LA Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
-Rams DE Von Miller (ankle) will make his debut with the team despite his questionable tag.
-Rams WR Robert Woods tore his ACL in practice on Thursday. He's done for the season.
-Rams C Brian Allen (elbow) is questionable. He was DNP on Thursday/Friday before getting in a limited session on Saturday.
-Rams CB Darious Williams (ankle) is questionable. He popped up on the injury report Friday as limited then did not practice Saturday. He also missed weeks 6-8 and hasn't played well this season. The Rams should be fine without him. Dont'e Deayon (thigh) was Williams's replacement when he missed time earlier. He's questionable with a thigh injury. He wasn't on the injury report till Saturday, where he didn't practice.
-49ers RB JaMycal hasty (ankle) is out. Eli Mitchell has been the workhorse back.
-49ers RT Mike McGlinchey (quad) is out for the season after getting injured last week.
-49ers DT Maurice Hurst (calf) is out. Hurst has only played two games this season (weeks 4 and 5).
-49ers CB Dre Kirkpatrick (ankle) is out. Kirkpatrick has mostly been playing special teams this season, only seeing serious snaps at corner in weeks 4 and 9.
-49ers WR Mohammed Sanu (knee) is out. He isn't very good.
-49ers S Jimmie Ward (quad) is questionable. He missed week 9, but did get in two limited sessions at practice Friday/Saturday (DNP Thursday).
-49ers CB Josh Norman (ribs) is questionable, but he practiced all week as limited and should play.
-49ers DL Arden Key (oblique) is questionable. He showed up on the injury report Friday as limited, then was limited Saturday as well. I'd lean toward him plays.
When the Rams have the ball:
The Rams offense is 2nd in DVOA and 2nd in EPA/play. Matt Stafford ranks 12th in PFF passing grades (77.2) while completing 68.2% of his passes (0.6% below expectation) and gaining 8.6 yards per attempt. He's done a solid job keeping the ball out of harm's way -- he has 6 INTs and a turnover worthy play percentage of 2.5%. He gets rid of the ball quickly, his average time to throw of 2.57 seconds is 9th fastest in the league. He's also under pressure just 24.1% of the time, third best rate in the league. The top receivers by projected targets: Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson, TE Tyler Higbee, and Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ is set to make his debut, but I think it's fair to have him as the 4th most targeted Ram since he's been on the team for just a few days. Kupp is one of the most targeted receivers in all of football -- his 101 total targets is second to Tyreek Hill, and Kupp has played one less game. With Robert Woods (ACL) sidelined, I'd expect a 10+ target game from Kupp. The offensive line is a top 5 unit in football without any weaknesses. They'll be run blocking mostly for Darrell Henderson, with Sony Michel working as the change of pace back. On defense, the 49ers are 17th in DVOA and 23in in EPA/play. Nick Bosa (33 pressures) and Arik Armstead (25) are a fantastic pass rushing duo, but they've been downright awful at corner (hint: Josh Norman starts for them) and will be weakened further if Jimmy Ward can't play -- he's the only member of the 49ers defensive backfield with a PFF grade above 63 (Ward is at a 73.9). Fred Warner is a solid coverage linebacker, but it simply isn't enough. In the trenches, it should be a solid matchup from a pass blocking standpoint, but I'll take the Rams offensive line in the run game.
When the 49ers have the ball:
The 49ers (6th in DVOA, 15th in EPA/play) are still trotting out good ole Jimmy Garoppolo, who ranks 26th in PFF grades. He's completing 65.3% of his passes (0.2% below expectation) and gaining 8.2 yards per attempt. He's had issues throwing the ball at guys wearing the wrong color jersey -- his turnover worthy play percentage sits at 4.9%, 3rd highest in the league (Mike White and Zach Wilson are 1st and 2nd, shoutout Jets). He ranks 33rd of 36 QBs in percent of passes that travel over 20 yards, and ranks 1st in percent of passes that travel between 10 - 20 yards. The 49ers top receivers by projected targets: Deebo Samuel, TE George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk. Kittle and Samuel have both been solid, but every other receiving option has been subpar. The offensive line is very solid -- LT Trent Williams is by far the best graded lineman at any position, though they'll take a big drop on the right side of the line now that McGlinchey is hurt. The Rams on defense are 4th in DVOA and 7th in EPA/play. They already had a solid pass rush with Aaron Donald (who may or may not be God) and Leonard Floyd, but now adding in Von Miller means they have one of the best units in football. They should have a big advantage rushing the passer. Jalen Ramsey is, per usual, one of the top corners in football. Ramsey plays slot and outside corner at a roughly 50/50 split, so Samuel won't be able to avoid him by running more routes out of the slot.
Spread: When we ran the model last Tuesday, we slightly preferred the 49ers +4.0, but the strength (2.49) wasn't strong enough to warrant a recommendation. The line has since moved to 3.5. Ruling: lay off.
Total: The total sits at 50.5. Ruling: I'd lean under. It's a high total in a divisional game, but I don't love it.
Cooper Kupp o7.5 receptions -135 (DraftKings): Kupp has gone over this number in 3 of his last 4 games. With the game total above 50.5, no Robert Woods, and no corner on the 49ers roster capable of hanging with him, I'll take the over.
Matt Stafford o2.5 passing TDs +155 (Caesars): I'm just not turning down that juice.
Jauan Jennings u20.5 receiving yards -115 (DraftKings): This number is simply too high. Jennings is projected at 9.4 yards.