Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs. STL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs. STL


Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs. STL

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Prediction: SF 3, STL 24 (Line: STL by 8.5)

UPDATE: Carlos Hyde was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot and will not play this week and possibly not in Week 9 as well. That makes Reggie Bush become the primary back and Mike Davis will also see some action. This is not a great matchup anyway and the loss of Hyde only makes this more likely to be an ugly loss. Anquan Boldin is listed as questionable after a mild hamstring issue Thursday and he was held out of practice on Friday. But he is adamant that he will play.

The 2-5 49ers are back to being the doormat of the NFC West and are 0-3 in road games. The 3-3 Rams are 2-1 at home and yet 2-0 in the division so this game means just one more way the Rams can stay in contention. These teams traded road wins in 2014. The 49ers won 31-17 in St. Louis and the Rams won 13-10 in San Francisco. Considering that the 49ers totaled 10 points from both the Cardinals and Seahawks loss, it bodes very poorly this week.

San Francisco 49ers

1 MIN 20-3 10 BYE ——
2 @PIT 18-43 11 @SEA ——
3 @ARI 7-47 12 ARI ——
4 GB 3-17 13 @CHI ——
5 @NYG 27-30 14 @CLE ——
6 BAL 25-20 15 CIN ——
7 SEA 3-20 16 @DET ——
8 @STL —— 17 STL ——
9 ATL ——  
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vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: So much for any sense of turning the season around. After turning in competitive games versus the Giants and Ravens, the Seahawks came to town and undid every shred of goodwill and promise. There is nothing easy about any week of the remaining schedule and the 49ers may never be favored again this year. The Seahawks familiarity with the 49ers helped them, as it will with the Rams this week.

QUARTERBACK : HC Jim Tomsula has stated, yet again, that Colin Kaepernick remains the starting quarterback but there is no certainty that will always be the case if even for this full game. At some point any coach would bench him if only to look like they are still trying. Kaepernick was surprisingly good in New York against the Giants when he passed for 262 yards and two scores and again versus the bad defense of the Ravens when he threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns. But he was back to painfully ineffective passing completing just 13 of 24 passes for 124 yards in the loss to the Seahawks. That gave him a total of four games with fewer than 170 passing yards and no scores. And that simply cannot go on with games against the Rams, Falcons, Seahawks and Cardinals up next.

Kaepernick also produced a career first last week. He had never before failed to run the ball at least once.

RUNNING BACK : Carlos Hyde is lost in the stumbling offense of the 49ers and doesn’t get the volume of carries or the blocking to make much happen. He’s scored just once in the last six games, has no role as a receiver and averaged around 50 yards per game since the season opener. Reggie Bush finally had more than one carry in a game but remains well short of any fantasy significance At this point all he can do is lower Hyde’s opportunities.

WIDE RECEIVER : The terrible passing stats have an obvious and profound effect on the wideouts. Anquan Boldin turned in two straight 100 yard games when facing the Giants and Ravens but then settled back to just 39 yards on three catches in the loss to the Seahawks. Boldin has to face a soft secondary to matter and that won’t happen for a month or more. Torrey Smith turned in two good efforts all year – versus the weak Steelers and Ravens secondaries – but otherwise has done nearly nothing in his first season with the 49ers. After scoring on his old team in Week 6, Smith did not catch his lone target in week 7.

TIGHT END : Vernon Davis start the season with games of 47 and 62 yards but then was blanked in two games and missed two more injured. He returned for a surprise 61 yards on four catches versus the Seahawks but is far too inconsistent and mostly unproductive to merit any fantasy consideration.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: There is no reason to draw this out. The 49ers offense is imploding and has no one else to sub in that would matter. The Rams at home are already a defensive force and will shut down the passing game. The last two visitors had no passing scores and even in the season opening win over the Seahawks, they only gave up one. Once again Hyde won’t get the volume to do much if any damage. Bench ’em all. In the words of Clubber Lang in Rocky III – “Prediction? Pain.”

Gaining Fantasy Points SF 28 29 31 20 26 30
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 2 18 5 13 26 22

St. Louis Rams

1 SEA 34-31 10 CHI ——
2 @WAS 10-24 11 @BAL ——
3 PIT 6-12 12 @CIN ——
4 @ARI 24-22 13 ARI ——
5 @GB 10-24 14 DET ——
6 BYE —— 15 TB ——
7 CLE 24-6 16 @SEA ——
8 SF —— 17 @SF ——
9 @MIN ——  
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vs Rush Catch Pass

Pregame Notes: The Rams can stay in contention in the NFC West thanks to the bumbling 49ers coming to town but the schedule hits a rougher patch for the five weeks afterwards. The defense is stepping up in home games but the team needs more success away from home. Todd Gurley is a tremendous addition but the passing offense is one of the worst in the NFL and that’s going to be a bigger issue away from home when Gurley is not enough to win games. But that also has nothing to do with this week. There could be a temptation to look past this game but the divisional nature should make sure it remains interesting.

QUARTERBACK : Aside from the one freak week in Arizona when Nick Foles passed for three touchdowns, he’s been nothing but a game manager and even more so now with Todd Gurley taking over games. Foles hasn’t topped 200 passing yards since the season opener and still has just six passing touchdowns on the season. He’s never had any real fantasy value.

RUNNING BACK : Todd Gurley became the first back since Cadillac Williams in 2005 to gain over 100 rushing yards in his first three starts. Williams tailed off badly for the next month back then but Gurley looks like he is just getting started and the 49ers are just going to be in the way this week. Gurley even added four catches for 35 yards to his 128 rushing yards versus the Browns. If he continues to be a dual threat – and that’s very likely – the Rams look like draft day geniuses.

WIDE RECEIVER : The reality is that with the anemic passing by Foles, there is no fantasy value here. Tavon Austin offers the best bet though his only receiving scores came in the road games in Green Bay and Arizona. He is averaging fewer than 30 yards per home game. While he will occasionally score, there is not enough consistency to consider him a viable fantasy option.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: Nick Foles is not going to pass anymore than he needs to and this week that may be very little indeed. The 49ers already gave up five rushing scores in their first two road games and Gurley is just a beast. There’s never a reason to start any element of the passing offense of the Rams and Gurley should never sit. Nice fantasy addition this week would be the Rams defense against a dispirited and ineffective 49ers offense.

Gaining Fantasy Points STL 32 27 25 23 23 2
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 26 25 29 18 14 19

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