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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Update *

Prediction: SF 10, BUF 27

Update: No major development but Robert Royal will miss this week because of his hamstring. Derek Schouman will likely take his place but he too is suffering from a bad hamstring.

The 49ers dropped their game in Dallas and are back on the road where they are only 1-4 this season. The win over the Rams in week 11 reversed a six game losing streak. The Bills are at home after their win over the Chiefs reversed their four game losing stretch. No reason to expect the 49ers to step up this week with the Bills needing a win and at home.

San Francisco 49ers (3-8)
Homefield: Monster Park
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ARZ 13-23 +2.5 41.5
2 @SEA 33-30 +8 38.5
3 DET 31-13 -4 46
4 @NO 17-31 +6 48.5
5 NE 21-30 +3 41.5
6 PHI 26-40 +5 43
7 @NYG 17-29 +10.5 45
8 SEA 13-34 -4.5 42.5
9 BYE - - -
10 @ARZ 24-29 +9.5 47.5
11 STL 35-16 -6 44.5
12 @DAL 22-35 +11 48
13 @BUF - +7 42.5
14 NYJ - - -
15 @MIA - - -
16 @STL - - -
17 WAS - - -
SF @ BUF Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill     160,1
RB Frank Gore 60 20  
TE Vernon Davis   20  
WR Isaac Bruce   60  
WR Bryant Johnson   30,1  
WR Jason Hill   20  
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: The 49ers are just playing out another bad season despite the dedication that HC Mike Singletary has brought to the job. The only victories - @SEA, DET and STL are against teams that have a combined four wins on the year. The offense has been scoring better lately but mostly from teams no longer taking them as much of a threat. The rest of the schedule is against winning record teams other than the one trip to St. Louis. This is not a road team and the 49ers may have seen their last win of the year.

Quarterback: The 49ers struggles continue but at least Shaun Hill has offered up some fantasy value since becoming a starter. He has thrown for two touchdowns in each of the last three games and had 303 yards in Dallas when the rushing game crashed and burned. More importantly, Hill is not throwing interceptions with the same wild abandon that J.T. O'Sullivan was. It is too early to expect Hill to return as a starter in 2009 since there are many questions left to answer but at least Hill is delivering some yards and scores if only during trash time.

Running Backs: Frank Gore stumbles out of one of the worst games of his career when he only gained 26 yards on 14 rushes and only added one catch for six yards in Dallas. Fore had been on a three game stretch of games with over 90 rushing yards but not unlike the rest of the team, it does not take that great of a defense to bring it all crashing down in a game.

Pertinent to this week is that Gore has scored in only one road game and that was week two in Seattle. Otherwise he never scores and he has never had over 100 total yards in those games.

Wide Receivers: The receivers here are amazingly unproductive considering this is a Martz offense and the 49ers are perpetually behind in games and needing to throw. Isaac Bruce had eight catches for 125 yards and a score in Dallas but his two previous games with Shaun Hill only had three catches for 34 yards in total. Josh Morgan remains out with a groin injury and may be gone for a while longer.

Bryant Johnson has turned in exactly four catches for 56 yards in both the most recent games and he even scored against the Rams but he's already lost his job to Morgan and got it back only because of his injury.

Tight Ends: Since Shaun Hill became starter, Vernon Davis has made three important catches. Two went for a touchdown and one was for 47 yards. But they happened in a different game every time and were the only catches that day. Hill rarely throws to Davis and the production is not there to warrant any fantasy consideration.

Match Against the Defense: The Bills rushing defense has been very good at home with only two scores allowed - and Gore almost never scores away from home. No runner has managed more than 80 rushing yards in Buffalo and most ended up around 50 yards mostly because of a lack of carries. That should apply here with Gore just not getting the number of carries he needs to have a good game here. The only hope is that the 49ers use him more as a receiver but the three weeks with Hill have been the worst with only a total of four receptions for 20 yards total in those three games. He's likely to have a mediocre showing here.

