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David Dorey
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The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
*Updated

Prediction: DET 10, SF 24

Update: Joe Nedney has been ruled out this week because of a sore hamstring. The 49ers will go with Ricky Schmitt.

The Lions are now on a four game losing streak but already have two wins on the year and host the Bears in the final game for a last chance win. The 49ers are out of the playoff picture officially but have been 5-2 in home games. Their 1-6 road mark is what got them in trouble this year.

The 49ers beat the visiting Lions 31-13 last year.

Detroit Lions (2-12)
Homefield: Ford Field
FieldTurf
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @NO 24-45 +13.5 49
2 MIN 13-27 +10 47
3 WAS 19-14 +6.5 38
4 @CHI 24-48 +10.5 38.5
5 PIT 20-28 +10.5 44
6 @GB 0-26 +13.5 47.5
7 BYE - - -
8 STL 10-17 -3.5 43.5
9 @SEA 20-32 +10 43.5
10 @MIN 10-27 +17 47.5
11 CLE 38-37 -3.5 37.5
12 GB 12-34 +11 48
13 @CIN 13-23 -13.5 42
14 @BAL 3-48 +14 40.5
15 ARI 24-31 +14 46.5
16 @SF - +11.5 41
17 CHI - - -
DET at SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Drew Stanton     150
RB Maurice Morris 60,1 10  
WR Calvin Johnson   40  
WR Bryant Johnson   20  
WR Dennis Northcutt   40  
PK Jason Hanson 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: On the plus side, the season is winding down and the Lions get a chance to have that clam chowder inside the bowl of sourdough bread down on the wharf. That alone is reason enough to head to the Bay area. But this is yet another road game and the Lions will likely be without Matthew Stafford again. With no one but Calvin Johnson left healthy, the Lions are just playing out another bad season.

Quarterback: While Matthew Stafford has not been officially ruled out as of this writing, he is not expected to play again this week because of his shoulder dislocation. I will assume that Drew Stanton gets the call since the team has nothing to gain by using Daunte Culpepper. Stanton looked better by comparison last week in that extremely granular way that most people would miss since both quarterbacks are sub-standard.

The entire passing game revolves around the single question - can Calvin Johnson catch a touchdown? I'd say no for reasons to follow. No scores here.

Running Backs: Maurice Morris made the most of his first start when he gained 126 yards on 17 carries and scored on a 64-yard touchdown run. He added 35 yards on five catches and for at least the one week was a decent replacement for Kevin Smith. Morris had only averaged 3.7 yards per carry in the 42 rushing attempts he had this year.

The 49ers rushing defense has been about average this year and since there will be no scoring via the pass, I like one rushing touchdown like the six others allowed to visiting runners in San Francisco. The yardage should be barely moderate and only because of the receptions added in. If Morris does not score here, he'll be very marginal in fantasy terms.

Wide Receivers: Let's not waste time here. Either Calvin Johnson catches passes and scores or nothing happens. Last week with Stanton and Culpepper playing, Johnson was held to 35 yards on three catches. There is no one else to cover. With Kevin Smith gone, there is no one else the defense cares about.

The 49ers have only allowed one wideout to score in San Francisco and Roddy White was also the only player with more than 100 yards. This is not a week to hope for Johnson to score. While it could always happen for Megatron, the situation is as poor here as it has been all year.

Tight Ends: No fantasy value since Brandon Pettigrew left.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DET 23 19 27 13 29 25
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 15 25 21 9 25 22


San Francisco 49ers (6-8)
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 14-18 +13 45
9 TEN 27-34 -4 41
10 CHI 10-6 -4 43
11 @GB 24-30 +6 42
12 JAC 20-3 -3 42.5
13 @SEA 17-20 +1 41.5
14 ARI 24-9 +3.5 48
15 @PHI 13-27 +7 41
16 DET - -11.5 41
17 @STL - - -
SF vs DET Rush Catch Pass
QB Alex Smith     240,2
RB Frank Gore 120,1 20  
TE Vernon Davis   50,1  
WR Josh Morgan   50  
WR Jason Hill   20  
WR Michael Crabtree   70,1  
PK Joe Nedney 1 FG 3 XP

Pregame Notes: The season may be over but the 49ers can play for pride and winning the last two games means avoiding a losing season - hey, it is something. Ending up with the Lions this week and then in St. Louis should all be guarantee that .500 mark on the year. These last two weeks should also be a good time for the offense to get into high gear and determine what they have for next season and what they will need.

Quarterback: Alex Smith stumbled when he only produced 177 yards and one score in Philadelphia with three interceptions but HC Mike Singletary quick gave him a vote of confidence. And Smith had turned in multiple touchdowns in the four games prior. He has failed to score in only one start so far but three of his home games had two touchdowns.

The Lions bring in the mythical #32 defense against quarterbacks which should spark some good stats here but the Lions also cannot stop the run and Frank Gore deserves a chance to chase some incentives. Look for Smith to throw for two scores and moderate yardage which mirrors his normal game and is well in line with with the Lions allow to happen. It all comes down to how you want to beat the Lions.

Running Backs: After three weeks of anemic rushing totals, Frank Gore is back in high gear with over 100 yards in each of the last two games. He has scored ten times this season and had four games exceed 100 rushing yards. Gore is only 58 yards short of a 1000 yard season which should fall this week.

The Lions are hopeless against the run. Again - it all depends on how teams want to win. But look for a very nice showing by Gore who is on a hot streak and could use two more nice games./

Wide Receivers: This is a great week to work on Michael Crabtree and Josh Morgan as the starters. Morgan has scored in two of the last three games but never had more than 78 yards in any week. Crabtree only has two scores on the year and has never topped 81 yards. This would be an ideal spot to get some chemistry going between Smith and the rookie.

Crabtree should score here and have healthy yardage - there is every reason why the 49ers will want that to happen. In a pinch this week, Morgan could produce decent stats and a chance for a score.

Tight Ends: Vernon Davis is winding down a spectacular breakout season. No reason why he should not be an outstanding start this week as well. He already has 11 scores on the year.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 21 25 29 2 23 5
Preventing Fantasy Points DET 32 31 29 27 32 29

The Huddle
WEEK 16
~ 2009 ~
Season Ticket
Friday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday
Sunday Late
Sunday
Monday
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