Fantasy Football

Fantasy Team Preview: San Francisco

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John Halpin

John Halpin has been a fantasy contributor for since 2007. He has written and co-hosted webcasts about fantasy football for, and managed websites for the NHL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Network. Listen to his "Fantasy 15 Podcast" on and follow him on Twitter.


Overall outlook: Michael Crabtree’s injury removed one potent fantasy weapon from this squad, but there are others.

Bye week: 9

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Quarterback: Colin Kaepernick

Ranked 25th among fantasy quarterbacks with 194.1 fantasy points in 2012, but played approximately eight games when factoring in his seven starts and partial appearances … Depending on how you look at it, Kaepernick’s pro-rated stats could have had him in fantasy’s top-five QBs … Blew up in the posteason, with 798 passing yards, 264 rushing yards, four passing TDs and three rushing TDs in three games … Don’t let Kaepernick’s speed fool you into thinking he’s just a runner – he can throw … Could suffer as a result of Michael Crabtree’s absence … A bit of a wildcard on fantasy drafts, as he’s going anywhere between QB6 and QB 12 … Ridiculous fantasy potential.

Running back: Frank Gore

Ranked 10th among running backs with 202.8 fantasy points in 2012 … Tenth in rushing yards (1,214) and 12th in attempts (258) … 26th among RBs in receptions (28) and 24th in receiving yards (234) while scoring nine times overall … Some fantasy analysts seem a bit hesitant about Gore due to the presence of Kendall Hunter and the potentially expanded role of speedy LaMichael James … Grab Gore in the third round if you want him.

Running back: LaMichael James

Ran 27 times for 125 yards over the final four games in 2012 after seeing no offensive action before that … Could be a change-of-pace back that gets 8-10 touches per game, but it’s tough to make a guy like that one of the top four fantasy backs on your roster.

Running back: Kendall Hunter

Ranked 54th with 53.1 fantasy points in 2012 … Ran 72 times for 371 yards and two scores in 11 games as Gore’s sidekick … Hunter, James and Gore give the Niners lots of options, but unless your league is deep, who wants to draft one of the options that’s likely to share the second-fiddle workload?

Wide receiver: Michael Crabtree

Ranked 14th among wideouts with 165.3 fantasy points in 2012 …Was 11th with 85 receptions, 14th with 1,105 yards, and scored nine touchdowns … Unfortunately, Crabtree tore his Achilles’ tendon during offseason workouts, and isn’t expected to return until November at the earliest … Probably undraftable unless you have a deep bench to stash him on.

Wide receiver: Anquan Boldin

Ranked T-31 with 118.4 fantasy points in 2012 … Was T-25 in receptions (65), 24th in receiving yards (921), and scored four touchdowns … The 32-year-old hasn’t surpassed 1,000 yards since 2009 and looked slow last season before exploding for 36 catches, 380 yards and four TDs in the postseason … Going as a WR4 in drafts.

Wide receiver: A.J. Jenkins

The 2012 first-round draftee didn’t catch any passes last season, but has been drawing raves in training camp … Keep him on your early-season free-agent radar.

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Tight end: Vernon Davis

Was a huge fantasy disappointment in 2012, ranking 15th among tight ends with 84.8 points … Perked up in the playoffs, with 19 receptions for 254 yards and a score in three games … With Crabtree out, Davis has been lining up as a wideout during training camp, causing his draft stock to rise into the top five among tight ends.

Placekicker: Phil Dawson

Dawson’s predecessor, David Akers, was T-6 with 141 fantasy points in 2012, but could have been much better … Akers led the NFL with 42 field goal attempts, but converted just 29 of them … Akers was also T-8 with 44 extra points … Despite kicking for the hapless Browns, Dawson was T-14 with 125 fantasy points after making 29 of 31 field goal attempts … The 38-year-old Dawson is 11th among active kickers in FG%, and should be a top-five fantasy PK.

Team defense (DST)

After being a consensus top-tier DST in last year’s drafts, the Niners ranked 15th with 118 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked second in points allowed (273), third in yards allowed (4,710), T-11 in sacks (38), T-13 in fumble recoveries (11), and 16th in interceptions (14) while scoring three touchdowns … Added CB Nnamdi Asomugha, who may be a has-been … Still worthy of a top-five DST selection.

Tagged: Lions, 49ers, Phil Dawson, David Akers, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Colin Kaepernick, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James

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