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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
Game Predictions Summary
The Huddle
November 15, 2006
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Sunday night
CIN at NO PIT at CLE     updated

Prediction: SEA 24, SF 10

Seattle should be welcoming back Shaun Alexander - and possibly Matt Hasselbeck - all going well. Seattle is only 2-2 on the road this year and could use both to help maintain their NFC West division lead over - what?!? - the 49ers? San Francisco has quietly crept up to a 4-5 record and are only two games out of first place in the division. Time for the Seahawks to make the world round again.

The Seahawks swept the 49ers last year, winning 27-25 in San Francisco and later 41-3 in Seattle.

Update: Alexander has practiced and looked good. More importantly - he felt good too. The green light is lit for Alexander to play this week and by all accounts he has looked completely healthy. Unfortunately, not so for Hasselbeck who has worked out with the scout team a but still struggled with the brace and tape on his knee. The best bet at this point, barring any setbacks or Shanahan-esque coaching decisions, is that Alexander will play this week and likely share with Maurice Morris to give him a game to get back into the flow after missing the last seven. Hasselbeck does not appear ready and it would be a surprise to see the Seahawks risk his recovery in a game against the 49ers.

Frank Gore is listed as questionable with a concussion that he received last week but HC MIke Nolan said he expected Gore to play on Sunday. There is no need to change his projection.

Seattle Seahawks (6-3)
1 9-6 @DET 10 24-22 STL
2 21-10 ARZ 11 --- @SF
3 42-30 NYG 12 --- GB
4 6-37 @CHI 13 --- @DEN
5 Open Bye 14 --- @ARZ
6 30-28 @STL 15 --- SF
7 13-31 MIN 16 --- SD
8 28-35 @KC 17 --- @TB
9 16-0 OAK - MON THU
SEA at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Seneca Wallace 0 0 180,2
RB Shaun Alexander 80,1 0 0
RB Maurice Morris 40 0 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 30,1 0
WR Darrell Jackson 0 80,1 0
WR Deion Branch 0 50 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 10 0
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 3 XP -
Pregame Notes: Fortunately the Seahawks are in a division where a 6-3 record has been more than enough to take a commanding lead. While Maurice Morris has performed well in relief of Alexander, there's no mistake about the Seahawks being jubilant to get their star rusher back in the field. Seattle could likely win this game without their stars but Alexander has a lot of ground to make up - just ask his fantasy owners

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck was looking like he might return this week but after missing the last three games with a sprained MCL, he tried to perform drills on Monday and had soreness in his knee. It appears more likely that he'll be held out again this week to return against the Packers in week 12. The Seahawks have been in capable enough hands with Seneca Wallace lately anyway since he has scored in every game as a starter.

Hasselbeck threw for 233 yards and one score in San Francisco last year but had 226 yards and four scores in the meeting in Seattle.

Running Backs: While there will be one ecstatic owner in every fantasy league, everyone else will regret seeing the NFL touchdown leader from last year show back up this week. Hope you played against Morris in the interim. Shaun Alexander has finally been cleared to practice by the doctors and is expected to play this week. He could end up taking it easier this week but since it was a broken bone and not a muscular problem, either it is healed or it is not healed. And doctors say it is healed.

Alexander ran for 115 yards and two scores in San Francisco last season and later had 108 yards and one score in Seattle.

Wide Receivers: The passing numbers with Wallace have been okay so far but no wideout has turned in a big game since Hasselbeck left. Darrell Jackson has scored in two of the three games with Wallace as the starter but never turned in more than 85 yards. Jackson has scored in four of the last five match-ups and has seven touchdowns on the season - as many as any other NFL wideout. Deion Branch figures in every week but he's only had two touchdowns and no more than 61 yards with Wallace behind center.

Tight Ends: If any player likes having Wallace around, it is Jerramy Stevens who has two scores in the last three games though his yardage is minimal.

Match Against the Defense: Welcome to the #31 defense against the running backs, Mr. Alexander! No reason why Alexander shouldn't reach the century mark in his first game back with this match-up - Morris could likely do as much. Expect one score but don't be surprised if there are two.

Wallace goes against a secondary that should give up at least one score and often two to opposing quarterbacks. With the worst defense at stopping tight ends, expect a score to Stevens this week which would be the eighth time this year the 49ers were dinged by a tight end. Jackson should manage a score here as well unless Alexander gets too busy in his first game back.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 10 29 9 26 16 6
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 24 31 14 32 30 25


San Francisco 49ers (4-5)
1 27-34 @ARZ 10 19-13 @DET
2 20-13 STL 11 --- SEA
3 24-38 PHI 12 --- @STL
4 0-41 @KC 13 --- @NO
5 34-20 OAK 14 --- GB
6 19-48 SD 15 --- @SEA
7 Open Bye 16 --- ARZ
8 10-41 @CHI 17 --- @DEN
9 9-3 MIN - - THU
SFO vs SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10 0 160
RB Frank Gore 90,1 30 0
TE Eric Johnson 0 20 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 40 0
WR Bryan Gilmore 0 20 0
WR Arnaz Battle 0 40 0
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 1 XP -

Pregame Notes: Imagine - the 49ers are one game away from a .500 season this deep into the season, they have won back-to-back games and come off a ROAD win. It doesn't get any better than this. At least not for several years now. And probably not in the future. But as of now, the 49ers look like a contender. The rushing game is clipping along with Gore and Alex Smith is not losing any games. And the 49er defense has only allowed 16 points in the last two weeks? That could be allowed by the end of the first quarter this week.

Quarterback: The 49ers have won their last two games but Alex Smith had no scores in those match-ups and only threw for 105 and 136 yards in the last two weeks. Like many players, Smith started the season strong and has been getting a bit worse almost every week. Smith has nine scores on the season but three came in the one game against the Raiders.

Smith played once against the Seahawks last year and threw for only 77 yards in the game.

Running Backs: Frank Gore not only comes off a career best 159 yard effort against the Lions, he did that with only 22 carries and did not play in the fourth quarter because of a mild concussion. HC Mike Nolan has already said that Gore is expected to play this week though he may be held out of some practices to ensure all the cobwebs are gone. Gore has already had four games over 100 yards and his touchdown last week was the third time he reached the endzone since week two.

Wide Receivers: The poor passing numbers of late have obviously been a death knell to the fantasy value of the wideouts though Antonio Bryant did score in week eight. Arnaz Battle had 55 yards on six catches last week and that was his best effort in two months for yardage. Bryant has been only marginally better. There are tight ends in the NFL that do much more than any 49er wideout.

Tight Ends: Sadly none of those tight ends play for the 49ers. Eric Johnson is down to just two catches for seven yards last week. Vernon Davis is getting closer to returning from his broken leg but is not expected to play this week.

Match Against the Defense: The Seattle defense has given up six touchdowns in the last three road trips so expect that Gore can notch one unless he is still woozy. Look for decent yardage though not likely a huge game unless he can break another 61-yard touchdown run.

Smith faces a secondary that can be beaten but there is no sign that he is the man for the job. Smith could throw for one score here but I am not projecting for it since he has been on a downslide for a while. This game should be mostly about the run.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 28 9 24 24 11 18
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 13 16 21 10 13 27