Tag Archive: Frank Gore


So I consider myself the Marty Schottenheimer of Fantasy football.  I can field some good teams but I never can get over the top.  Either an injury or a total player no show happens to me and I get eliminated.  So I decided to take my great scouting and gut feeling skills to help even more people beat me down and take my money.  S once again I will mention people that I think will

A.  Be in the top 10-20 RBS by season end

B.  Players you can get later to stash away.

Remember I’m going off of the ESPN Rankings

So here are my ladder climbers:

1.  Ray “Insert woman beating joke” Rice:  I know he sucked last year, I know he is missing the first 2 games for going Ike Turner oh his wife, but I believe in the once great fantasy star.  I think the whole Ravens offense is due a resurgence and it will start with Gary Kubiak as the new offensive coordinator, and he is bringing the Zone Blocking scheme.  Everyone knows that scheme guarantees a 1,000 yard rusher.  The suspension in my eyes helps him for 1. he will be fresher, 2. The first 4 games are tough sledding (Bengals, Steelers, Browns, and Panthers), but they have a late season schedule that is good for RBs (Saints, Chargers, Dolphins, Jaguars, and Houston).  He is going around 5th-7thrd, now this is where he should be going but I think if you get him it will be a steal.

2.  Bishop “I don’t know you” Sankey:  Rookie RB in a system where he will be the number 1 probably getting ll the carries.  Sounds like a possible Doug Martin, Steve Slaton, fantasy situation.  Now he is a bit of a east-west runner, but I’m sure before the end of camp Whistenhunt will make him a north-south guy.  Shonne Green coming off of injury and the fact that he is not spectacular opens the door for Sankey.  With a name like Bishop, he will definitely have the “Juice”.  You could get Sankey in the 6th-10th round.

3.  David “My neck and my back” Wilson/Rashard “I just want to start” Jennings:  I know this is not fair because I grouped them together, but we know Coughlin is going to run the damn ball.  Now which one of these guys are going to get the carries?  My bet is go with Jennings, but Wilson is a great stash prospect.  You can get Wilson in he 8th-12th round which would be a steal if he starts, and Jennings 5th-8th round.

4.  Darren “Run DMC” McFadden:  I know everyone probably just stopped reading but I’m a believer this year.  Why?  He has to have a breakout at least once.  Also with the constant veteran preparation and pushing of Pocket Hercules (Maurice Jones Drew), I believe McFadden will show out.  Both RB’s have a lot to prove and which better way to motivate each other than being in the best shape of their collective careers.  Great thing about DMC is you can get him 10th-15th round.  Again what a steal if I’m right and he becomes a top 20 RB.

Now if these guys are moving up who is moving down?

1.  Zac “I came out of no where” Stacy:  After the sucker of dropping RUN DMC on you, now I kick you in the crotch by thinking that Stacy will finish outside of the top 20.  Why you ask?  Simple look at that division 2 games against San Fran, Seattle, and Arizona.  Now I know he shredded the Seahawks once last year, but that is when he was a surprise.  Now they know but last year against those 3 teams he had 13, 7, 8, 3 (the first meeting with the 49ers, and Cards he didn’t play).  Stacy just has a rookie phenom, but sophomore step back feel about him to me.  He will get help being a top RB though because the NFC WEST is playing the defensively challenged NFC EAST.

2.  Frank “The Immortal One” Gore:  When will this guy stop producing?  I think this is the year he falls out of the top 20.  With Hyde, and Lattimore nipping at his legendary heels, and with the sole focus of the 49ers this year is to win it all, they will give Gore a very light workload so he can be fresh for the playoffs.  While giving Lattimore and Hyde all the experience they can get.  I’m not saying Harbaugh is going to go Greg Popovich on Gore, but I just think Gore will get between 150-200 carries this year.  That is nothing compared to his 250+ carries in the last 3 years.

3.  Ryan “Supposed to replace LT” Mathews:  Put plain and simple I’m not a believer (but I believe in Run DMC?  Crazy right) and neither are the Chargers because they went out and signed Donald Brown as insurance in case last year was a fluke.