Hill faces a secondary that has only allowed four passing scores to a visiting quarterback in total over five previous games so more than one by Hill would be a surprise. Figure Philip Rivers only had 208 yards and two scores in Buffalo and that was the highest passing yardage allowed there. This is not going to be a good place to start any 49ers since the Bills are much better at home and really need this win. Trash time may not be available at all.

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 12 24 16 20 13 24
Preventing Fantasy Points    BUF 13 17 15 7 25 23

Buffalo Bills (6-5)
Homefield: Ralph Wilson Stadium
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 SEA 34-10 -1 39
2 @JAX 20-16 +6 38
3 OAK 24-23 -9.5 36.5
4 @STL 31-14 -8 41.5
5 @ARZ 17-41 +1 45
6 BYE - - -
7 SD 23-14 +1 46.5
8 @MIA 16-23 -1.5 42.5
9 NYJ 17-26 -5.5 43
10 @NE 10-20 +4 41
11 CLE 27-29


12 @KC 54-31 -3 43.5
13 SF - -7 42.5
14 MIA - - -
15 @NYJ - - -
16 @DEN - - -
17 NE - - -
BUF vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Edwards     240,1
RB Marshawn Lynch 70,1 20  
RB Fred Jackson 30 10  
TE Robert Royal 20
WR Lee Evans   90,1  
WR Josh Reed   60  
WR Roscoe Parrish   30  
PK Rian Lindell 3 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The big win in Kansas City no doubt felt good since it reversed a four game losing streak and potentially saved their season. At 6-5 the Bills are only one game out of the AFC East lead with one more game to go for each divisional opponent. Their destiny is in their own hands but it will not be any easier than the other three teams will be having. This week has to be a win though - no question.

Quarterback: No doubt that last week's box score gets stuck in a scrap book for Trent Edwards. He passed for 278 yards in Kansas City - more than the two previous games combined. He rushed six times for 38 yard and had two rushing and two passing touchdowns. That was as many touchdowns as he had scored in the previous four weeks. It was also the first time this year that Edwards had passed for more than one touchdown. Last week was no measuring stick to be sure but facing the visiting 49ers should be good for his stats again.

Running Backs: Marshawn Lynch has turned in two very nice games recently and it is promising for this week when he has turned in some of the best games of the year against soft defenses. The Browns gave him his first 100 rushing yard game two weeks ago and the Chiefs also allowed over 100 total yards. He scored in both games and his bigger problem is that he doesn't get monster games or even really big games thanks to Fred Jackson taking up from six to dozen carries per week - more the easier the game is when Lynch could be rolling up points.

Wide Receivers: Lee Evans has been wildly inconsistent in the worst way - you can never be sure what he will do. He had 110 yards in Kansas City but had no catches against the visiting Browns. He's topped 100 yards four times this year and had everything in between. Evans has upside every week - and plenty of risk as well.

Josh Reed had missed the last three weeks but had 50 yards and a score last week. His only impact is to reduce James Hardy's number, The only fantasy value here is in Lee Evans and that is hit or miss.

Tight Ends: Robert Royal has been the primary tight end but has dropped to around 20 yards in most weeks and he hasn't scored since week one. Derek Schourman had his first NFL touchdown last week but has minimal playing time so far.

Match Against the Defense: The 49ers rushing defense has actually been very good this year with most teams settling for under 100 rushing yards and even teams like ARZ and DAL had no rushing scores against them. The safest bet here is just another mediocre game by Lynch and likely no more than one touchdown if that even happens.

Teams beat the 49ers by the pass and three of the last four road opponents for the 49ers had three passing touchdowns. I like this game to rack up some points because the Bills need the shot of confidence before embarking on a tough and critical stretch of games. The Miami game waiting in week 14 could cause them to overlook the 49ers and get caught in a trap game but the Bills know they are not yet that good or that certain of winning. Look for at least one passing score with a chance for two. I like a good win here by the Bills who should score once on defense.

Gaining Fantasy Points BUF 14 18 21 17 4 9
Preventing Fantasy Points    SF 26 24 32 1 32 30

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