Only in the NFC West can a team like the 49ers start 0-5 and have a legitimate shot of winning the division and becoming the first ever team to start so bad and make the playoffs. If Alex Smith can maintain the momentum he ended last week with a turnaround is possible.
Some interesting matchups that affect your fantasy team in this one. Let’s get to it.
Other fantasy football previews with projections: ATL@PHI | SD@STL | NO@TB | DET@NYG | MIA@GB | SEA@CHI | BAL@NE | CLE@PIT | KC@HOU | NYJ@DEN | OAK@SF | DAL@MIN | IND@WAS | TEN@JAX | (Teams on bye: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Arizona, Carolina)
In a close game, the Raiders are predicted to prevail 24.4-21.1.
Which 49ers run defense shows up? The one that allowed 127 yards combined in the first two contests of the season is a sharp contrast to the one that allowed 207 yards in week 3 and at least 98 yards in each of the last three weeks.
The Raiders, meanwhile, have a potent rushing attack that will attack them with both Michael Bush and Darren McFadden.
For the 49ers, running hasn’t come easy. But the Raiders have given up rushing yards in buckets. They’ve allowed 153 yards per game in the last three contests.
Another notable matchup: Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha vs. Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis. No, Asomugha won’t cover both of them on every play, but there will likely be times Alex Smith thinks he is. The cover monster should switch between the two, like he did with Antonio Gates and Malcom Floyd last week.
[UPDATE: It’s looking more and more like Darren McFadden isn’t going to play. The projections for Michael Bush and McFadden have been adjusted slightly.]
Alex Smith, SF: 20-33, 232 yards, 1.6 TD, 1.1 INT, 10 rush yards, 0.1 TD
Jason Campbell, OAK: 20-33, 236 yards, 1.5 TD, 1.0 INT, 20 rush yards
Frank Gore, SF: 106, 0.7 TD, 5 catches, 45 receiving yards, 0.5 TD
Michael Bush, OAK: 80 yards, 0.4 TD, 4 catches, 40 receiving yards
Darren McFadden, OAK: 35 yards, 2 catches, 20 receiving yards
Marcel Reese, OAK: 2 catches, 10 receiving yards
Louis Murphy, OAK: 4-70, 0.4 TD
Michael Crabtree, SF: 4-50, 0.3 TD
Josh Morgan, SF: 3-30, 0.2 TD
Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK: 2-25, 0.3 TD
Dominique Zeigler, SF: 2-25, 0.1 TD
Ted Ginn, SF: 1-15
Zach Miller, OAK: 6-70, 0.8 TD
Vernon Davis, SF: 5-65, 0.5 TD
Nate Byham, SF: 1-5
Sebastian Janikowski, OAK: 2.1 FG, 2.6 XP
Joe Nedney, SF: 0.9 FG, 2.6 XP
Raiders: 2.0 sacks, 1.1 INT, 1.2 fumble recovery
49ers: 2.6 sacks, 1.0 INT, 0.2 fumble recovery