49ers Fantasy News

Vernon Davis reported to 49ers camp
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 1:36pm

CSN Bay Area - [Full Article]

Tight end Vernon Davis, who did not take part in the 49ers' offseason program due to dissatisfaction over his contract status, reported to training camp Wednesday morning.

Fantasy Impact:

This doesn't mean that Davis is happy with his contract, but he realizes that the team isn't inclined to negotiate with a player who isn't practicing. We're avoiding Davis at his ADP due to his probable workload with Michael Crabtree back in the fold. Davis averaged 3.8-62-.90 on 6.1 targets without Crabtree in the lineup. After his return (and including three playoff games), those numbers fell to 2.4-35-.75 on 4.6 T/G. Those are still top 10 numbers at the position (thanks to the touchdowns), but Davis simply isn’t a no-brainer top 5 pick with Crabtree in the lineup. He has a history of being underutilized in the 49ers’ run-heavy offense, and that’s a possibility again in 2014.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:23pm

Inside Bay Area - [Full Article]

49ers beat write Cam Inman previews the team's RB corps: This is Frank Gore's 10th camp but his first with so many viable candidates to share the load. Marcus Lattimore's comeback attempt is of utmost interest, and aside from running, can he pass protect? Kendall Hunter remains the No. 2 back, though he's coming off a career-low 358 rushing yards and is in a contract year. Carlos Hyde could be a rookie gem with his deft hands and power legs. If that quartet proves strong, LaMichael James finally might get traded.

Fantasy Impact:

The 31-year-old Frank Gore has defied reduced preseason expectations in recent years, finishing in the top 13 in three straight seasons. Including the playoffs, he posted just 8.5 fantasy points per game after the 49ers’ Week 9 bye in 2013, so the writing is on the wall. The team has a capable backup in Kendall Hunter and also drafted the talented Carlos Hyde in the second round. Along with the return of redshirt rookie Marcus Lattimore, Gore’s touches are very much under pressure in 2014. One thing to note here -- Inman believes that Hunter is still the RB2 in San Francisco.

Sammy Watkins off to a 'great start' at camp
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:05pm

WGR 550 - [Full Article]

WR Sammy Watkins picked a great day to have his best practice as a member of the Buffalo Bills. With the bigwigs at ESPN, NFL Network, FoxSports1 and the MMQB all in attendance on Monday afternoon, Watkins put on a show for all to see. The crowd 'oohed,' 'aahed,' and cheered anytime the first-round selection touched the ball... and it happened quite a lot. He burned Leodis McKelvin very early on in the practice deep, he caught a pass tight in coverage with a defender on his way to him and then he jumped up on a tipped pass to bring it in over three defenders, all while getting poked in the eye. It's been a great start for Watkins to say the least.

Fantasy Impact:

He’s not landing in a good situation, since the Bills are run-heavy and E.J. Manuel is his quarterback. But with Stevie Johnson out of the way, the potential is there for solid production. By all accounts he has shown a great work ethic, so if he’s a target-hog, he should be a fantasy starter (top 36) in 2014.

49ers looking to improve passing game
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:01pm

Inside Bay Area - [Full Article]

The No. 1 mission of this 49ers training camp: boosting the Colin Kaepernick-led passing attack.

The 49ers tout the deepest receiving corps of Harbaugh's four-year tenure, and they have arguably the league's best offensive line.

The 49ers clearly realized he couldn't improve the passing attack without better targets.

"We're a lot deeper at receiver," starter Anquan Boldin said.

First, the 49ers acquired San Francisco native Stevie Johnson in a draft-day trade with Buffalo. They lured Brandon Lloyd out of a one-year hiatus (as they did with Randy Moss in 2012). And they drafted speedster Bruce Ellington in the fourth round out of South Carolina.

"It gives us an opportunity as an offense to do a lot more," Kaepernick said. "You have a lot of weapons that you can put in a lot of different places. ... They all have the capability of getting open and making plays."

Fantasy Impact:

In his last 18 games with Crabtree in the lineup, Kaepernick has averaged 20.9 FP, which equate to #3 QB numbers. In 11 games without Crabtree, he averaged 16.1 FP. He averages 2.5 more pass attempts (i.e. the 49ers throw the ball more) and his YPA jumps from 7.4 to 8.4 with his top receiver in the lineup. The potential Vernon Davis holdout is a concern, but with Johnson in the fold, the 49ers are deep at receiver.

Sorting out the 49ers backfield
Friday, July 18, 2014, 7:28pm

CSN Bay Area - [Full Article]

The 49ers have good depth, and might finally start to use multiple running backs. Carlos Hyde was chosen in the second round of the draft, which provides a clear indication that they believe he is capable of eventually taking over for Frank Gore. Marcus Lattimore will get plenty of opportunities to prove he is back from a severe knee injury he sustained during his final season at South Carolina.

