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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
*updated

Prediction: SF 6, IND 31

Late Update: Donald Brown never practiced and will not play. Reggie Wayne was limited but had a full day on Friday and is expected to play despite being listed as questionable on the injury report. As always, check the game actives to make sure there was no relapse but he should be a safe and productive play this week.

Early Update: Donald Brown has not practiced because of his shoulder and is not expected to play. That is a major benefit for Joseph Addai and the projections have been adjusted. Reggie Wayne has not practiced this week with a strained groin but he has not been ruled out and team officials have said they still expect that he will play. Check back after Friday’s practice for a better picture of his playing status.

The 49ers are the next team to try to beat the Colts and they are only 1-2 on the road. The Colts are not defeating teams, they are dismantling them and have won each of their last four games by 17 points or more. This could be a major trap game but its just hard to imagine.

San Francisco 49ers (3-3)
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 35-0 -10 37.5
5 ATL 10-45 -2.5 41
6 BYE - - -
7 @HOU 21-24 +3 44.5
8 @IND - +12

44.5

9 TEN - - -
10 CHI - - -
11 @GB - - -
12 JAC - - -
13 @SEA - - -
14 ARI - - -
15 @PHI - - -
16 DET - - -
17 @STL - - -
SF at IND Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith     190
RB Frank Gore 50 20  
TE Vernon Davis   50  
WR Josh Morgan   30  
WR Isaac Bruce   30  
WR Michael Crabtree   50  
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG    
Pregame Notes: The 49ers were 3-1 when they clobbered the Rams but the last two games - a huge loss to the Falcons in San Francisco and then defeated in Houston - have really readjusted the perception of where this team is. The defense was abused by the visiting Falcons and then the team got a spark from switching back to the previous failed quarterback. Alex Smith has been reinstalled as the starting quarterback and the schedule after this week is lighter than most. This week won't be a good measurement of what Smith is going to do but the TEN game in week nine certainly will.

Quarterback: The 49ers have switched gears now and anointed Alex Smith as the starting quarterback after he led a failed comeback bid over the Texans but completed 15 of 23 passes for 206 yards and three scores. That was half as many scores as Hill had totaled in his six previous games. The majority of that success all came from playing pitch and catch with Vernon Davis but it was plenty enough to give Smith his first start since back in the 2007 season.

Smith could have timed it better than facing the Colts in Indy. They have only allowed a total of two passing touchdowns all season long and yet have six interceptions and 16 sacks on the season. Grab Smith on your waiver wire but save him for next week against the Titans.

Running Backs: After starting the season with a bang, Frank Gore missed three games and his return last week only produced 32 yards on 13 carries in Houston. He added two receptions for 15 yards but Gore was completely punchless and little used in the loss. The Texans have apparently gone from being bad against the run to being very stout overnight but regardless Gore hasn't done much for fantasy owners since week two.

The Colts have only given up three rushing scores and none since week two.With Gore already struggling, do not expect a bounce back game this week and another more than moderate yardage would be a major victory in itself.

Wide Receivers: Michael Crabtree made his NFL debut and with 5-56 against the Texans, the results were pretty good. He only missed on one of the six passes thrown to him and showed some moves after the catch. It was not a big game obviously, but it was encouraging. Crabtree worked out of the slot and Josh Morgan (4-62) remained as the split end. adding in Vernon Davis and Alex Smith and the 49ers had a passing attack if only for one day. Crabtree was on the field for almost all the offensive snaps. There will be no coddling of the ex-holdout.

There has only been one wideout to catch a touchdown against the Colts this year and the 49ers are highly unlikely to match that. Expect minimal yardage from these players unless the Colts get such a big lead early that they allow trash time yardage.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis caught seven balls for 93 yards and three touchdowns in Week 7 against the Texans. That gives him six touchdowns over the last four games and he has finally become an elite fantasy tight end. He's an every week starter and the leading receiver for the 49ers.

