Week 4 Thursday Night Football Preview
Tonight’s matchup pits two division rivals against each other. The 49ers and Rams had both of their games last year go into overtime, and one of them ended in a tie. The games were about as evenly matched as you can get, so it should be interesting to see how tonight ends. The 49ers have been struggling the past two weeks and have been in the headlines for off the field issues. Aldon Smith was arrested for DUI and has subsequently checked into rehab for substance abuse. The Niners are now missing their 2012 team MVP for an indefinite amount of time. To make matters worse, Patrick Willis and Nnamdi Asomugha are unlikely to play after being injured in last week’s game against the Colts. Vernon Davis missed last week, but is likely to return tonight after returning to practice this week, albeit on a limited basis. The only major injury for the Rams is starting OT Roger Saffold. They are relatively healthy otherwise.
The Thursday night games have been fairly sloppy so far this year, and I don’t think this one will be any different. Colin Kaepernick has had the two worst games of his career the past two weeks, which has frustrated fantasy owners everywhere, including myself. I have him in my keeper league and he has gotten me a COMBINED -1.4 points in the past two weeks. Getting poor production from the QB position makes it almost impossible to win, and needless to say, I am 0-2 during his slump. I decided to bench him this week in favor of Russell Wilson, but knowing my luck, he has a great game tonight. I expect a breakout game from Frank Gore for two reasons. One, he was justifiably upset for barely touching the ball in the second half last week, so he should get more carries this week to pacify him, and two, the Rams defense was just gashed by DeMarco Murray last week and even though he is 30, I believe Gore is a better back than Murray. The only drawback is that Thursday night games usually favor defenses, so this could be a low-scoring game with a few turnovers. The Rams offense really doesn’t impress me, although I think you could see a big game out of Tavon Austin because he will be matched up with the fading Carlos Rogers. He should be used like the Packers use Randall Cobb against the Niners, and Cobb almost always has big games against Rogers. The St. Louis running back position is a mess, as no back has stepped forward as the clear starter. Even though the Niners run D has been lackluster this year, I still wouldn’t start any Rams RB tonight. The only Ram I would start is Austin. I would start the usual four Niners-Kaepernick, Anquan Boldin, Gore and Vernon Davis (if he plays). Let’s hope this game isn’t as ugly as the past few Thursday Night games.