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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 13
2011
PHI at SEA (thu) CIN at PIT * GB at NYG * OAK at MIA
* ATL at HOU DAL at ARI * IND at NE * STL at SF
BAL at CLE * DEN at MIN KC at CHI TEN at BUF
* Updated * CAR at TB * DET at NO NYJ at WAS SD at JAC (mon)

Prediction: STL 7, SF 27

Players to Watch: Kendall Hunter

Update: Braylon Edwards has not practiced this week and is not expected to play. Frank Gore was limited in practices to rest him but is not expected to be limited in the game. Sam Bradford was held out of practice on Thursday because of his ankle and only received limited work on Friday. He will be a game time decision and was not an attractive play even if healthy.

The 2-9 Rams are on a two game losing streak and bring their 1-4 road record to San Francisco where the 49ers have been stewing for ten days since losing in Baltimore on Thanksgiving night. The 49ers are far too new to winning to be up for a trap game here and the Rams wouldn't have the firepower anyway.

St. Louis Rams
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PHI 13-31 10 @CLE 13-12
2 @NYG 16-28 11 SEA 7-24
3 BAL 7-37 12 ARI 20-23
4 WAS 10-17 13 @SF -
5 Bye - 14 @SEA -
6 @GB 3-24 15 CIN -
7 @DAL 7-34 16 @PIT -
8 NO 31-21 17 SF -
9 @ARI 13-19      
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford - - 180,1
RB Steven Jackson 50 20 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 70.1 -
WR Brandon Gibson - 40 -
WR Austin Pettis - 30 -
PK Josh Brown FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Rams are now hitting another tough streak in their schedule with what could very easily end up as five straight losses to end the nightmarish season. Notable this week is that the Rams have never scored more than one touchdown in any road game and divisional rival 49ers may not be so nice as to lose interest and cause the game to look like it was ever competitive.

QUARTERBACK: Hard to imagine that the Rookie of the Year from 2010 now only has six touchdowns against five interceptions and seven lost fumbles. Sam Bradford has been battered all year behind a makeshift offensive line that never protects him very well. He's lost all semblance of any fantasy relevance and still has not been able to show any real progress in the new offense since he is being bashed around every week.

Bradford goes against a secondary that has only allowed 15 touchdowns this year and never more than two for any quarterback. I'll credit Bradford with one score but even that has to be trash time late in the game.

RUNNING BACKS: What appeared to be a revival of Steven Jackson during midseason just did not last and these last two weeks he has been held to fewer than 65 rushing yards per game including 64 yards to the Cardinals last week after having gained 130 yards against them only three weeks prior.

No sense in drawing this out - the 49ers have never allowed a rushing touchdown this year and no runner has topped 75 rushing yards. Jackson is not going to change that.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Lloyd is the only receiver on the team that understands the offense and produces anything notable. He has scored in four of the last five games and hung around 70 yards or so. He remains a decent play for a WR3 but he has a ceiling of 80 yards tops and gets little to no help from his team mates. Twelve weeks into the new offensive scheme by Josh McDaniels and everyone besides Lloyd seems to be stuck in learning mode. Danario Alexander may play this week but he's not worth considering from his risk to get hurt let alone production.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 31 27 22 29 29 18
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 14 1 18 10 1 4


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 6-16
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 vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 200,1
RB Frank Gore 130,1 10 -
RB Kendall Hunter 40,1 - -
TE Vernon Davis - 40 -
WR Kyle Williams - 30 -
WR Braylon Edwards - 20 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 70,1 -
PK David Akers 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The 49ers are now 9-2 and likely to be out of the race for the #1 seed and yet a near lock for the #2 seed. The rest of the schedule has only a home stand against the Steelers as a major challenge and the 49ers will be favored in that game anyway. New HC Jim Harbaugh wants that Coach of the Year award though and only the final two games are likely to considerations for sitting players.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith comes off his worst game since the season opener when he could only gain 140 pass yards and no scores on the Ravens Thursday night but he scored in the seven games prior and averaged almost two scores per week. His yardage is rarely notable other than it tends to be higher in home games.

Smith could want a bounce back game here and it is there for the taking but the Rams are so bad against the run that this has to be a big day for Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter. Smith is a safe bet for his normal one score but anything more would be a surprise. They will not need it.

RUNNING BACKS: Between getting banged up and playing tougher teams, Frank Gore now has played three games with lower stats and has not broken the 100+ rushing yard barrier since week nine. He has not scored since week eight but that is bound to change with Gore being healthy again and facing the weak Rams defense visiting this week. Kendall Hunter is turning in marginal yardage in relief but is catching a pass per week lately.

If you want a big rushing effort, then the visiting Rams should be just the ticket with ten touchdowns allowed and even two runners who topped 200 yards against them. I like a healthy game here by Gore that could be big enough to even spill over onto Hunter.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Michael Crabtree has strung together two straight games with fantasy relevance but he's teased before like he was stepping up only to turn in some stinkers. Crabtree ended with 54 yards on six catches in Baltimore and a season high 120 yards on seven receptions against the Cardinals. All combined this unit only has four touchdowns and the yardage rarely accounts for more than 50 yards or so. Kyle Williams is the new guy in the slot but even he had no catches last week. It is either Crabtree or no one here and pretty much every week - no one. Braylon Edwards is playing with a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and only has one catch over the last two games.

There could be big games here for Crabtree and even Williams but the Rams soft defense is almost always attacked more via the run which matches up with the 49ers typical M.O. anyway. This is still a favorable start for Crabtree who has been better in recent games and could end up with a score.

TIGHT ENDS: Granted Vernon Davis only gained 38 yards on four catches in Baltimore but he has scored in each of the two previous games. His yardage is never reliable above 40 or so yards though and he has just five touchdowns on the season. But the Rams are outstanding against the position because everything else works so well against them. With a lesser chance of a score this week - the Rams have only allowed one to a tight end this year - Davis is a very risky start this week.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 26 12 31 4 2 5
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 9 29 28 1 16 32

WEEK 13
2011
PHI at SEA (thu) CIN at PIT GB at NYG OAK at MIA
ATL at HOU DAL at ARI IND at NE STL at SF
BAL at CLE DEN at MIN KC at CHI TEN at BUF
  CAR at TB DET at NO NYJ at WAS SD at JAC (mon)

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