Coming off what both Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke described as an “A-plus-plus” season, Gore appears to be solid in his standing as the starter. After that, the depth chart will be sorted out through competition in training camp. Hyde and Lattimore will have to prove their worth in pass protection in order to take the backup job away from Kendall Hunter. If everyone remains healthy in training camp, the 49ers could look to trade a running back just before the final round of cuts.

Fantasy Impact:

The 31-year-old Frank Gore has defied reduced preseason expectations in recent years, finishing in the top 13 in three straight seasons. Including the playoffs, he posted just 8.5 fantasy points per game after the 49ers’ Week 9 bye in 2013, so the writing is on the wall. The team has a capable backup in Kendall Hunter and also drafted the talented Carlos Hyde in the second round. Along with the return of redshirt rookie Marcus Lattimore, Gore’s touches are very much under pressure in 2014.

Thursday, July 17, 2014, 8:43pm

Inside Bay Area - [Full Article]

49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) was one of eight players placed on procedural injury lists upon reporting to 49ers training camp.

Fantasy Impact:

It's an indication that Lattimore is not yet fully recovered from knee surgery. The team's decision to draft Carlos Hyde has put a dent in Lattimore's dynasty stock.

Thursday, July 17, 2014, 7:44pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

49ers RB Carlos Hyde has looked great as a runner and receiver in the offseason. The second-round pick from Ohio State has a chance to make a big impact.

Michael Crabtree 'as healthy as ever' entering camp
Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 12:52pm

49ers.com - [Full Article]

49ers WR Michael Crabtree didn’t have to do a whole lot during offseason workouts – coaches took a calculated approach with the team’s sure-handed receiver. Even so, Crabtree demonstrated 2012-like burst during the limited time he worked with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Crabtree missed 11 games last season because of a torn left Achilles, but he’s as healthy as ever while he enters a contract season. Expect big things.

Fantasy Impact:

Including three playoff games, Crabtree appeared in eight contests last season and averaged 4.3 catches for 61 yards and 0.13 TD. For a better indication of his potential for 2014, we should include the 10 games he played with Colin Kaepernick in 2012 (and in the 2013 playoffs). When those numbers are rolled in, Crabtree averaged 5.3 catches for 76 yards and 0.50 TD, which equates to 10.6 PPG, or strong WR2-type numbers. He looked liked himself during the 49ers' playoff run, so we're expecting a productive 2014 from the 6th-year receiver.

Sunday, July 6, 2014, 12:32pm

Pro Football Talk - [Full Article]

Torrey Smith, a second-round pick in 2011, enters the final year of his rookie contract with no current indication that the Ravens are prepared to extend his deal.

In his third season, Smith cracked the 1,000-yard barrier for the first time, generating 1,128 yards on a career-high 65 catches. That puts Smith at No. 17 among all pass-catchers, and it creates a potential conundrum regarding his worth.

On one hand, Smith had a great year given the lack of complementary weapons. On the other hand, a high-end wideout should have had even better numbers, especially without players like Anquan Boldin (who was traded in the 2013 offseason) and tight end Dennis Pitta (who missed most of the year with a dislocated hip) not siphoning off throws.

Fantasy Impact:

This year Smith will battle with Pitta, newly signed WR Steve Smith, newly signed TE Owen Daniels and even WR Jacoby Jones for catches. We rank Torrey Smith 26th among WRs with an ADP of the 7th round. We think he'll break the 1,100-yard receiving mark, however, his projected 4.4 TDs is second lowest to only Kendall Wright among our top-30 WRs.

Beat: 'About 220 carries' for 49ers RB Frank Gore
Saturday, July 5, 2014, 10:25am

ESPN - [Full Article]

49ers beat writer Bill Williamson was asked how many carries RB Frank Gore will get: "Right now, I’d probably guess Gore would get about 220 carries. The 49ers are paying him $6.4 million, so they think he can still help, even though he is 31 and is entering the final year of his contract. Rookie Carlos Hyde and Marcus Lattimore, if he can stay healthy, will take carries. But Gore is still Gore. He will have a role. Gore had 276 carries last season, which was the third-most in his nine-season career. He is a trusted resource for the 49ers. Don’t expect to see a dramatic carry decrease."

Fantasy Impact:

Gore has finished in the top 13 in three straight seasons, but he has turned 31 and has rookie Carlos Hyde and second-year RB Marcus Lattimore to deal with. Gore faded down the stretch, averaging just 8.5 fantasy points per game (3.8 YPC) after the team's Week 9 bye (including the playoffs). Prior to the bye, he averaged 14.2 PPG and a 4.2 YPC. We're expecting the 49ers to move to a committee with Gore in the lead role as long as he's healthy. He could post 270-plus carries again if Hyde and/or Lattimore aren't ready to play. Don't forget about Kendall Hunter -- he's capable and is still in the mix.