Secret stash players, now I’m calling these players Handicaps, but real players to wait and see on:

1.    Khiry “Saints pick a feature back” Robinson:  Thomas, and Ingram suck.  This guy is explosive and I can see before the end of the year him getting the bulk of the action. Going around the 10th-13th round

2.  Donald “What can” Brown “Do for you”:  Just look up Ryan Mathews history and there you have a great year for Donald Brown.  Now don’t get me wrong Brown was a disappointment up until last year, but I think he his discovered what kind of runner he is and he will do better. Going around the 11th-13th round

3.  Devonta “Finally a” Freeman:  Stephen Action Jackson just looked slow last year, and if the Falcons stink again this year I can see an increased role for Freeman down the stretch.  13th-wavier wire

Tell me what you think by leaving a comment or hitting me up @UnsportsmenBigJ

Written By:  Big J

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NFC Championship Game

I want to start off by saying that I am biased.  I’m a die hard 49er fan through and through, and that I dislike the Seahawks (but I admit I’m starting to like them more and more being a follower of a sport and not a fanatic).  I dislike the Seahawks only because of Pete Carroll.  I thought the way he left USC was terrible, but those are the brakes, and even now how he has changed his coaching style and influenced his players is winning me over.  With all that being said, I’m officially nervous as crap for the game.

I’m nervous, not because of the “12th Man”, not because of the way we have been dominated in Seattle, not even because of the talent Seattle has.  I’m nervous because of the 2nd Coming JIM HARBAUGH.  If you have read anything on this site you know I think Harbaugh is the second best coach in the league behind Empreror Bill Palpatine Belicheck.  So why the worry?  Well I worry because I think Harbaugh will not feature Frank Gore like he should.  He has been limiting Gore all year so he would be fresh for these games.  Harbaugh has been smart enough to know he didn’t need Gore to run 20+ times in the regular season to win.  When Gore carries the ball 20+ in a game in the last 2 years the 49ers are 12-1, when carrying under 20 times a game 15-8, including 19 carries in the Super Bowl (when everyone thought they should have ran Gore in the red zone during the final drive).  Now it’s time to unleash Gore.  Harbaugh scares me too because he has a bit of Don Shula in him, where he has fallen in love with his star QB ala Shula and Marino.  Harbaugh might try to feature Kaepernick to show the world and doubters (Joe Montana) that Kaepernick can make plays totally from the pocket with precision and accuracy, just like last year in the Falcons game.  That is not how you beat the Seahawks.

If your Seattle you should feel confident that you are playing at home with a team you have dominated at home.  Even with the subpar play of Russell Wilson (and everyone back off the man, he has no WRs, Kaepernick with no Crabtree subpar, Luck without Wayne subpar.  Young QBs need a go-to-guy in the line up to make them comfortable and better) you have to feel great that you know your guy can win the game down the stretch with either his legs and arm.  The key for Seattle will have to be one of the WRs/TEs stepping up and making plays.  What no Beast Mode?  You will need that too, but Lynch gets his yards vs the 49ers when they only have 6 in the box.  If a WR can become a threat to keep the safeties and outside linebackers honest Lynch will have lanes and then the Seahawks are tough to beat.  Also Carroll doesn’t have to out coach Harbaugh to win (where Harbaugh has to out coach Carroll to win), but Carroll has to make sure he doesn’t make a coaching mistake (look at last years Divisional Playoff game vs the Falcons.  Carroll made a few questionable coaching decisions, Hell “Big Play Ray” wrote an article about it “Pete Carroll Is Who We Though He Is”) that will cost them a game.

I know this will be a beat’em up game.  This plays in both teams hands, the question is who will make THE PLAY!  My homer attitude is going 49ers all the way, but the follower in me has to be honest and pick the…  THE 49ers to win it.  I feel like it is our time and not only that, I think the refs will call more Pass Interference or Holding calls than usual against the grab happy Seahawks ( I though the league got rid of the Belicheck way, of holding secondary, to favor Manning’s Colts?).  I know I know, but this begins a Dynasty like no other #QuestforSix!!!

