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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: SF 10, SEA 27

Update: Shaun Alexander will be questionable to play this week and has been held out of practice. I am lowering his projection and there is a chance he could end up as an inactive this week. Unfortunately, this is a Monday night game so you will not know and Maurice Morris is a better play regardless this week. Deion Branch was also held out and appears likely to miss yet another game.

Frank Gore has been limited in practice and is not a lock to start on Monday night. HC Mike Nolan admitted that he was not sure if Gore's ankle would improve enough, so I am not adding Gore back into the projections. He would no doubt be limited in the game if he plays and Michael Robinson would start if he does not.

The 49ers come off their sixth straight loss and hit the road to face the Seahawks who won 23-3 in San Francisco for week four of this season. Seattle may not be all that special anymore, but the 49ers are losing all hope without a healthy Frank Gore. Seattle may not be able to beat a lot of teams but they remain plenty "NFC West good." This is the Monday night game and will challenge the booth to keep viewers tuned in beyond the kickoff when they notice it is the 49ers in Seattle.

San Francisco 49ers (2-6)
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ARI 20-17 -3.5 45
2 @STL 17-16 +3 44
3 @PIT 16-37 +9 35.5
4 SEA 3-23 +1.5 40.5
5 BAL 7-9 +3.5 34.5
6 BYE - - -
7 @NYG 6-33 +9.5 40
8 NO 10-31 +2.5 40
9 @ATL 16-20 +3 37
10 @SEA   +10 39.5
11 STL 18-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
12 @ARI 25-Nov SUN 4:05 PM
13 @CAR 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 MIN 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 CIN 15-Dec SAT 8:15 PM
16 TB 23-Dec SUN 8:15 PM
17 @CLE 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
SFO at SEA Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith     150,1
RB Michael Robinson 40 10  
TE Vernon Davis   50,1  
WR Darrell Jackson   40  
WR Arnaz Battle   30  
WR Ashley Lelie   10  
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Times are tough in San Francisco where the offense was already sputtering before Frank Gore was injured and now has little more than trash yards to look forward to every week. It has been six games since this offense scored more than one touchdown in a game and eight weeks since they have been favored in any contest. Not only are the 49ers #31 in scoring points, they are only #23 in preventing them. Week 11 at home against the Rams may be the final win for the year and even that is hardly certain.

Quarterback: Two weeks back from his shoulder injury and Alex Smith had only thrown for one touchdown against three interceptions and one lost fumble. He only has three scores in six games played and is averaging only 133 yards per game. Despite having Frank Gore on the offense, the passing attack under Smith has never been effective and without Gore is even worse.

Dilfer was the starter in week two when the Seahawks came to town and only threw for 128 yards and no scores. He was sacked five times.

Running Backs: Frank Gore ended up as a game time inactive last week when his ankle was tested in pregame warmups and the medical staff decided he was not ready to play. Going against a soft Falcons defense, Michael Robinson gained 67 yards on 17 carries last week while Maurice Hicks had 49 yards on seven carries and one touchdown. That's more scoring than Gore has put up in his previous five games combined. I will assume Gore gets the week off until practice information indicates he is a likely start.

Gore rushed for 79 yards on 16 carries and added three catches for 42 yards against the Seahawks this season.

Wide Receivers: No 49er receiver has turned in more than 69 yards in any game this year and it is becoming rare for any to post more than 40 yards. The best receiver for the 49ers in week two was ex-Seahawk Darrell Jackson who only had 38 yards on three carries.

Tight Ends: The lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal offense has been the play of Vernon Davis these last two weeks. He gained 71 yards against the Saints with one score and turned in 77 yards in Atlanta on Sunday. He is the only 49er with fantasy value now.

Davis did not play in the first meeting with the Seahawks.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers could not score more than one field goal in the previous butt-kicking by the Seahawks and this game is on the road potentially without Frank Gore. Seattle has only allowed one rushing score in Seattle this year so forget about the 49ers backfield this week.