"Pass-happy" Jay Gruden isn't so pass-happy
Thursday, July 3, 2014, 10:21am

Real Redskins - [Full Article]

On the topic of Redskins HC Jay Gruden having a reputation for being "pass-happy":

The Bengals attempted 1,764 passes from 2011-2013. Coincidentally, that is exactly as many passes as the Redskins under Mike and Kyle Shanahan attempted. Gruden’s past and present teams tied for 19th in the NFL in pass attempts. The Lions led the league in pass attempts with 2,128 while the 49ers threw 1,430 times, the fewest in the NFL.

Peeling back the onion a little more, how often did Gruden call passes on first down? Since all options are open to the play caller, that’s perhaps a better indicator of his run or pass mindset. During his time in Cincinnati only four teams called fewer pass plays on first down than did Gruden. He called 595 first-down passes; only the Chiefs, 49ers, Jets, and Seahawks called fewer. The Patriots called the most with 831.

Fantasy Impact:

In 2013, Bengals threw it 55.0% of the time which was #22 in the league. The running game should get plenty of work in Washington, provided the team can stay competitive.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014, 12:32pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Victor Cruz is the only sure thing in terms of WRs, and the Giants are best when he's working as the slot receiver. That means they need to spend camp identifying their best options on the outside.

Rueben Randle, the 2012 second-round pick, is the guy they'd like to see take the leap in his third season. He showed enough flashes last year to make them think he can be a big playmaker. They just need him to play and work more consistently.

Odell Beckham was this year's first-round pick, and as such he'll get an opportunity to contribute as a starter as soon as he's ready to handle it. But the Giants don't rush rookies, and if he's not ready, they will wait and use other options until he is.

Mario Manningham is a wild card -- a player the Giants know and like but who's coming off knee problems that kept him from being a factor for the 49ers during his two seasons away from New York.

Fantasy Impact:

Looks like Randle stepping up and winning one of the outside jobs is going to be key for the Giants and their WRs. Even if Beckham doesn't win a job right away, it would be hard to imagine him not making a contribution at some point in the season. We have Randle ranked 43rd among our WRs and could end up being a solid round-12 pick. We should know a lot more about his chances before August drafts.

Monday, June 30, 2014, 8:25pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

Who will become the 49ers slot WR? Former Bills WR Stevie Johnson along with former Patriot Brandon Lloyd are on the 9ers roster and look to be two of the favorites.

Fantasy Impact:

Odds look to favor Steve Johnson in the end, as Lloyd is coming off a year where he didn't even play. The 9ers still have Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin on the outside with Vernon Davis the TE, so the position winner will have to fight for targets. Just one of many upcoming camp battles to monitor...

Sammy Watkins 'looked the part' of 'true' WR1
Sunday, June 29, 2014, 10:19am

Buffalo Bills - [Full Article]

All eyes will be on Bills WR Sammy Watkins as he continues to develop chemistry with E.J. Manuel and transition to the pro game. He has already been possibly the most impressive player on the field throughout OTAs and minicamp and has looked the part of a true No. 1 wide receiver. Now that defensive backs will have more freedom to jam receivers at the line and get away with more contact during practice, will Watkins continue to impress?

Fantasy Impact:

He’s not landing in a good situation, since the Bills are run-heavy and E.J. Manuel is his quarterback. But with Stevie Johnson out of the way, the potential is there for solid production. By all accounts he has shown a great work ethic, so if he’s a target-hog, he should be a fantasy starter (top 36) in 2014.

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 2:30pm

CSN Bay Area - [Full Article]

49ers TE Vernon Davis on his holdout:

"It hasn’t been difficult at all. It’s just like any athlete, we all want a new contract. But I’m not going to stress over it. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t get it. If I get it, that’s good. It’s moving slowly, but surely.

"At the end of the day, if I don’t get the deal, at least I tried and I put my foot down. If I don’t get it at the moment, I’m not going to lose any sleep."

Fantasy Impact:

It doesn't sound like he intends to carry his holdout into the season. Davis finished the season as the #2 TE, but his numbers took a dip after Michael Crabtree returned to the fold. Davis averaged 3.8-62-.90 on 6.1 targets without Crabtree in the lineup. After his return (and including three playoff games), those numbers fell to 2.4-35-.75 on 4.6 T/G. Those are still top 10 numbers at the position, but Davis simply isn’t a no-brainer top 5 pick with Crabtree in the lineup. Davis has a history of being underutilized in the 49ers’ run-heavy offense, and that’s a possibility again in 2014.