FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
Follow Follow @DMDorey
 

Predictions Summary »  Player Rankings (Projections) »  myHuddle Projections by Team »  Projections Summary by Team »

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

Prediction: ARI 3, SF 24 (Line: SF by 16.5)

Players to Watch: Brian Hoyer, Randy Moss

The loss in Seattle last week means that the 49ers have to win this week (or Seattle lose) in order to secure the NFC West title. A loss would mean just a wildcard. The 5-10 Cardinals are only 1-6 on the road and lost to the 49ers 3-24 in Arizona back in week eight.

Arizona Cardinals
Homefield: University of Phoenix Stadium
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 SEA 20-16 10 BYE -----
2 @NE 20-18 11 @ATL 19-23
3 PHI 27-6 12 STL 17-31
4 MIA 24-21 13 @NYJ 6-7
5 @STL 3-17 14 @SEA 0-58
6 BUF 16-19 15 DET 38-10
7 @MIN 14-21 16 CHI 13-28
8 SF 3-24 17 @SF -----
9 @GB 17-31 ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
ARI @ SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Sam Bradford 200
WR Larry Fitzgerald 5-50
TE Jermaine Gresham 5-50
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG

Pregame Notes: The Cardinals wind down a disastrous season with nothing accomplished and yet no hot rumors that Ken Whisenhunt is about to get fired despite the 5-10 mark. The defense was actually better than average here and that was amazing considering how little the offense did anything to help the defense. The NFL draft in April needs to be used for primarily offensive positions with so many needs and we'll see a very new team take the field in 2013.

Beanie Wells was benched last week and even he openly admits he won't likely be back with the team next year. Problem for him is that he is not likely to get anything more than a backup gig somewhere else. He's only 25 next year but has been in the league for four inglorious seasons and only averaged a paltry 2.7 YPC this year while continuing to show how brittle the big back is. He's really not suited for much more than goal line duty and his days of "being the man" are over.

The Cardinals expect Ryan Williams back next year though he remains on injured reserve because of his shoulder. There is also a good chance that La 'Rod Stephens-Howling leaves in free agency which loses not only a good change-of-pace back but also a valuable special teams returner. He and William Powell will likely get the most carries this week unless they want to run Wells for some reason. None of the runners have any fantasy value this week anyway in San Francisco.

Rob Housler will miss the final game because of a shoulder injury in Sunday's loss to the Bears. He finishes the year as the best tight end for the Cardinals who were able to go all sixteen games and yet never once throw a touchdown to any one in the position.

The one accomplishment of the entire season was that Ryan Lindley has buried the NFL record for most passes thrown without a touchdown, now up to 158 passes on the year. He was benched for Brian Hoyer last week now that the ex-Steelers practice squad quarterback has been with the Cardinals for two whole weeks. The Cardinals have not thrown a touchdown pass now for six straight games.

Larry Fitzgerald finally had his first decent game in six weeks when he ended with 111 yards on eight catches against the Bears last week. It was a small spark in an otherwise cold season.

Playing in Fan Francisco, none of these players are recommended starts.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points ARI 31 32 26 30 28 7
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 7 4 4 16 2 11

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Sam Bradford, ARI CHI 0000018001 ***
There is zero reason to play Bradford against the Bears, especially if Larry Fitzgerald doesn't play.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB David Johnson, ARI CHI 4006400000 ***
No team has been stronger in this young season than the Bears when it comes to limiting running backs. Across the board, this is the best defense in rushing TDs, receiving TDs, combined scores, PPR points and standard scoring. Chicago ranks as the second-best unit at stopping rushing yards, offensive yards and fantasy points per touch. Benching DJ is probably too harsh, but his ceiling is awfully low this week.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI CHI 005600000 *
Despite a hamstring strain, Fitzgerald is expected to play, per head coach Steve Wilks. The Cardinals' passing game has been abysmal through two games, an expecting it to dramatically improve in Week 3 is dubious. The matchup should help some, though, as Chicago has given up big numbers in the first two weeks (15.5 catches, 219.5 yards, 2 TDs per game).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Christian Kirk, ARI CHI 003400000 ***
The Bears have given up the fifth-most fantasy points in PPR and third-highest figure in standard scoring. Most of the work comes from giving up two TDs per game to the position. Kirk could get lucky based on the matchup but is a risky consideration.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE Ricky Seals-Jones, ARI CHI 003200000 ***
Chicago has given up nine receptions for 86 yards and a touchdown in the previous two games. RSJ is a fringe lineup option in any format, but he should see extra work if Larry Fitzgerald cannot play.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Phil Dawson, ARI CHI 1100 ***
The Bears skew negatively against kickers using data from this early season, having given up only two field goal attempts and five field goals. Dawson has not been afforded a single kicking try of either kind.

