this year. The yardage tends to remain sub-200 as well which fits into what Smith does. This game will be about defense and rushing the ball.

RUNNING BACKS: Frank Gore returned last week after missing a game with knee and ankle injuries and he was effective against the Cardinals rushing for 88 yards on 24 carries. The coaches pulled him in the third quarter of the game that was well in hand to rest him up. Gore was limited in practice this week to rest him as well. He is expected to play and not be limited.

The Ravens have never allowed more than 83 yards to a visiting runner though Gore is #3 in rush yards currently. No doubt Gore gets plenty of carries in this one, but he'll be hard pressed to roll up that much yardage but he could score once. He's a must start anyway but this will be his biggest test so far.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Michael Crabtree comes off his best game of the year when he turned in seven catches for 120 yards against the visiting Cardinals but he has only scored once this year and banged around 50 yards in most games. He has been used more in road games though and is the only 49er wideout with any fantasy value. Braylon Edwards had no catches last week and is never better than 40 yards in a game. He's a nonfactor and is getting replaced by Kyle Williams (5-54) who just scored on the Cardinals. But Williams only had three catches on the season prior to last week.

A passing touchdown is most likely to end up here but this unit has minor experience in actually catching them. The four touchdowns the Ravens allowed to visiting wideouts all went to #2 or #3 wide receivers so I'll credit Williams instead of Crabtree. Minor confidence though.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis has scored for the last two games and had around 40 to 50 yards in recent games but the Ravens have not allowed any scores to the position this year. Expect the moderate yardage and less so a touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 25 10 31 3 1 3
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 2 6 13 2 6 24


Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 35-7 10 @SEA 17-22
2 @TEN 13-26 11 CIN 31-24
3 @STL 37-7 12 SF -
4 NYJ 34-17 13 @CLE -
5 Bye - 14 IND -
6 HOU 29-14 15 @SD -
7 @JAC 7-9 16 CLE -
8 ARI 30-27 17 @CIN -
9 @PIT 23-20   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 260,2
RB Ray Rice 60 60,1 -
TE Ed Dickson - 40 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 60 -
WR Torrey Smith - 70,1 -
PK Billy Cundiff 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Ravens have been inconsistent with surprising losses in Jacksonville and Seattle but at home have been solid with 29+ points in every game including against the Texans and Bengals and Steelers. This is the toughest matchup left on the schedule until the season finale in Cincy. A short week favors the home team and even not having Ray Lewis did not help the Bengals when Cedric Benson only gained 41 yards on 14 runs.

I like a defensive score.

QUARTERBACK: Joe Flacco had a dry spell in scoring when four games only produced one passing touchdown but he has scored in each of the last three including two against the Bengals. He's passed for 270+ yards in each of the last three home games and his touchdown count always depends on what the rushing game creates. Ray Rice has been much more productive in home games and that detracts at least in scoring from Flacco.

The 49ers are #1 against running backs though. They have allowed 250+ pass yards in all but one road game and multiple scores five times this year. That is partially a function of opponents not running well. With homefield, Flacco is a good shot for upper 200's in yardage and two scores.

RUNNING BACKS: Ray Rice is in for tougher times this week. The 49ers have not allowed any rushing touchdowns this year. None. No runner has gained more than 64 rushing yards against them either. Rice has scored in all but one home game so far but this will be a defense keying on him. He'll supply yardage as a receiver to make up his fantasy worth and may even score on a reception but this will be as tough as it gets rushing.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Torrey Smith comes off his second monster game and becomes only the third rookie wideout with two games over 150 receiving yards in his first season. Problem is that he is very inconsistent and part of that comes from the success of the rushing game as well. To his credit, his biggest games have gone against the best defenses that the Ravens faced (okay, not the Rams but otherwise). Anquan Boldin scored last week and that gives him three on the season but he only had one catch and unlike Smith, Boldin's best efforts have been at home and in the easier matchups.

No doubt he gets the most coverage from the 49ers who have been weaker at this position than the others. The best games have all gone to speed wideouts from the opponent and that favors Smith again this week in a game where the wideouts need to show up and make the difference. Boldin is a decent play every week though he disappoints as much as he rewards. Smith is far more inconsistent but should be a bigger factor in this game since it is setup like his previous better efforts.

TIGHT ENDS: Ed Dickson is too inconsistent to merit a fantasy start and he has only scored in two games so far but he contributes some yardage even in home games along with Dennis Pita. Not enough for fantasy attention.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 21 6 22 13 5 5
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 17 1 22 10 1 2

WEEK 12
2011
GB at DET (thu) BUF at NYJ DEN at SD PIT at KC
MIA at DAL (thu) CAR at IND HOU at JAC TB at TEN
SF at BAL (thu) CHI at OAK MIN at ATL WAS at SEA
  ARI at STL CLE at CIN NE at PHI NYG at NO (mon)

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