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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 14, 2005
Season Ticket
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
TB at NE ARI at HOU* PIT at MIN CIN at DET ATL at CHI
KC at NYG CAR at NO* SD at IND CLE at OAK* Mon 9 PM
DEN at BUF DAL at WAS SEA at TEN* PHI at STL GB at BAL
  NYJ at MIA SF at JAC* Updated* Times ET

Prediction: San Francisco 3, Jacksonville 24

The 49ers are trying to give Alex Smith some seasoning for the rest of the year but that has only resulted in weekly spankings and a loss of almost all offensive ability. The Jaguars come off a loss to the Colts but are still 9-4 and in the hunt for a wild card. No chance that David Garrard will take this opponent lightly when the Jags need to keep winning.

Update: Kevan Barlow has been held out of practice and is not expected to play this week with a sprained knee. Arnaz Battle is also expected to miss this week as well. Frank Gore will take the primary role this week and get some help from Maurice Hicks.

San Francisco 49ers (2-11)
1 28-25 STL 10 9-17 @CHI
2 3-42 @PHI 11 25-27 SEA
3 31-34 DAL 12 22-23 @TEN
4 14-31 @ARI 13 10-17 ARI
5 3-28 IND 14 3-41 @SEA
6 Open Bye 15 Dec 18 @JAC
7 17-52 @WAS 16 Dec 24 @STL
8 15-10 TBB 17 Jan 1 HOU
9 6-24 NYG . . SAT
SFO at JAX Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10 0 110
RB Kevan Barlow 40 10 0
RB Frank Gore 50 0 0
TE Trent Smith 0 10 0
WR Brandon Lloyd 0 40 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 30 0
WR Rasheed Marshall 0 10 0
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 0 XP -
Pregame Notes: The defense of the 49ers has flirted with being average this year but the demise of any offensive punch coupled with the rapid clip of turnovers has meant that no defense could stem the tide washing over the 49ers every week. The 49ers are on a record setting pace for the worst offensive showing in the history of the franchise and a road game against the Jacksonville defense is not a place for a turnaround to occur.

Quarterback: While Alex Smith has thrown nine interceptions this year, he is still waiting to experience his first NFL touchdown. Smith has mentioned that he is having problems holding on to the ball which a reasonable person would assume the first pick in the NFL draft would have figured out by now. Literally - he is having problems holding on to the ball and is fumbling or throwing errant passes because he cannot grip it well enough.

Running Backs: Kevan Barlow, Frank Gore and Maurice Hicks. Those are the names to avoid this week. Their only plus is that if the 49ers score a touchdown, it will certainly favor a running back. Their minus is that there are three of them and there is hardly a guarantee there will be a touchdown this week.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Lloyd remains around 30 or 40 yards each week that Smith is the quarterback and he gets plenty of passes. They just are not usually all that close to him. No fantasy value here.

Tight Ends: The big question here is if the one pass to tight ends each week is actually caught. Last week would be no.

Match Against the Defense: The Jaguars at home will be motivated to win big here and move on. With a struggling passing game and a running game that splits carries, there is no recommended 49er to play this week. With the Rams and Texans left on the schedule there is a chance for some fantasy points from the garnet and gold this year, just not this week.

Jacksonville Jaguars (9-4)
1 26-14 SEA 10 30-3 BAL
2 3-10 @IND 11 31-28 @TEN
3 26-20 @NYJ 12 24-17 @ARI
4 7-20 DEN 13 20-14 @CLE
5 23-20 CIN 14 18-26 IND
6 23-17 @PIT 15 Dec 18 SFO
7 Open Bye 16 Dec 24 @HOU
8 21-24 @STL 17 Jan 1 TEN
9 21-14 HOU . . SAT
JAX vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB David Garrard 30 0 240,2
RB Fred Taylor 60 10 0
RB Greg Jones 30,1 0 0
TE Kyle Brady 0 10 0
WR Jimmy Smith 0 100,1 0
WR Ernest Wilford 0 80,1 0
WR Matt Jones 0 30 0
PK Josh Scobee 1 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The Jaguars only lost by eight points last week but that was thanks to a fourth quarter comeback when the Colts no longer really cared. Without Leftwich, this offense has reverted to just throwing to Jimmy Smith and not running well since the defense stacks the line. With a very light schedule remaining for the final three games, this offense can start to get back on track for the playoffs.

Quarterback: David Garrard had 250 yards and one score last week but that almost entirely came in trash time and Garrard had only managed games of 115 and 116 yards in the two previous efforts. This week against the always soft secondary of the 49ers, Garrard should look more like a starting quarterback.

Running Backs: Fred Taylor was given a couple of weeks off to get his conditioning and timing back and the results were amazing (in a bad way). Taylor only gained 19 yards on ten carries and Greg Jones still looked better when he ran for 43 yards on seven carries. This week should have better results for Taylor though the 49er rush defense is better than it seems.

Wide Receivers: Jimmy Smith comes off a very nice 102 yard, one touchdown game last week against the Colts and while he had been declining this season with Leftwich, the use of David Garrard has meant that Smith is again getting double digit passes thrown at him each week and his production is up sharply. That should spell a big game here against the 49ers. The youngsters of Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford have both taken major production hits without Leftwich but the visiting 49ers have been making everyone look good this season.

Tight Ends: Kyle Brady comes off one of his best efforts of the year when he had five catches for 43 yards last week but he also lost two fumbles. His best games have only been against good defenses when the Jags had to shorten their passing game - not the case this week.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers rushing defense has been pretty good this year considering the situations they constantly find themselves and Fred Taylor is likely to end up with just moderate numbers here - maybe even less if Greg Jones again gets more playing time. There is a reasonable chance of a rushing score though the Jags don't often score that way.

This is the game that should make Garrard look much better against the #32 pass defense. Weak corners spell nice games for both Jimmy Smith and Ernest Wilford who should both score if Matt Jones doesn't step in to take one of them.