Smith could end up with one score but no more and that would end up with Davis the most likely and late in the game at that. There is no fantasy value here outside of Davis and he's only been doing it for two weeks anyway. This will be Jackson's first trip back to Seattle but catching passes from Alex Smith won't make it memorable for the right reasons.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 31 28 29 23 31 31
Preventing Fantasy Points SEA 4 26 9 19 9 6


Seattle Seahawks (4-4)
Homefield: Qwest Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 TB 20-6 -6 41
2 @ARI 20-23 -2.5 42.5
3 CIN 24-21 -3 50
4 @SF 23-3 -1.5 40.5
5 @PIT 0-21 +6 41
6 NO 17-28 -6 43
7 STL 33-6 -9 40
8 BYE - - -
9 @CLE 30-33 +1 47
10 SF   -10 39.5
11 CHI 18-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
12 @STL 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 @PHI 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 ARI 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 @CAR 16-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
16 BAL 23-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
17 @ATL 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
SEA vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Matt Hasselbeck     260,2
RB Shaun Alexander 30    
RB Maurice Morris 70,1 20  
TE Will Heller   20  
WR Nate Burleson   30  
WR Bobby Engram   90,1  
WR D.J. Hackett   80,1  
PK Josh Brown 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The Seahawks thought they were cruising towards a win in Cleveland when they were ahead 21-9 at halftime but this isn't the Seahawks of old. Deion Branch cannot get healthy and Alexander cannot get past the line of scrimmage. The defense gives up 20+ points whenever they face a decent offense and they've lost three of their last four games. Luckily, it is just the 49ers this week and the schedule remains pretty soft for the rest of the year. A great way to win the NFC West, compile a decent regular season record and then get waxed in their first playoff game.

Quarterback: Matt Hasselbeck is quietly enjoying one of his better seasons. After eight games played, he already has 13 touchdowns and has averaged around 250 passing yards each week. He threw for 281 yards and two scores against the 49ers in week two and should equal that again unless the running game ever comes to life.

Running Backs: As if Shaun Alexander hadn't been bad enough this year, he sprained his knee and ankle last Sunday and sat out much of the second half against the Browns. Alexander says he will be ready to play on Monday night but over the last month that hasn't meant more than about 40 rushing yards per week. He hasn't scored since week two and his hand remains on a cast that for some reason makes him run slowly like an over-the-hill 30-year old running back that has hit the wall. They really need to get rid of that cast.

Maurice Morris has rushed about ten times in each of the last two games and gained around 100 rushing yards, AKA a lot more than Alexander had on more carries. Look for Morris to continue to be involved thought the Seahawks are not contemplating any shift away from Alexander as the starter.

Alexander gained 78 yards on 25 carries in San Francisco this year.

Wide Receivers: Deion Branch still could not practice last week and was inactive for the game so I am not counting him in the projections at least for now. The Seahawks have not been exactly forthcoming of the exact nature of his foot injury other than they expected him to be back by now. D.J. Hackett finally returned from his high ankle sprain and had a decent game if 58 yards and one score against the pillowy soft Cleveland secondary.

D.J. Hackett returned for the first time since suffering a high ankle sprain in the first week and started at split end. He had six receptions for 58 yards and his first touchdown of the season. Bobby Engram had the best game of any Seattle wideout when he gained 139 yards on 14 receptions and scored once against Browns. For now I will not include Branch in the projections and update as warranted.

Branch had seven receptions for 130 yards against the 49ers this season while Bobby Engram scored on his four catches for 53 yards.

Tight Ends: Marcus Pollard has missed the last two games with a sprained knee and Will Heller has replaced him. While Heller had two scores in week seven, he had no catches in Cleveland.

Pollard scored once on his two catches for 23 yards in San Francisco.

Match Against the Defense: The Seahawks already mopped up the 49ers earlier this year and now they are at home against an even worse 49er team since Gore is injured and Alex Smith is not. The only question here is if Alexander will really be healthy enough to play and what that means. Alexander rushed for 78 yards in the last meeting with them but then took a nosedive the following week with his injured hand. The safest bet here is to assume that Morris gets significant playing time as he has the last two games. Alexander would be a decent play if healthy, but there is no guarantee he will be. The last month says he is not worth the risk.

Hasselbeck should equal his last showing against the 49ers though he may have slightly less yardage if the rushing game is more productive. Branch had his best game of the year when he played in San Francisco but Nate Burleson hasn't been impressive replacing him and Engram in the slot has been much more deadly.

Gaining Fantasy Points SEA 8 23 6 24 8 10
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 16 17 19 16 27 29

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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