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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
*updated

Prediction: SF 13, MIN 23

Saturday Update: Peterson had a full practice on Friday as expected. Gore was still limited on Friday just to rest him but he's fine to play this week.

Friday Update: Both Adrian Peterson and Frank Gore were limited in practice so far just to rest them up for the game. Both should be a full strength on Sunday.

Already a battle of the unbeatens. The 49ers head to Minnesota with a perfect record thanks to a good defense going against the NFC West. The Vikings start their season with two road games but Cleveland and Detroit? Yeah, there are worse places to play. But the 49ers never travel that well and have long had problems in domed stadiums.

San Francisco 49ers (2-0)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ARI 20-16 +6 46
2 SEA 23-10 -1.5 39
3 @MIN - +7 40.5
4 STL - - -
5 ATL - - -
6 BYE - - -
7 @HOU - - -
8 @IND - - -
9 TEN - - -
10 CHI - - -
11 @GB - - -
12 JAC - - -
13 @SEA - - -
14 ARI - - -
15 @PHI - - -
16 DET - - -
17 @STL - - -
SF at MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill     150,1
RB Frank Gore 70 40  
TE Vernon Davis   20,1  
WR Josh Morgan   30  
WR Isaac Bruce   30  
WR Arnaz Battle   20  
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Opening the season with a win over the Cardinals was a big plus for the divisional dreams but they could not have caught the 49ers at a better time since Kurt Warner still had some rust. And last week was another nice win thanks in some part to Matt Hasselbeck being knocked out of the game. The defense is much better this year and Gore has shown he can cover some ground but this week will be a big test for both the 49ers rushing defense and Shaun Hill passing.

Quarterback: Shaun Hill hasn't done much this year with only one passing touchdown and no more than 209 yards in a game. But then again, the offense is not asking him to do much more than be a game manager. His passes are all short and rarely thrown near the endzone. With an improved defense and better rushing, the one-time home of the west coast offense has become an old-school smash mouth style of play. And that does very little for the fantasy world.

Hill could be challenged to produce even mediocre numbers this week against a defense that has only allowed one passing score per opponent so far. Granted it was Matt Stafford and Brady Quinn but Shaun Hill belongs in that company. Look elsewhere for a fantasy starter.

Running Backs: Frank Gore suffered a right ankle sprain last week after gaining 207 yards on 16 carries which included scoring runs of 79 and 80 yards. He joins Barry Sanders as the only other tailback to ever had two scoring runs of 75 yards or longer. Gore is taking well to this offense which is being built around him. Even with minimal numbers in Arizona he still had two touchdowns. Add in two more last week and Gore is loving this new offense.

Glenn Coffee had nine runs last week but only gained 13 yards and sustained a hip pointer. He is still expected to play this week as is Gore.

This week pits Gore against the best defense he has yet faced. The Vikings have only allowed two passing scores and nothing on the ground. This is the first game that the Vikings will be at home so temper your expectations of Gore who will be fortunate if he can score even once. He'll add some receiving yardage to keep him fantasy worthy but on the road should have less success this week.

Wide Receivers: The only passing score went to Frank Gore and the pickings are pretty slim with this crew. Other than Isaac Bruce's 74 yards in Arizona, none of these wideouts have had more than 40 yards in a game. Josh Morgan had no passes last week and there is a concern that Hill's unwillingness to throw deep has eliminated Morgan's best attribute. This has become a rushing team with a good defense. Receivers are meant more for blocking and there is no reliable fantasy value here.

This is just as well because this week the Vikings secondary will shut them down anyway. Only Calvin Johnson has gained more than 28 yards and he only had 51 yards anyway.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis remains a nonfactor on this team and in fantasy football. He's averaging about three catches per week for 35 yards and no score. This week I am awarding him with a touchdown since he is the most likely but the risk is high in relying on him. There is an equal chance the 49ers do not score an offensive touchdown.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 29 4 32 25 6 17
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIN 7 9 4 23 21 23


Minnesota Vikings (2-0)
Homefield: Metrodome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @CLE 34-20 +3.5 40
2 @DET 27-13 -10 47
3 SF - -7 40.5
4 GB - - -
5 @STL - - -
6 BAL - - -
7 @PIT - - -
8 @GB - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 DET - - -
11 SEA - - -
12 CHI - - -
13 @ARI - - -
14 CIN - - -
15 @CAR - - -
16 @CHI - - -
17 NYG - - -
MIN vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Brett Favre     170,1
RB Adrian Peterson 110,1 20  
TE Vishante Shiancoe   20,1  
WR Bernard Berrian   50  
WR Sidney Rice   20  
WR Percy Harvin   50  
PK Ryan Longwell 3 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Nothing like starting out the season with two road games against two of the worst teams. The Vikings get what could be three more wins with games against SF, GB and @STL up next but the schedule takes a much tougher path afterwards. This week will be a good test to see how well the Vikes can play against a decent defense for the first time this year.

Quarterback: Brett Favre has not made any difference yet because he has not needed to be more than a game manager. So far he only has 265 passing yards after two weeks but his three passing scores are good for reducing what Adrian Peterson could do. This week will be the best pass rush that Favre has seen this year but if Peterson gets in gear again - likely at home - Favre will continue to offer minimal fantasy value.

The 49ers have given up one passing score in both weeks so far and over 200 passing yards but that will prove unneeded since the Vikings can still win this based on defense and rushing.

Running Backs: After torching the Browns for 180 rushing yards and three scores, Adrian Peterson was more sedate in Detroit with 92 yards and one touchdown. Chester Taylor remains a very sparingly used relief player with no fantasy value.

This week the visiting 49ers defense will attempt to continue to deny any rushing touchdowns and no runner has totaled more than 35 rushing yards against them. But this is in Minny and Peterson will be the showcase. Look for him to top the 100 yard mark and score at least once if not twice.

Wide Receivers: Brett Favre likes Percy Harvin. So far he has caught a score in both the games so far and while he has only been gaining around 40 yards each week that is as good as it gets with this unit. Favre is not throwing the deep ball at all and waiting until the offense gets close to the endzone so he can pump up his career TD marks with a slant to the rookie. Bernard Berrian was blanked in the first week but had six catches against the Lions - but only for 46 yards.

The 49ers secondary is above average but not by a lot and the Vikings are not going to pass much anyway. No fantasy value here.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe had his first score of the year in Detroit last week but it was on his only catch in the game. And it was only for one yard. Favre will throw to Shiancoe but so far the passing numbers have not allowed any receiver to matter much let alone a tight end.

I am forecasting a score for Shiancoe but it may not happen at all or could end up with Harvin for the third time.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 27 3 21 23 5 9
Preventing Fantasy Points    SF 13 13 14 3 17 12

The Huddle
WEEK 3
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Sunday Late
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Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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