Written by:

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Follow me @UnSportMenBigJ

 

By:  Jason “Big J” Allen

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

When you soar so high it’s only a matter of time until, before you crash back to earth.  Some call it regression to the mean, others will say this is what you are (especially in Seattle).  I think the world is trying to figure out what the heck is wrong with Colin Kaepernick, myself included.  Trent Dilfer came out and had a fair assessment of Kaepernick’s struggles, even last year when Kaepernick ruled the world I had my hesitations and gave reasons why.  So now the Niners are sitting at 6-4 and everyone can see the offense is the problem, more importantly the guy pulling the trigger looks less than stellar.  This is not a “How to Fix”  segment rather a statement that going forward Kaepernick will get back to form and what hindered him in the beginning of the season.

1.  Jim Harbaugh-  How can I blame the struggles on the coach that made him?  It’s easy or it being easy and simple is the problem.  Last year Harbaugh simplified the offense for Kaepernick, he actually used a lot of schemes from Kaepernick’s college years, especially the Pistol.  Thus the huge success of Kaepernick last year.  This year Harbaugh is forcing Kaepernick to run the Power Run West Coast offense.  You can see how uncomfortable Kaeprnick looks every week, most will tell you it takes about two years to learn the West Coast offense, and by the second half of the second year the QB starts to grasp it.  When Dilfer commented he is correct, you take away the first read you can see that Kaepernick is not sure where to go, that explained why he destroyed Green Bay week one, they never took away the 1st option (Boldin and some plays Davis).  Why this will change:  Slowly you can see Kaepernick getting used to the offense and making quick decisions.  Last week out of his 17 completions 7 went to players not named Anquin Boldin or Vernon Davis.  This is good because when you can throw to your non stars that is usually a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th read.  Which brings me to my next point.

2.  WR Core and Trust-  We have heard all year about not having the weapons on the outside, but it is less about not having the weapons, more about the trust in the weapons.  Right now the 49er’s boost a 4.8 drop percentage, which lands them at 16th in the league.  That wouldn’t be to bad except for the fact that the 49ers throw the least amount of passes in the league.  So out of the 25 attempts a game  for Kaepernick 1 to 2 passes will be dropped (especially that huge one that Frank Gore dropped in New Orleans last week, forget the sack fumble being turned over, that drop cost us more in my opinion because that was controllable.).  Kaepernick usually completes 14 passes a game, add 1 or 2 more completions a game and the number may look a little better, but usually those drops come from the Vance “I’m not as good as Delonte Walker” McDonald, and the Bruce Miller’s of the WR core, so he loses trust and the WR’s are not looking for the ball.  Why that will change:  Yes easy to say that Crabtree returning will help that, but going further (that’s what we do here) Crabtree’s return will allow Mario Manningham to get into the slot more, where he is more effective.  Also this will change because as Kaepernick gets more accustom to the West Coast offense, these 3rd, and 4th options will be expecting the ball more.

3.  Jim Harbaugh–  Not him again, but yes HIM again.  I have noticed this the first 2 years Harbaugh has been the coach of the 49ers, Harbaugh hides his tricks until the playoffs and the big moments present themselves.  Every year around this time the offense gets very predictable and stagnant, as if Jim Harbaugh gives his opponents enough tape and then heading into the final 2 weeks of the season and playoffs explodes and shocks teams.  Why this will change:  Typically about this time in the season the 49ers have a better record and have a firm grip on the NFC West, but this year not so much.  Which means Harbaugh may have to pull out the big plays a little earlier than normal, and what better way to silence the World then on Monday Night Football versus a terrible Washington Defense.

4.  Colin Kaepernick:  He has done and said a lot in the media to make him a target,  The Miami Dolphin hat incident, the Twitter for motivation comments, and the mass amount of commercials, magazine covers, and etc.  Reminds me of the Randall Cunningham fever pitch, and how people started to feel like Cunningham only cared about his popularity not his on field success.  We all know that Kaepernick is a workaholic and everyone will vouch for that, but his image is not that, thus the fans taking shots at him.  Kaepernick  has to make sure these struggles don’t kill his confidence.  If he needs to kiss some biceps in the mirror every morning to reassure himself do it.  A broken confidence at this point in his career could make him…  Alex Smith part 2!  Why this will change:  Because of everything I just mentioned, he will turn it around, only thing is when he turns it around he needs to be humble and out of the limelight.  At least win one Super Bowl and you can cash in.

