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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

WEEK 17
2011
BAL at CIN * DAL at NYG * NYJ at MIA SF at STL
* BUF at NE DET at GB PIT at CLE TB at ATL
CAR at NO * IND at JAC * SD at OAK * TEN at HOU
* UPDATED CHI at MIN * KC at DEN SEA at ARI * WAS at PHI

Prediction: SF 24, STL 3

The 49ers have to win this game to secure their #2 seed and first round bye or hope that Carolina wins in New Orleans without setting off the apocalypse. Both games are morning starts so both will play to win. Plus the Rams have lost their last six games and this is a replay of week 13 when the 49ers shut them out, 26-0.

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 26-0
5 TB 48-3 14 @ARI 19-21
6 @DET 25-19 15 PIT 20-3
7 Bye - 16 @SEA 19-17
8 CLE 20-10 17 @STL -
9 @WAS 19-11      
49ers Report | Statistics | Roster
SAN FRANCISCO at STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith - - 210,1
RB Frank Gore 70,1 - -
RB Kendall Hunter 20 30 -
TE Vernon Davis - 50 -
WR Michael Crabtree - 90,1 -
PK David Akers 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The 49ers dropped Braylon Edwards and are thin this week for wideouts since Kyle Williams is coming off a concussion and Ted Ginn has a sore ankle. But this is as close to a bye as it gets this year with the bad Rams team showing no offense and little defense. The 49ers are not going to roll up any big score here but should win by enough to be comfortable.

I like a defensive score.

QUARTERBACK: Alex Smith is finishing perhaps his only season where he is healthy and the team is completely happy with him at starter. He has passed for 2931 yards and 16 touchdowns but with only five interceptions. He remains mostly a game manager thanks to a tremendous defense and a ground game that is usually good enough by itself. Smith passed for a season high 274 yards and two scores in the previous meeting with the Rams.

This time around expect fewer yards and no more than those two scores if that. The 49ers have to win the game but there is no reason to roll it up.

RUNNING BACKS: Frank Gore started the season red hot and strung five straight 100+ rushing yard games but was injured in week ten though he never missed a game, His level of production declined until recent weeks when he has scored three games in a row. Gore currently has eight touchdowns and 1202 rushing yards. He has only caught 17 passes for 114 yards.

Gore ran for 73 yards on 21 runs but did not score in the last meeting versus the Rams. He's still worth a start this week and should at least meet those stats and have a chance to extend his touchdown streak to four games.

Kendall Hunter has been a change of pace, third down back this year with decent results. He cuts very little into Gore's action but could end up with more work this week if the 49ers get a big lead early and opt to rest Gore.

WIDE RECEIVERS: The 49ers released Braylon Edwards in a move that has no impact on the offense but Kyle Williams had a concussion and may not play. Williams turned in 66 yards and a score on two catches in the last meeting with the Rams. Michael Crabtree had one of his best games of the year with 96 yards on four receptions and one touchdown. With Ted Ginn no lock to play as well, the 49ers may call up a practice squad player just to get a warm body on the field. Brett Swain is the only other wideout on the current roster.

Crabtree is a must start here against a dispirited and beaten Rams team.

TIGHT ENDS: Vernon Davis has been little used in the offense this year with just six touchdown and three games over 50 yards. Davis turned in 32 yards on five receptions in the previous matchup with the Rams but should be better if only because of a lack of wideouts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 27 17 30 8 1 4
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 6 29 27 1 21 29


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 0-26
5 Bye - 14 @SEA 13-30
6 @GB 3-24 15 CIN 13-20
7 @DAL 7-34 16 @PIT 0-27
8 NO 31-21 17 SF -
9 @ARI 13-19      
Rams Report | Statistics | Roster
ST. LOUIS vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Kellen Clemens - - 170
RB Steven Jackson 50 30 -
TE Lance Kendricks - 20 -
WR Brandon Lloyd - 50 -
WR Brandon Gibson - 20 -
WR Danario Alexander - 40 -
PK Josh Brown 1 FG XP -

Pregame Notes: A horrible season is coming to a merciful end. It started with promise since Sam Bradford was the Offensive Rookie of the Year 2010 and newly arrived OC Josh McDaniels brought in his pass-heavy scheme but it never worked. Bradford looked like a rookie - a Blaine Gabbert-esque rookie at that - and the offense never took form. This team will be all new in 2012 with coaches and another high draft pick.

QUARTERBACK: Sam Bradford is unlikely to play again this week as his high ankle sprain makes him miss his third game. Kellen Clemens takes his third start and looks to improve on his 91 passing yards in Pittsburgh last week. A.J. Feeley was the starter in week 13 and threw for only 156 yards and no scores on the 49ers.

No reason to expect anything here.

RUNNING BACKS: Despite the ineffective passing game, Steven Jackson still pulled his weight in the rushing attack and ends with four 100+ yard rushing efforts and six touchdowns. Like Maurice Jones-Drew in Jacksonville, Jackson has been the heart and soul of this team and the only offensive component with any real merit. Jackson was held to only 19 yards on ten carries in San Francisco for his worst game of the year.

Expect a better showing by Jackson but this is the #1 rush defense. So not much better.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Brandon Lloyd came over in week seven and has been the only Rams wideout with even a shred of fantasy value the entire season. He has four of the seven touchdowns thrown to the position and has been the only remotely consistent player. Problem this week is that he has a third string quarterback and he only managed one catch for 34 yards in the first meeting with the 49ers. Not a strong play at all.

TIGHT ENDS: No fantasy value.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 31 26 27 30 31 22
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 11 1 21 5 1 1

WEEK 17
2011
BAL at CIN DAL at NYG NYJ at MIA SF at STL
BUF at NE DET at GB PIT at CLE TB at ATL
CAR at NO IND at JAC SD at OAK TEN at HOU
  CHI at MIN KC at DEN SEA at ARI WAS at PHI

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