San Francisco 49ers
Homefield: Monster Park
Grass
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @GB 30-22 10 STL 24-24
2 DET 27-19 11 CHI 32-7
3 @MIN 13-24 12 @NO 31-21
4 @NYJ 34-0 13 @STL 13-16
5 BUF 45-3 14 MIA 27-13
6 NYG 3-26 15 @NE 41-34
7 SEA 13-6 16 @SEA 13-42
8 @ARI 24-3 17 ARI -----
9 BYE ----- ----- ----- -----
News | Statistics | Roster
vs Rush Catch Pass
RB Alfred Morris 110,1 1-10
WR Pierre Garcon 7-90,1

Pregame Notes: After spending much of the season as one of the teams to beat, the 49ers were just that - beaten. And by teams in their own division. Two of the last four games were losses to the Rams and Seahawks and now the 49ers are hobbling into the playoffs instead being in the drivers seat. Their biggest problem has been road games and now they'll get only one home venue for the first round and then be away for how long they last.

Last week was a hurtful one besides losing to the Seahawks. Mario Manningham tore the ACL and PCL in his left knee when a defender tackled him low. Now Randy Moss steps up into the #2 role but he's never had more than three catches since the season opener. He may not physically hold up to that much work. Vernon Davis also suffered a concussion last week but it was considered mild and the team is very optimistic that he'll pass all baselines and be in this final game. With Manningham out, using Davis more makes great sense but defenses have learned that taking the tight end out of the passing scheme has really worked well against the 49ers.

Frank Gore comes off his worst game of the year with just 28 yards on six runs in Seattle and he only managed 55 yards on 16 runs in Arizona during week eight. Gore has not gained more than 85 yards for the last six weeks and the problem this week is that the 49ers should be able to win this game with ease so resting Gore would make sense since the 49ers are not getting any bye week in the first round. LaMichael James still has not rushed for more than 31 yards in a game or scored after three weeks of being active.

The 49ers have to win this game so they are not going to be sitting or resting anyone. But were they able to get an early and significant lead, chances are that Gore and maybe Moss would be given less work if not eventually pulled from the game later on. Michael Crabtree hauled in five catches for 72 yards and two scores in Arizona earlier and is the best bet in this game as well. This should be a place where the 49ers work Vernon Davis into the equation more though he only had 34 yards on two catches in the previous matchup.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 11 14 24 6 9 16
Preventing Fantasy Points ARI 2 19 10 13 13 32

  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
QB Jimmy Garoppolo, SF @KC 0000031023 ***
Jimmy G. has started off on the wrong foot for fantasy purposes -- a small trend that could change against the worst defense of his position. Kansas City has allowed a league-high 438 yards per game passing and has just one interception vs. six TD passes. A rushing score removed, this is still the best matchup to exploit.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Matt Breida, SF @KC 5013201000 ***
Breida is just so much more explosive than Alfred Morris and it was on full display in Week 2. Kansas City has given up only 123 rushing yards on 30 carries, including one TD, yet this defense has been favorable to running backs through the air (No. 3 in receptions allowed, 1st in yardage).
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
RB Alfred Morris, SF @KC 4002200000 ***
This matchup is just so much more appealing to Matt Breida -- a pass-catching, explosive type -- than the plodding Morris. On the ground, the position has managed just 123 yards and a TD on 30 carries. That's the eighth-fewest yards allowed and only 16th for rushing TD efficiency. Furthermore, if KC jumps out to a big lead, San Fran will abandon the ground game.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Pierre Garcon, SF @KC 005700000 ***
Garcon could be a fine play with the amount of passing expected from the 49ers to keep pace with the high-powered Chiefs. The KC defense has given up the most WR receptions, sixth-most yards and a pair of TDs per game in the first two weeks of the year.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Dante Pettis, SF @KC 003500000 ***
The rookie caught a TD pass in the opening week, one of his three total receptions on seven targets. The matchup is wonderful, and KC could force the Niners to throw a bunch, so there's that if the desire gamble is in your system.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
WR Marquise Goodwin, SF @KC 00000000 *
Goodwin's status will be updated later in the week when more is known. He was limited in Wednesday's practice.
  Opp RuYDRuTDRecReYDReTDPaYDPaTDInt ConFac
TE George Kittle, SF @KC 005801000 ***
KC is a top-three matchup in both scoring formats and has given up the fifth-most catches, resulting in the third-most yards, with one score. Kittle was great in Week 1 and tapered off last weekend. He has appeal given the matchup and likely need for SF to pace KC's offense.
  Opp fgaFGMxpaXPM ConFac
K Robbie Gould, SF @KC 1133 ***
One extra point in four tries and half of the four field goal kicks against the Chiefs were missed, which takes what could be as high as the 17th-best matchup to the eighth-worst. Consider it closer to a neutral rating.

WEEK 17
2012
ARI at SF CLE at PIT JAC at TEN OAK at SD
BAL at CIN DAL at WAS KC at DEN PHI at NYG
CAR at NO GB at MIN MIA at NE STL at SEA
  CHI at DET HOU at IND NYJ at BUF TB at ATL

a d v e r t i s e m e n t