5.  Colin Kaepernick:  This is what he does, look at his college career.  His freshman year he exploded on the scene 53%comp, 19tds 3ints, and 2100 yards passing, but he didn’t start until the 5th game of the season, because the starter got injured (sound familiar).  His sophomore year the number look better, but he played a full season, 54%comp, 22tds 7ints, and 2800yds passing.  Junior year 58%comp, 20tds 6ints, and 2000 yards passing.  Then his senior year 64%comp, 21tds 8ints, and 3000yds passing.  Why this will change:  Look at the numbers, he redshirted his first year in college and the NFL.  Eventually took over for an injured starter and the rest is college and eventual NFL history.  With that being said 49er faithful expect another average year next year and then we will get to the good life in his 4th year in the league.

Kaepernick will be alright and we just have to give a young guy time, because everything in him shows that he can be a great QB, maybe not the best of all time Jaws, but at least great.  He will help with the 49ers quest for 6, 7, 8, and….

Jason Allen

By:  Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnSportsMenBigJ

A lot has been made of the defending NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.  A lot of the MAKING has been in my face.  Since the two game losing streak I have heard it from every NFL fan not a 49er.  All the return trash talk is my fault, because last year I told everybody how great the 49ers are.  How NO-BODY! Has it better than us.  How our parts are the best in the league.  Also how we have the 2nd best coach in the league, I used to make jokes that if Belichick was Emperor Palpatine, Harbaugh was Yoda.  Now the if I asked “Who has it better than us?” you can reply “3/4th of the LEAGUE!”  So what’s wrong and how do we fix the Gold Rush?

Problem:  Rushing game- It starts just with that, the RUSH-ing game.  Now I know its very easy to say run the ball, better or more efficiently, but have you read anything on this site?  In three games the 49ers have rushed for 305 yards, that’s about 101.5 a game.  Last year by Week 3 the 49ers had rushed for 423, that’s about 141yds a game.  So you can see that the rushing total and average yards vastly different.  The thing is that the 49ers have not rushed the ball less (77 attempts in ’13 and 79 attempts in ’12) its the effectiveness of the running game.

Solution:  Harbaugh and the 49ers need to get back to the creative running game that was on display when Alex Smith was under center.  They ran a power heavy run style with a West Coast twist.  Remember the sets of Far and Near, off set I-Formations, running the same play from numerous formations, and using play action out of run sets to open up the pass?  Well where has that been in the first 3 games?  NO-WHERE! Coaching staff has fallen in love with Kaepernick arm strength and the read option.  The 49ers got an up close and personal mirror image of the team they used to be last week with the Colts. We haven’t seen that team since the 2012 regular season.  Get back to the creativity of the running game.

Problem: Passing game-  Let it be said “Seattle Seahawks Exposed the 49ers passing game!”  They showed the world that NO-BODY on our team except Davis and Boldin can beat man coverage.  So now we will see every game; every team run, man to man, bump and run coverage, with a single safety high, with a cover 1 scheme.  Thus putting everyone else in the box to stop the run.

Solution:  Before the break out of Kaepernick last year, the word was the 49ers had no one on the outside that could win in man to man situations.  So everybody game planned to just stop Vernon Davis.  Crabtree was hindered by Alex Smith so even if he did win man to man match ups Smith was reluctant to the throw the ball his way (sorry Dwayne Bowe it will be a long season).  So to help that situation, you saw overloaded line formations showing run, but running play action to expose Corners peeking and move safeties.  Also the bunch formation makes it hard to bump and run and sometimes confuses corners on who to pick up.  Also putting one WR (preferably Davis or Boldin)  on one side by themselves, with 3 WR on the other side to promote an one on one situation, and if the safety cheats to help you have 3 WR on the other side getting free releases on one on one opportunities.

