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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
*Updated

Prediction: STL 10, SF 27

Saturday Update: Marc Bulger did not practice this week and along with Gore is out.

Friday Update: Frank Gore is already considered out this week and Marc Bulger has not yet practiced and is expected to miss this game as well.

The 0-3 Rams head to San Francisco for what should be their fourth spanking of the year. The 49ers lost in Minnesota thanks to that last second pass by Brett Favre but they played great defense for the entire game... except for the last part with Favre.

The 49ers swept the Rams last season, winning 35-16 at home in week 11 and later 17-16 in St. Louis during week 16.

St. Louis Rams (0-3)
Homefield: Edward Jones Dome
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SEA 0-28 +7.5 37
2 @WAS 7-9 +10 37
3 GB 17-36 +6.5 41
4 @SF - +10 37.5
5 MIN - - -
6 @JAC - - -
7 IND - - -
8 @DET - - -
9 BYE - - -
10 NO - - -
11 ARI - - -
12 SEA - - -
13 @CHI - - -
14 @TEN - - -
15 HOU - - -
16 @ARI - - -
17 SF - - -
STL at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Boller     160,1
RB Steven Jackson 60 40  
TE Randy McMichael   40,1  
WR Donnie Avery   30  
WR Keenan Burton   30  
PK Josh Brown 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Pretty brutal so far and a tough schedule gets even worse with the loss of Marc Bulger for at least this week. The Rams can still rush thanks to Steven Jackson but the passing game has been bad and now gets even worse with Laurent Robinson out with a broken leg. This is not going to be a banner year for the Rams. On the plus side, they should have access to drafting a great quarterback in the draft.

Quarterback: Marc Bulger left the game with the Packers thanks to a bruised rotator cuff and he's all but certain to at least miss this week. The way it has gone this year, he'd be plenty smart to milk the injury because he'll just get bashed on some future play anyway. Kyle Boller takes over and he passed for a respectable 164 yards and two scores in the most recent loss. Boller is no franchise savior and will do well enough just to carry on Bulger's minimal stats. Losing Laurent Robinson only makes matters even worse.

Bulger passed for 295 yards and a score in San Francisco last year.

The 49ers have allowed at least one passing score each week. Do not expect anything more than one touchdown this week.

Running Backs: As phenomenal as it sounds, Steven Jackson has rushed for over 100 yards in both of the most recent games and had at least four receptions in each. Granted, he has not score but not many on this team get to claim such anyway. Jackson is the only weapon that remotely works and he's been productive despite the defensive pressure he gets.

Jackson did not play in the San Francisco meeting when Antonio Pittman went for 95 yards on 14 carries. Jackson did play in the home meeting and gained 108 yards on 32 carries.

Playing in San Francisco will be unlike previous seasons. The 49ers have not allowed any runner to score against them and even Adrian Peterson only gained 85 yards last week in Minnesota. This is a solid defense that will prevent Jackson from scoring or crossing the 100 rushing yard mark.

Wide Receivers: The loss of Laurent Robinson removes the leading receiver and he won't be ready to play for a long time if he is not just placed on injured reserve. That leaves the Rams with an even worse picture for receivers. Donnie Avery has been nearly non-existent with a total of 10 catches for 62 yards on the season. Keenan Burton has topped out with 38 yards. Robinson is the only wideout who has scored. Throw in a change at quarterback and there is little reason to own any of these guys.

Avery caught nine passes for 93 yards in San Francisco last year. He later had 56 yards on five catches at home against the 49ers.

Expect a mediocre showing at best and there is no reason to rely on any of those receivers for your fantasy team.

Tight Ends: Randy McMichael has been a marginal producer this season but the loss of Robinson could result in a pass or two more coming his way. The start by Boller also improves his outlook since Boller has always preferred his tight ends.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 28 29 26 16 31 26
Preventing Fantasy Points    SF 19 17 25 3 24 21


San Francisco 49ers (2-1)
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @ARI 20-16 +6 46
2 SEA 23-10 -1.5 39
3 @MIN 24-27 +7 40.5
4 STL - -10 37.5
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 vs STL Rush Catch Pass
QB Shaun Hill     200,1
RB Glenn Coffee 90,1 10  
TE Vernon Davis   50,1  
WR Josh Morgan   50  
WR Isaac Bruce   40  
WR Arnaz Battle   20  
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: The 49ers had their first loss of the year but it came on a lucky bomb at the end of the game in Minnesota. And the 49ers played them every bit even even though they were on the road and did not have Frank Gore. These 49ers are much improved and are already the team to beat in the NFC West. The only potential for problems here is that the Rams present a trap game of sorts but chances are HC Mike Singletary will keep them focused.

I like the chance for a defensive score in this game.

Quarterback: Shaun Hill had a season best game in Minnesota when he passed for 195 yards and two touchdowns. The offense has been centered around Frank Gore but his absence for the next three weeks will mean Hill will have to step up and contribute more. Hill has been largely a game manager and that won't change greatly, but he'll have to step up if only next week agains tthe Falcons.

Hill passed for 216 yards and two scores when the Rams visited in 2008.

The Rams have yet to allow less than 240 passing yards in a game and most have at least two scores. Loking for more than one touchdown is risky becaue the 49ers shouldn't need to throw much to win the game.

Running Backs: Frank Gore has a right ankle sprain and a right hind foot sprain which are expected to require three weeks to heal. With a bye in week six, that means that Glenn Coffee gets to be the starter for the next two weeks - both at home and against the Rams and Falcons which should have fantasy significance.

Coffee only gained 54 yards on 25 carries in Minnesota but should be much better this week. The Rams have given up three rushing touchdowns already and very nice rushing yardage to each opponent. Coffee makes for a moderate starter this week with a chance for a big game. He remains a relative unknown with only last week to guage by but was highly productive in college and during preseason.

Gore rushed for 106 yards and two scores in St. Louis last year but was injured in the home meeting.

Wide Receivers: The 49ers wideouts were already a lackluster group and now that Vernon Davis is apparently "getting it" now, the value is even lower with these wideouts. None have scored any touchdowns this season or had more than 74 yards in a game. This is a hands off in fantasy terms but worth watching since Gore is out and the 49ers may been to pass more.

The Rams have allowed very nice games to wide receivers this year but this group is too unreliable to expect much. Coffee will run the ball as much as the 49ers can get away with and minimize the passes.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis had a break out game n Sunday when he caight seven passes for 96 yards and two scores. What is even more incredible is that he looked really good doing it. While far too early to signal a major advance has been made by Davis against his potential, it bear watching and better yet, do that while he is on your roster depth. Carlson and Cooley already killed the Rams this year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 29 8 32 6 9 23
Preventing Fantasy Points    STL 30 19 23 26 28 12

The Huddle
WEEK 4
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, PHI
Monday
ATL, CAR
Other Features
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Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
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