San Francisco 49ers @ Tennessee Titans (Sunday 4.05pm EDT)
Colin Kaepernick is becoming a very frustrating fantasy player. After an explosion last season he has quietened down significantly. His 15.88 point performance was his best since blowing up the packers, but significantly his rushing totals are hugely down on last year. He’s rushed for over 22 yards just once this season. His matchup this week is the Titans, who are excellent at holding back QBs. However they haven’t played a top QB yet aside from Rivers, and allowed 16 points to Russell Wilson (without allowing a thrown TD). Start Kaepernick this week as a QB10-14. I’m tempering my expectations but hopefully he can use his legs and score you some much needed points on the ground as well.
Frank Gore has the 5th most rushing yards in the NFL, and is the 11th highest scoring fantasy RB. This is exactly where you’d expect to find him. This weeks matchup don’t allow RBs much in the passing game, but Gore isn’t a pass catching RB. I’d be happy to peg him in as RB8-12 this week. He’s a reliable but not exactly sexy RB pick most weeks.
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Anquan Boldin is suffering from Kaepernick’s limited QB play. However he’s still the only WR worth starting. Boldin should be started as a mid range WR3 this week.
Vernon Davis was excellent against the Cardinals as expected, and he does have huge games from time to time. He is now the third highest scoring TE and I would only start Jimmy Graham and Julius Thomas over him on a weekly basis. Plug him in as a potential TE1 this week, but his feast-or-famine type of production is definitely risky. Vernon is my TE 3-8 this week.
49ers D/ST is allowing yards and points in the air and on the ground. But they are also forcing turnovers and TDs. 49ers are D/ST 8-12 this week.
St Louis Rams @ Carolina Panthers (Sunday 1.00pm EST)
Sam Bradford looked pretty good against the Texans, but he barely threw the ball at all (just 16 times). His score of 17.08 was largely bolstered by 3 TDs. Most worryingly, Bradford is throwing the ball less and less. He threw for a combined 651 yards in weeks 1 and 2, but has only thrown for 781 in the next four combined. This week he actually faces the toughest matchup for fantasy QBs in the Panthers. I’d be wary of starting him simply because he isn’t throwing enough passes. For me Bradford is a QB14-18 this week.
Zac Stacy looks to have locked up the Rams starting job after a 17 carry workload. His competitors Richardson (3 carries) and Isaiah Pead (0 carries) were a non-factor. Stacy worked hard for tough yardage against a stout defence. Twice rushing into the 5 yard line are to set up Bradford with a pair of short TD throws. I really like Stacy going forward. This week he faces a fairly tough matchup but I’d be inclined to throw him in as a mid-range flex option and see what he can do. Stacy could get you around 10-14 points this week.
No Rams WR caught more than two passes last time out, which gives us a fantasy problem. I wouldn’t be happy starting any of them but I’d own Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Tavon Austin, just. Until one guy elevates himself it’s tough to recommend any of them.
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Lance Kendricks caught one pass for a TD last time out (his third consecutive game with a TD), whilst Jared Cook. Kendricks is almost exclusively a Red Zone threat, so if he isn’t scoring TDs he’s not startable. I really like Cook but he needs to start becoming a Red Zone option to get into the next TE tier. Cook scored 24 fantasy points in week 1, but has since failed to find the endzone or score over 5 fantasy points. Cook would be my TE12-16 this week.
Rams D/ST continue to be porous against the run, but their defence and special teams cause turnovers and scores as well. I’d rate the defence around 16-20th this week. Find a waiver replacement.