Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs DAL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs DAL

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs DAL

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Prediction: SF 31, DAL 30 (Line: SF by 3.5)

UPDATE: Michael Crabtree was limited in practice this week but is expected to be good to play this weekend with no limitations. The 49ers were just taking it easy with him.

The 49ers were 12-4 last year with a 6-2 road record while the Cowboys once again went 8-8 and only managed 5-3 at home. The problem Dallas will have this year is that they took the worst defense in the league last year and seemingly made it even worse. That has to show up in every game and the question is how well the opponent can shut down the Cowboys. This is a coin flip game with the Dallas venue and the 49ers defense experiencing suspensions, injuries and domestic violence problems.

San Francisco 49ers

1 @DAL —– 10 @NO —–
2 CHI —– 11 @NYG —–
3 @ARI —– 12 WAS —–
4 PHI —– 13 SEA —–
5 KC —– 14 @OAK —–
6 @STL —– 15 @SEA —–
7 @DEN —– 16 SD —–
8 BYE —– 17 ARI —–
9 STL —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
SF @ DAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Colin Kaepernick 40,1 250,2
RB Reggie Bush 30 5-50,1
RB Carlos Hyde 40
WR Anquan Boldin 5-60,1
WR Torrey Smith 3-40
PK Phil Dawson 1 FG 4 XP

The 49ers offense is shaping up to be better for 2014 while their defense has been racked by LC Aldon Smith being suspended for nine games, losing Glenn Dorsey to a torn biceps and now DE Ray McDonald allegedly assaultingS a pregnant woman. The good news is that Colin Kaepernick is healthy and expected to resume his rushing ability that was impacted last year with a bone chip in his foot. He still ran for 524 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for 3197 yards and 21 scores.

This will be the best set of receivers that Kaepernick has been given. Michael Crabtree is back to health and looking to resume the 2012 pace when he ended with 85-1105-9 in his breakout season. Anquan Boldin remains and while he usually provides just stick moving possession catches, he can show up with a big game as he did with six efforts over 90 yards last year and 136 yards in Carolina during the playoffs. Even Stevie Johnson left his #1 role in Buffalo to become the #3 on the depth chart for the 49ers. This is a good set of wideouts that can do some damage.

Vernon Davis had a rebirth last year when he managed a stat line of 52-850-13 but that had partially to do with Crabtree being out or still not healthy. Davis was held to just 548 yards and five scores the previous season with Kaepernick. His role and that of Crabtree’s has yet to be significant at the same time.

Frank Gore is 31 years old but still cranking out the 1000 yard seasons. He’s totaled seven straight in years where he played at least 11 games. the hope is that he remains fresh down the stretch and the 49ers picked up Carlos Hyde as the bruiser from Ohio State. The plan is to use more committee work early in the year and prevent Gore from wearing down. Hyde is the best back the 49ers have acquired since Gore took over and could be the heir apparent to the starting gig once Gore realizes how old he is.

For fantasy purposes, the problems with defensive players could be a boon for the value of these offensive players. The 49ers did not have to get into any shootouts to win last year and they have more weapons to bring to the party this season anyway.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: How can you not love facing the Dallas defense – even in a road game? Kaepernick, Gore, Davis and Crabtree are all worth a start this week and it will be interesting to see how the passing is distributed since it may all work well. The Cowboys have already lost their best two defenders and the season has not even started.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 21 18 31 3 6 9
Preventing Fantasy Points DAL 31 32 27 29 15 4

Dallas Cowboys

1 SF —– 10 @JAC —–
2 @TEN —– 11 BYE —–
3 @STL —– 12 @NYG —–
4 NO —– 13 PHI —–
5 HOU —– 14 @CHI —–
6 @SEA —– 15 @PHI —–
7 NYG —– 16 IND —–
8 WAS —– 17 @WAS —–
9 ARI —–  
News | Statistics | Roster
DAL vs SF Rush Catch Pass
QB Tony Romo 280,2
RB Darren McFadden 30 1-10
RB Alfred Morris 60 1-10
WR Dez Bryant 6-100,1
WR Terrance Williams 4-60
TE Jason Witten 6-70,1
PK Dan Bailey 3 FG 3 XP

Many fantasy owners shared the belief that this was the year to grab Cowboys since their defense was going to be bad and that means shootout. There could be something there. Certainly the Cowboys ended 2013 with the worst defense in franchise history and one of the worst in NFL history so they allowed their best lineman in DeMarcus Ware to head to Denver and their best linebacker then was lost for the season with a busted knee. This will be a bad defense – make no mistake.

Much of the success of Dallas now resides on the shoulders of Tony Romo who has suffered with a bad back. He was held out of much of the offseason and preseason. Should he go down, newly acquired Brandon Weeden takes over. Romo passed for 31 scores last year but dropped to 3828 passing yards while playing with a horrible defense. The Cowboys are trying to run more to control the game and that comes at the expense of the passing slightly.

DeMarco Murray put together a nice season with 1121 rush yards and nine scores as a runner and 53 receptions for 350 yards and one more touchdown as receiver. Notable too was only missing two games. Murray has always been an injury problem back through college and missed 11 games over the last three years along with playing injured in others. Lance Dunbar is expected to take a bigger role in more of a committee backfield but Murray still remains the primary. New offensive helper Scott Linehan likes backs that catch the ball so Murray only needs to remain healthy.

The Cowboys stick with Jason Witten for the 12th season but the 32 year-old is showing his age coming off his lowest season since 2006. That was still 73-851-8 but had six games with fewer than 30 yards. Gavin Escobar will take over when Witten eventually leaves but has a minimal role this year.

Dez Bryant finally settled down to become one of the elite wideouts in the NFL for the last two seasons where he caught over 90 passes for around 1300 yards and 12 scores both times. With a new monster contract looming, Bryant is plenty motivated to make it three years in a row provided Romo remains healthy all year. Terrance Williams enters his second season after a promising 44-736-5 rookie campaign and there is optimism for a breakout season from Robert Griffin’s old college security blanket. The offense needs a worthy #2 that Miles Austin could not provide.

This is much the same offense one year older from 2013. In the end, a bad defense is going to press the Cowboys to throw often and the season all comes down to the health ot Tony Romo.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: As previously noted, the 49ers defense has taken some recent hits that may end up very noticeable. They sported a top ten rating in most every category but on the road still trying to absorb the changes could make them a bit weaker than expected. No reason to bench Romo, Murray, Bryant or Witten. Williams at home is a moderate play as well. There is less change on this team than most and you can be more confident of them repeating 2013 performances. Romo and the Cowboys always played far bigger at home than on the road.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points DAL 8 21 6 6 10 10
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 5 9 9 13 1 1

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