Problem:  Defense is not creating turnovers-  The 49er Defense has created a lot of turnover and if has been with its personnel.  Losing NT and safety to free agency, and players to injury, has changed what the defense used to be.  This is no excuse, because every team has roster turnover.  But the outlook is no better going forward, with Aldon #WishHeWasMoreCharlesHaley Smith seeking help, Patrick Willis nursing a leg/groin/hamstring injury, Nnmadi Asomugha injur…  Honestly he has been playing like a bum and I can’t take myself serious writing him as a key loss, and Eric Reid battling through being a rookie in the National Football League.

Solution:  Get back to the fundamentals, with all the changes the biggest concern is the lack of tackling.  In both the Seattle and Indianapolis losses terrible tackling plagued the team.  The 49ers were one of the most sure tackling defenses in the league.  Look at Reggie Wayne break like 3 to 4 tackles on a 3rd and long last week to see how the tackling has gotten terrible.  If we start tackling better and getting our offense more chances to score which forces our opponents offense to press and that creates…  TurnOvers!

Problem:  Kaepernick turnovers-  It’s plain and simple, WR can’t get open, and the running game hasn’t protected him.  So naturally Kaepernick is forced to try and make plays by relying to heavily on his arm strength.  Watching the game you can see a lot of balls get away from him, that is usually of symptom of bad mechanics.  His bad mechanics are coming from indecisiveness.  When the timer in his head goes off to get rid of the ball he can’t because no one is open so now he is in a fire drill (when all players break off their routes to get open) and that creates forced passes or throws into coverage sometimes.  One thing about the Alex Smith days, Smith would take the sack and live to fight another down, with the help of the 49er defense.

Solution:  Harbaugh has committed the Cardinal Coaching sin, no not having your mistress ride on the back of your motorcycle, but falling in love with his Player’s Talent.  Ask Don Shula what one of his biggest mistakes was?  Loving Dan Marino’s arm too much that he never built the proper team around him.  Well Harbaugh has fallen in love with Kaepernick’s ability and has put a lot on him.  He has changed his offensive strategy to fit the strengths of Kaepernick, instead running his philosophy and using Kaepernick’s strengths to transcend the offense to another level.

Solution:  Just a bonus for everyone out there especially 49ers who are hitting the panic button, we will get healthier soon and see the return of Mario Manningham, Crabtree will not be the same player immediately but getting him back can help with teams keying on Boldin.  Also we might get a Marcus Lattimore appearance later in the year which could help with fresh legs.  Lets not forget the chance of a trade to help, we do have a pile of draft picks.

Basically all the 49ers ills can be fixed easily by going back to basics.  A semi conservative offense that lets the Defense keep us in games while we grind away at the competition.  Somewhere between week 10 last year til now the 49ers have slowly lost their way.  Hopefully two blow outs in a row will bring Harbaugh and Co, back on the right track.  With that being said I fully expect the 49ers to be 1-3 by next week this time, because the Rams play us tough and without Davis and Willis at least 90% I don’t think the 49ers can win it.  So while everyone is hitting the panic button next week I promise you will see a return to the elite 49ers and things being turned around.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

By:  Raymond “Big Play” Miller

Follow me and tell me if you agree or disagree with my pick @bprunsportsmenm

From week to week I will be looking at a matchup that I consider the game of the week. This week I’m looking at 49ers @ Seahawks (or Forty-Whiners @ the She-hawks) In a matchup of two teams that not only division rivals, but both are Super Bowl contenders as well.

49ers advantage: With how dominant the Kaepernick-Boldin combination was last week look for Seattle to put Sherman on Boldin and double Davis.  Which will then open up the read option for the 49ers and allow Kaepernick to run wild.

Seahawks advantage: To just say the 12th man would be to easy.  Beast Mode (Lynch) has ran for over 100 yds on the 49ers in two of the last three match ups.  With the subpar performance Lynch (17 car. 43 yds) had last week he’ll have them skittles ready.  Therefore, allowing Russell “last name” Wilson to go deep off of play action.

Who will win and why:  This game will be a tougher matchup than the 42-13 beatdown the Seahawks handed the Niners at the end of last season.  However, Seattle is strong and somewhat dominant at home; Wilson has never last a home game as the starter.  Plus Wilson doesn’t make many mistakes, and you’d have to assume Lynch continues his success against the 49ers defense.

