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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Player Projections by Team
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The Huddle
WEEK 15
December 13, 2006
Season Ticket
Thursday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
SF at SEA CLE at BAL NYJ at MIN DEN at ARZ KC at SD
Saturday
DET at GB PIT at CAR PHI at NYG
Monday
DAL at ATL HOU at NE TB at CHI MIA at BUF CIN at IND
  JAX at TEN WAS at NO STL at OAK

Prediction: SF 14, SEA 27

After rising to 5-5 on the season, the 49ers have lost their last three games and the most recent two were blow-outs. The 49ers are only 1-5 on the road this season. The Seahawks come off a painful loss to the Cardinals that drops them to 8-5 and currently out of the chance for a first round bye. The 49ers beat the Seahawks just four weeks ago 20-14 during Alexander's first game back and before Hasselbeck returned. Seattle is 4-1 at home and will remember the loss just last month.

The Seahawks clinch the NFC West this week with a win.

San Francisco 49ers (5-8)
1 27-34 @ARZ 10 19-13 @DET
2 20-13 STL 11 20-14 SEA
3 24-38 PHI 12 17-20 @STL
4 0-41 @KC 13 10-34 @NO
5 34-20 OAK 14 19-30 GB
6 19-48 SD 15 --- @SEA
7 Open Bye 16 --- ARZ
8 10-41 @CHI 17 --- @DEN
9 9-3 MIN - - THU
SFO at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith 10 0 170,1
RB Frank Gore 80,1 40 0
TE Vernon Davis 0 50 0
WR Antonio Bryant 0 30 0
WR Bryan Gilmore 0 10 0
WR Arnaz Battle 0 40,1 0
PK Joe Nedney 0 FG 2 XP -
Pregame Notes: The 49er offense has chugged along in first gear almost the entire season and that has been against a fairly soft schedule. The passing game has never looked more than mediocre and even less often adequate. The team is Frank Gore and 52 other guys hoping he will be enough to win the game. With the Cardinals looking improved and the other two games on the road, the 49ers have a realistic shot at finishing the season on a six game losing streak.

Quarterback: On the plus side, Alex Smith has thrown for one touchdown in each of the last four games. On the downside those have come against STL, NO and GB and perhaps no other quarterback could actually face those teams and only manage one touchdown in each game. Smith turned in 201 passing yards last week

Smith threw for 163 yards and one touchdown against the Seahawks last month and also ran in a score as well.

Running Backs: After only gaining 40 rushing yards in New Orleans in week 13, Frank Gore hopped right back on that stud wagon and ran for 130 yards on only 19 carries and scored one touchdown against the Packers last week. He also added 38 yards on three receptions. Gore rushed for over 130 yards in four of the last five games.

Gore ran for a mere 212 yards on 24 carries against the visiting Seahawks this year. He won't exactly be a secret weapon this week.

Wide Receivers: The 49er wideouts were already a mediocre bunch and now Smith is throwing to the rookie tight end Vernon Davis. That meant that facing the worst secondary in the NFL last week only meant that the best wideout for the 49ers was Antonio Bryant with just one catch for 39 yards. No fantasy starters here. Not even at home against the Packers.

Bryant was benched during the Packers game for unnamed disciplinary reasons. I am assuming he will play this week.

Bryant only had two catches for 21 yards against the Seahawks this year while Battle scored once on five catches for 47 yards.

Tight Ends: After scoring in the first game of the year, Vernon Davis was injured and even when he returned in week 12, he still never had more than one catch in a game. Last week Davis had a career best (easily and quite the understatement) when he caught three passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. Of course one catch went for 52 yards at the end of the game, but at least Davis has finally done something this year.

Match Against the Defense: Frank Gore ripped up the Seahawks earlier this year but that is not to be expected in Seattle, at least nothing like a 212 yard game. Gore should top 100 yards in this game but it will require receiving yardage to get there unless the 49ers defense pulls some magic out and holds the Seahawks down.

Smith is locked in with one score per game at best with mediocre to moderate yardage each week. Look for just that one score that should slightly favor Battle again, particularly since Bryant is in the dog house.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 30 10 27 18 12 26
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 14 16 23 8 20 27

 

Seattle Seahawks (8-5)
1 9-6 @DET 10 24-22 STL
2 21-10 ARZ 11 14-20 @SF
3 42-30 NYG 12 34-24 GB
4 6-37 @CHI 13 23-20 @DEN
5 Open Bye 14 21-27 @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 vs 49ers Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck 0 0 200,2
RB Shaun Alexander 120,1 0 0
TE Jerramy Stevens 0 30,1 0
WR D.J. Hackett 0 70,1 0
WR Deion Branch 0 60 0
WR Nate Burleson 0 30 0
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: The big win in Denver did not carry over when the Seahawks lost to the Cardinals last week in a game that they were down after the emotional win the previous week. The 49ers have already beaten the Seahawks but back at home with the specter of losing homefield and a bye week in the playoff now looming larger, this should be a bounce back game against an opponent they should have beaten just four games ago.

Quarterback: While Matt Hasselbeck fell short on his attempt to rally last week, he still ended with 243 yards and three scores in Arizona - with three interceptions. The loss of Darrell Jackson won't help matters this week but unlike seasons past, the Seahawks actually have several suitable targets when Jackson is gone. The biggest factor impacting Hasselbeck this week will be the success of Alexander running and reducing the need to pass.

Seneca Wallace had his final start when the Seahawks went to San Francisco in week 11 and he threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns with three interceptions.

Running Backs: Shaun Alexander looked back to form when he ran for 201 yards on 40 carries in Green Bay three weeks ago but he only had 90 yards on 26 carries in Denver and then just 76 yards on 22 carries in Arizona - just a 3.5 yard average the last two games. But both of those came in road games and this week Alexander is back at home where he last had that monster 201 yard game. Alexander was the all-time single-season touchdown leader in the NFL until last week. This year he only has three scores in seven games.

The Seahawks will likely be without LG Floyd Womack this week as well.

Alexander only ran for 37 yards on 17 carries against the 49ers this year which was his first game back from his foot injury.

Wide Receivers: For the third season in a row, Darrell Jackson will miss significant playing time due to health reasons and his toe injury last week may keep him out for a while. Deion Branch will need to step up but he has never looked worse than he has in the last three games with Hasselbeck back. Branch has not had more than four catches or 48 yards in those games. Nate Burleson caught a touchdown last week for only the second time this year but he's rarely had more than one catch in a game if that. D.J. Hackett has been the most productive wideout since Hasselbeck came back with two scores and 104 yards just last week.

Branch gained 113 yards on seven catches and scored once against the 49ers this year. Jackson had four catches for 77 yards and a score as well.

Tight Ends: Jerramy "Stonehands" Stevens has been coming up with a score in every other game for the last six weeks but has never had more than 29 receiving yards in any game this year. With Jackson out, Stevens will be more heavily relied on - if he actually catches the pass.

Jerramy Stevens only had one catch for 18 yards in San Francisco.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers rushing defense has been largely bad this year and much worse when on the road. Alexander didn't do much in the game in San Francisco but that was his first one back. Look for a far better game here with at least one rushing score and possibly two. Back at home again, Alexander will rack up some nice yardage here.

Hasselbeck has to adjust to not having his favorite receiver but it is a pretty common drill in the last few years. The 49ers have always allowed at least one passing score and over 200 passing yards in road games this year and it could go higher this week depending on how big a game that Alexander has.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM    QB   RB   WR   TE   PK  DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 8 31 5 28 11 6
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 23 30 21 29 32 23