By Mike Cannici
49ers @ Chargers
This is a big divisional game between two teams who both trail their division leaders by one game. Who would have thought the way these two teams started that they would still have a shot at a division crown? Well actually I could have seen the Chargers come back as they virtually never lose in November and December. As far as the 49ers are concerned, the division is pitiful so they only need to get to .500 to win this thing which means win out.
From a Fantasy standpoint the 49ers go up against the 4th ranked run defense and the number one pass defense. Alex Smith had a big game in his return but expectations need to be tempered as it was against the woeful Seattle defense. Smith isn’t a great start and hopefully you don’t need him in your lineups if you’re an Aaron Rodgers owner since he’s likely to sit out this week. Brian Westbrook I only like in PPR leagues as I can’t see him being able to run too well against this stout defense. Anthony Dixon is the guy to go with in standard league’s as he has the potential for more carries and will definitely get the goal line carries. As far as the passing game, Vernon Davis is an obvious must start while Michael Crabtree I recommend leaving on the bench. Of course Josh Morgan could have a fluky good game but you don’t want to take that chance.
Leading the 7-6 Chargers, Phillip Rivers should be able to throw all day on this defense who allow an average of 19.5 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. As far as the backs, the Niners aren’t bad against the run but I do like both these backs as flex plays this week, meaning Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert. TE Antonio Gates is unlikely to go this week so you’re sitting him and with a week under his belt, I really like Vincent Jackson, (2-29 last week) he should start to get back to 09’ form. Malcom Floyd, who scored twice last week to go along with 51 yards is healthy and is a solid WR3. The 49ers have allowed 127 fantasy points to opposing wide receivers over the last two weeks in PPR leagues and 86 points in standard leagues. Only 1 of their previous three opponents have a passing attack that can rival San Diego’s so you definitely need to have VJax and Floyd in your lineups. In the end, I see the Chargers winning this game but I think it’ll be closer than most think. This is a very important game for both teams but fortunately for them, the two teams their chasing, the Chiefs and the Rams are playing each other so one of those teams will obviously have to lose as well. Enjoy the game everyone and we’ll see you live at midnight eastern time after the game on www.blogtalkradio.com/fantasysavvy