Seattle Wins 28-17

Raymond "Big Play" Miller @bprunsportsmenm

Raymond “Big Play” Miller
@bprunsportsmenm

For a few years now, well specifically after the 2007 Monday Night Football game, Cardinals vs 49ers, I made a bet saying if Alex Smith led us back to win this game I would never call him a bum, or insult him playfully again.  Well the unlikely became likely and Alex Smith did it.   Ever since then I started calling Alex Smith “The New Hope,”  being a huge Star Wars fan I thought it was a funny reference, but when I started to look at it; it was telling.  So here is the Alex Smith story told through Star Wars.  Queue the Music.

Episode I:  New Hope, sorry I mean Episode IV

     A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away…  The West Coast.  Alex Smith “Luke Skywalker” went to Utah which it might as well be Tatooine.  Urban Meyer -“Old Ben Kenobi” – was Alex Smith’s college coach in Utah.  As an Ute, Smith showed immense promise with The Force – his Junior year he posted 67% completion, 2952 yards passing, 32 passing touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 631 rushing yards, and 10 rushing touchdowns.  Meyer taught him the beginnings of The Force and he learned enough to warrant a 1st overall pick in the 2005 draft to the Rebel Alliance aka the San Francisco 49ers.

Commander Mike Nolan drafted Smith over Aaron Rodgers. He thought Smith to be a cerebral, introspective, and non-confrontational, while he felt Rodgers attitude wouldn’t mesh with Nolan’s.  Smith’s rookie year was a wash 1 touchdown to 11 interceptions.  In 2006 San Francisco gave Luke his Han Solo and Chewbecca, in the form of Frank Gore (the team leader, and anybody coming out of Miami can only be as badass and cool as Han Solo) and Vernon Davis (yeah partly because he had corn rolls and dreads – all that fur).

     Also, lets give Norv Turner a piece of the Obi-Wan Kenobi title.  Under Turner Smith had a 16 touchdown and 16 interception season, but that year Smith had a few Death Star moments. He threw 3 touchdowns versus the Oakland Raiders (hell, there fans wear Darth Vader Mask).  He also had comeback victories against Minnesota, Seattle, and Denver that year.  He started to build his legend and 49er fans loved it.  Until…  Obi-Wan got handled and took a job in San Diego.

Episode II, sorry Episode V (I will get this right I promise) Empire Strikes Back.

      From 2007-2010 we should just name the Empire the bad organization of the 49ers, because they gave him four different Offensive Coordinators in those 4 years.  Forget “Luke I am your father” and how about “Luke we will give you no consistency, terrible supporting cast outside of Gore and Davis”, (remember these Wide Recievers? Ashley Lelie, Darrell Jackson, Iaasc Bruce, Bryant Johnson, Josh Morgan, Arnaz Battle, and the list goes on). He did get his Princess Lela in Michael Crabtree, look at his professional career so far, from holdouts to toe injuries in preseason, and other dainty princess issues.

It got as bad as Mike Nolan questioning his heart and toughness while he was dealing with a grade three separated shoulder. In 2008 Smith missed the entire season because of another shoulder injury, once he got back Nolan was fired, but he had a new threat.  He had to fight through the pants dropping antics of Jabba The Hut aka Mike Singletary.  The greatest insult was Aaron Rodgers won his first Super Bowl in 2010, the same Rodgers that was picked 23 picks after Alex Smith.  How about “Luke you’re a failure and your city wants you out.”

           Episode VI:  Return of the Jedi (told you I would get it)

     Now I know all the geek purist are saying, “How could you talk about Empire and leave out Yoda,” (in my best geek voice ever).  Obviously I couldn’t figure a way to weave Yoda into the story (even George Lucas had a bad timeline in the prequels and he is a pro) because we all know who Yoda is, none other than Jim “Lil Crazy Walsh” Harbaugh.  He basically got the best out of Alex Smith, and yes he is a game manager, but we act like Luke didn’t need help from a team to be successful and Luke MANAGED to get Vader to turn on the Emperor to save the galaxy.  With a 13-3 season the 49ers returned to being thought of as a dominant Force in the league.  This chapter is not done being written – we still have a galaxy to save by hoisting the Lombardi.  So Alex let The Force be with you!

 

 

Jason

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