Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs STL

Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs STL

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Game Predictions & Player Projections - SF vs STL

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Prediction: SF 24, STL 20 (Line: SF by 3.5)

UPDATE: Zac Stacy is being held out of practices to rest his calf but HC Jeff Fisher said he expected Stacy to play on Monday night. Vernon Davis is back to limited practices and is expected to play so long as his back continues to progress. He is a small risk since he won’t play until Monday but all signs are favorable so far.

This Monday night game must have looked better in the preseason. No. Actually it didn’t. Well, the 3-2 49ers visit the 1-3 Rams who are still searching for their first home win. This will be an interesting game since the Rams can surprise and the 49ers can disappoint. This should be closer than first glance might suggest.

The 49ers swept the Rams last year and won 35-11 in St. Louis.

San Francisco 49ers

1 @DAL 28-17 10 @NO —–
2 CHI 20-28 11 @NYG —–
3 @ARI 14-23 12 WAS —–
4 PHI 26-21 13 SEA —–
5 KC 22-17 14 @OAK —–
6 @STL —– 15 @SEA —–
7 @DEN —– 16 SD —–
8 BYE —– 17 ARI —–
9 STL —–  
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vs Rush Catch Pass

The 49ers won their last two games though by small margins and while at home. The offense still hasn’t scored more than two touchdowns since the season opener and the passing game remains barely average on a good day. This divisional game carries a lot of importance though and it will be followed by a trip to Denver before reaching the bye.

QUARTERBACK : Colin Kaepernick has seven touchdowns over five games played but never more than two or less than one. He’s remained between 200 and 250 passing yards in every week and while he will add rushing yardage, he still has yet to score as a runner. Kaepernick passed for 167 yards and two scores in St. Louis last year.

RUNNING BACK : Frank Gore certainly enjoyed the two straight home games with 100+ yards in each and a 55 yard reception for a score against the Eagles. But on the road so far Gore has been mediocre at best and has yet to catch a pass. Carlos Hyde saw a recent uptick in carries as well but that more reflects playing at home with the lead and the 49ers rushing 28+ times in each game.

Gore racked up 153 yards and one score on 29 carries in St. Louis last year.

WIDE RECEIVER : Michael Crabtree scored in both the Bears and Cardinals game with 80+ yards in each but has been hampered by a sore foot since that seems worse than he is letting on. Crabtree only caught one pass last week and had just 43 yards on five receptions the previous week. The only other 49er wideout with a touchdown is Steve Johnson who not only scored in each of the last two games, they came on his only catch for the day. Anquan Boldin turns in moderate yardage but never scores.

Boldin gained over 90 yards in both meetings with the Rams last year. Crabtree only played in the home meeting and had 68 yards on two receptions.

TIGHT END : Vernon Davis missed last week with back spasms after initially saying he might play. In his place Vance McDonald never had a catch. I will assume that Davis can play this week at least on a limited basis and update later as his status becomes clearer.

David only caught two passes for 18 yards in St. Louis last year, but he scored once. He also scored in the home meetings.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The Rams have dropped a notch defensively thanks to injuries but will be at home. So far each opposing quarterback scored twice on the Rams but the yardage has been minimal if only because the rushing defense has been so bad. Though they have only allowed one rushing score to a running back, each of the last three teams have seen the backfields produce 130+ yards in total. The Rams have been great against tight ends and never allowed more than 50 yards to the position. This looks like a good game for Gore in yardage, but a mediocre game for the rest of the normal 49ers since it is on the road and the Rams are playing tougher there. There has been nothing by the 49ers that suggests that a big game is in store.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points SF 16 27 13 20 8 13
Preventing Fantasy Points STL 11 10 15 6 23 31

St. Louis Rams

1 MIN 6-34 10 @ARI —–
2 @TB 19-17 11 DEN —–
3 DAL 31-34 12 @SD —–
4 BYE —– 13 OAK —–
5 @PHI 28-34 14 @WAS —–
6 SF —– 15 ARI —–
7 SEA —– 16 NYG —–
8 @KC —– 17 @SEA —–
9 @SF —–  
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vs Rush Catch Pass

The Rams offense took off for the last two games thanks in no small part to facing weaker defenses. The rushing effort here remains mostly anemic but the passing has really taken off with Austin Davis under center playing weak secondaries. But the soft part of the schedule is now over and what should be a brutal stretch beckons for the next two months.

QUARTERBACK : Austin Davis has nice timing if nothing else. After posting 327 yards and three touchdowns on the visiting Cowboys he went to Philly and threw for 375 yards and three more touchdowns. All rather notable since there were no passing scores in the first two weeks. While HC Jeff Fisher initially said that Shaun Hill would return to his starting role, he has since recanted that after the two big games. He’ll be facing a much more formidable slate of opponents starting this week.

Sam Bradford passed for 202 yards and one score against the 49ers last year.

RUNNING BACK : Zac Stacy left the loss in Philly with a calf injury but is expected to play this week even if he misses a day or two of practice to rest up. Plus he has a full extra day to heal with this being on Monday. There’s been very little success running the ball this year and only two rushing scores were produced in the road games oddly enough. Benny Cunningham is the lesser part of the rotation and Trey Watts is starting to see minimal use as well. I’ll project for just Stacy and amend if needed.

The Rams never rushed in a touchdown on the 49ers last season. At home, they only ran for 22 yards.

WIDE RECEIVER : Brian Quick has somehow emerged as a viable fantasy play every week. He has yet to gain under 62 yards in a game and comes off his best of the year with two scores on five catches for 87 yards in Philly. Quick will be much more tested in weeks to come but he is the only consistent play for the Rams. Kenny Britt scored last week on his three catches for 68 yards and he even managed five catches for 69 yards against the Cowboys. But he’s still far too inconsistent and this offense too risky to merit any fantasy consideration.

No wideout gained more than 59 yards on the 49ers in 2013.

TIGHT END : No fantasy value.

MATCH TO THE DEFENSE: The 49ers have been great versus the run and not allowed a rushing score since the season opener. Given the lackluster backfield in St. Louis, no reason to expect more than mediocrity with a dash of upside. The 49ers have allowed a few scores each week to most teams but again – what can Davis do against even an average secondary? The only plays here are Quick and Stacy and even they are more likely to produce just moderate stats. Davis is sure to get much lower yardage but has a shot at one or even two passing scores.

RANKS (1-32, 1 = BEST) TEAM QB RB WR TE PK DEF
Gaining Fantasy Points STL 11 24 7 10 16 25
Preventing Fantasy Points SF 7 1 18 10 6 23

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