Game Overview ::
By mIKE joHNSON >>
- This game is a rematch of a Week 4 game that the 49ers dominated.
- The Rams enter this game off their bye week with more questions than answers on their offense and needing a win to stay in contention in the NFC West.
- The 49ers are also in a precarious position, having made a high profile trade for Christian McCaffrey a week ago and now being on the brink of a 3-5 record with a loss.
- The ability of the Rams offensive line to protect Matthew Stafford and the Rams defense to contain the 49ers playmakers will determine the outcome.
How sAN FRANCISCO Will Try To Win ::
The 49ers made waves around the NFL last week by trading for all world running back Christian McCaffrey. The 49ers were already loaded with playmakers and now add another dynamic weapon to spread defenses thin. From a fantasy perspective, this may make things more difficult to project, but from a real life perspective, defensive game planning against the 49ers is going to be extremely difficult going forward. On the defensive side, the 49ers were exposed by Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs last week in a 44-23 loss. The Chiefs were able to protect Mahomes very well and he diced up the 49ers scheme with relative ease, throwing for 430 yards and three TDs (which could’ve been even more as there were multiple TD’s called back by penalty). However, the 49ers defense has been stout outside of that one outlier, and this year’s Rams passing attack is nowhere near as efficient as what the Chiefs brought to town.
San Francisco runs the ball at the 10th highest rate in the NFL and plays at the fifth slowest pace. The addition of CMC will help to make their offense less predictable and more dynamic. Basically, they now have the threat they used to give defenses by moving Deebo Samuel into the backfield while still being able to have all of Deebo, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle spread out and running routes. The 49ers play calling will be far less telegraphed and head coach Kyle Shanahan should have a field day drawing up plays to take advantage of defenses that shade any certain direction, while also being freed up to attack individual matchups that defenses will struggle with across the board. Basically in every game and on every play there will be someone in the 49ers skill corps who is in an advantageous position and Shanahan is a master at exploiting those spots, while also being great at play designs that counteract defenses overplaying things. The one concern for this is the status of Deebo Samuel, who missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday, putting his status in question.
We should expect a similar play calling split from the 49ers this week to what we’ve seen in the past and when they do pass, it will likely be manageable concepts for Jimmy Garoppolo to get the ball out of his hands quickly and let his playmakers do their thing. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the 49ers up the tempo going forward, as they should have to substitute and change personnel packages less, and when the defense’s personnel is something they like there is a huge advantage to going no huddle and not letting them sub. All of it will be very interesting to see unfold, but one thing is certain and that is that the 49ers offense will be more dynamic than ever with CMC playing a full game.
How Los angeles Will Try To Win ::
- I’m excited to watch this game; but given the price tags associated with the core offensive pieces in this game and the expected game environment, it would take some unique developments for “had to have it” scores to emerge
- I’ll be thrilled to get Cooper Kupp on a roster if the salary works; but given that he’s priced high enough that 4x his salary is a miracle (let alone scores that blow past that mark), I won’t be afraid to not have him on builds
- Five of the last six games between these two teams have produced 43 or fewer points, with only last year’s final-week 51-pointer climbing above that mark; this week, Kyle Shanahan talked about how these teams know each other so well — with neither team making significant changes to their offensive or defensive schemes in years, and neither team “changing things up” when playing one another — that it’s basically about who executes better; as DFS players, we can also know that this means neither team is going to be particularly surprised by anything the other team does, which limits the paths for this game to break above its low total; with all of that in mind, I’ll be largely leaving this game alone — with large-field stacks the likeliest way for me to actually dip into this game (i.e., rather than try to “guess one player who will hit in a game where no one else hits,” I’d prefer to bet on a scenario in which the game environment as a whole takes off, and a number of players benefit)
mike johnson >>
- Assuming Van Jefferson returns from IR this week (he’s currently practicing and is expected to be activated for this game), he’s a very interesting option. He plays a role and runs routes in the intermediate areas of the field that the Rams have been unable to successfully attack this season. Jefferson is min-price on Draftkings. At full health with his regular role, he is more of a $4,500 player.
- Cooper Kupp had nearly 30 DK points in the first matchup with the 49ers without scoring a touchdown. Kupp’s price is very high but you can get him at low ownership with a solid raw points floor and ceiling. Jefferson’s return could also open some more things for Kupp and also give the Rams more scoring chances, where we know Kupp is heavily featured.
- When first writing this game up, I didn’t think I’d have much interest in the Rams outside of Kupp. However, the potential return of Jefferson has me very intrigued. Stafford + Kupp + Jefferson will be very low-owned and modestly priced as a group. Even Kupp + Jefferson without Stafford would be an interesting pairing and a way to make Kupp’s price more palatable and you could use it in a lineup with Ehlinger or Hurts “naked”. The 49ers pass defense was exposed last week and has been dealing with injuries, while the Rams are coming off a bye week where they should be heavily prepared and have improved some protection issues. This is still a very tough matchup, but the cumulative price and ownership of this group won’t reflect the possibility of the Rams offense getting right – especially with a previous head-to-head matchup between these teams to convince everyone how things will play out.
- If it wasn’t for the state of the RB position on this slate as a whole, I’d be so excited to play CMC here. This is by far the best offense and best play caller/designer he has ever played for. If he has the usual CMC role in this San Francisco offense, he’s still underpriced at $8,700. As far as the matchup goes, CMC had 150 total yards against this same Rams team two weeks ago. If Deebo Samuel indeed misses this game, my interest in CMC will rise significantly.
- Don’t look now but George Kittle has consecutive very good games under his belt and is the best tight end on the slate. His projected ownership once again appears likely to be low and he can break any slate, especially if Samuel is out.
- Don’t look now but Brandon Aiyuk has led the 49ers in targets in consecutive weeks. Priced at $6,100, Aiyuk is another very good player at low ownership who could benefit from Samuel’s absence.
- All three of CMC, Kittle, and Aiyuk were mentioned with Deebo Samuel’s status used as a qualifier. However, it sounds like the Rams are heavily focused on containing Samuel in this matchup, and with all the options the 49ers have now, it wouldn’t be surprising if Samuel plays and his role is more of a decoy and sets things up for the others to make plays.
- With all three of those players having high ceilings and usage possibly being concentrated among them, Jimmy Garoppolo has to be in consideration for MME-style players.
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