But the Colts have not allowed more than 45 yards to a tight end this so far and no scores. Expect this one to be a down game for Davis and next week to be his next big showing.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 21 23 31 2 19 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    IND 3 11 14 4 21 1


Indianapolis Colts(6-0)
Homefield: Lucas Oil Stadium
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 JAC 14-12 -6.5 44.5
2 @MIA 27-23 -3 42
3 @ARI 31-10 +2.5 48
4 SEA 34-17 -10 43.5
5 @TEN 31-9 -3.5 46.5
6 BYE - - -
7 @STL 42-6 -14 45
8 SF - -12 44.5
9 HOU - - -
10 NE - - -
11 @BAL - - -
12 @HOU - - -
13 TEN - - -
14 DEN - - -
15 @JAC - - -
16 NYJ - - -
17 @BUF - - -
IND vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning     290,2
RB Joseph Addai 70,1 40  
RB Donald Brown 40 20  
TE Dallas Clark   60,1  
WR Reggie Wayne   70,1  
WR Austin Collie   50  
WR Pierre Garcon   40  
PK Matt Stover 1 FG 4 XP  

Pregame Notes: This is shaping up to be one of the Colts finest seasons so far and the downy soft schedule just keeps serving up slow pitches over the plate. The Colts have scored at least 31 points in each of their last four games while never allowing more than 17. Their average winning margin in those games was 24 points and that included three road games. The next three games are at home with SF and HOU merely acting as hors devours to the week ten hosting of the Patriots.

I like a defensive score in this game.

Quarterback: Peyton Manning finally broke his five game streak of 300+ yard games when he passed for only 235 yards in St. Louis but he tossed three touchdowns for a total of 15 on the season. He's also not been sacked at all in the last four games and only has two sacks allowed on the season. No wonder he's so good.

This week he faces the 49ers secondary that has allowed two passing scores to most of their recent opponents and twice they gave up 300+ yard passing performances. Manning will have at least a good game here with the eternal shot at a monster big game.

Running Backs: Donald Brown was knocked out of the Rams game with a shoulder injury but claims he will play this week. He ripped off his career longest run when he gained 45 yards against the Rams but only had one other carry and missed the rest of that game. Joseph Addai ended up with 20 carries for 64 yards and a touchdown with Brown out and his usual limit is around 15 carries.

I will assume Brown returns without limitation and update as needed.

The 49ers had been great against the run this season but then Michael Turner scored three times and had 97 yards as a visitor in week six. And Steve Slaton was held to 89 total yards but scored twice. I like Addai to have a standard game and to score once but there is always going to be a risk the Brown scores instead. The Colts have scored a rushing touchdown in all but one game and yet only once did both Addai and Brown score in the same week.

Wide Receivers: HC Jim Caldwell said that Anthony Gonzalez may return to practice this week but even if he does is no guarantee he starts this week or next. I will leave him out until there is a concrete reason to include him again. There has been no pressing reason to hurry him back anyway with the Colts undefeated and Austin Collie scoring four times in the last three game and Reggie Wayne scoring in all but one game so far. This is a very productive crew that always uses Wayne and mixes in the others as needed.

Wayne caught seven passes for 83 yards and a score in St. Louis but strained his groin and made him miss time in the middle of the game and though he returned, he still left before the end. Then again - it was a blowout anyway. I will assume he is fine and plays without any limitation but will update as needed.

The 49ers have played pretty well on the secondary though Roddy White had a 210 yard game with two scores. There is no reason to expect less than a solid game from these wideouts and at least one passing score here that favors Wayne a little more than Collie.

Tight Ends: Clark has cooled down only slightly from his big start to the year and scored once last week on his season low three catches for 44 yards in St. Louis. I like Clark to score again this week with at least moderate yardage. The 49ers have faced almost no good tight ends and Owen Daniels just had 123 yards against them last Sunday.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points IND 2 7 4 1 12 16
Preventing Fantasy Points    SF 18 26 15 11 16 15

The Huddle
WEEK 8
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Monday
Bye Week
CIN, TB
KC, NE
WAS, PIT
Other Features
Fantasy Statistics
Early Injury Report
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Game Recaps
Tunnel Vision
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