Can 49ers WR Josh Morgan become an impact fantasy player?

As the 2010 regular season gets closer and closer, fantasy football drafts are starting to pick up. As fantasy football picks up we get an assortment of fantasy draft previews with statistical predictions and a look at players' average draft position. The player I find myself most curious about at this point is 49ers WR Josh Morgan.

Morgan appears to be developing into a solid receiver for the 49ers, and would seem to be a guy the team would like to pair with Michael Crabtree for the foreseeable future. That's great for the 49ers, but in terms of fantasy impact, Josh Morgan is in a bit of a pickle. Morgan plays on a team that has Michael Crabtree at WR, Vernon Davis at TE, and Frank Gore at running back. Throw in Brian Westbrook potentially scavenging some short receptions and that's a lot of offensive play that is spread around.

I did some research at various sites to see what folks think of Morgan. CBS Sports posts average draft position of players for all their leagues and Morgan does not even appear on their list. ESPN does the same thing with average draft position and they have Morgan currently being drafted at the 148.3 position. Divided out over a 12-team league and that is somewhere in the early 13th round. For those who do auction drafts, he's being valued at a dollar.

In terms of projections for 2010, you can see the difference in draft position thanks to the projections each site offers. CBS Sports projects Morgan to finish with 42 catches for 502 yards and 3 touchdowns:

Morgan caught 52 passes for 527 yards and three touchdowns last year for the 49ers. He is expected to start opposite Michael Crabtree, giving QB Alex Smith a young tandem at wide receiver. The third-year player has potential and could have a breakout year. Consider him a low-end No. 4 Fantasy WR heading into Draft Day.    

ESPN projects Morgan to finish with 60 catches for 671 yards and 6 touchdowns:

Morgan's 2009 season was predictable. While Michael Crabtree was holding out, Morgan was the 49ers' big-play wideout, and averaged 15.5 yards per catch in the season's first six games. Once Crabtree got acclimated, Morgan became less of a downfield threat, and managed only 7.5 yards per catch the rest of the way, even as the Niners were throwing it more. Crabtree and Vernon Davis are set to be the top targets in this offense, so while we continue to love Morgan's size/speed combo, it's tough to view him as a consistent fantasy option. You'll never go all bad drafting guys with this kind of talent, because injuries happen. But injuries are what it'll take for stardom to arrive in '10 for Morgan.    

Do you see either of those projections as close to accurate? It's hard to tell where Morgan's numbers will go with a full season of Crabtree. Morgan will face the lesser of a team's two cornerbacks and if Crabtree starts hot, teams might start to roll a safety over to provide double coverage, thus providing more space for Morgan. This could be quite the boon for Morgan's fantasy value, but it's a tough call at this point. What do you guys think?

After the jump, I've got some more info on our official NN fantasy league, and some details again on how you can save on a CBS Sports Fantasy Football league.

After some back and forth, we've got all the participants for our fantasy football league. I've emailed everybody who will be taking part, and also sent along an invite to join the league. If you didn't receive it, post a comment here, or email me at ninersnation@gmail.com. For those who inquired but were not selected for the league you can create your own league through CBS Sports if you want. If not, I'll see what other options we have.

For now, here are the participants (two owners per team):

OWNER 1 OWNER 2
Username Username
Dave R. Widowwolf
makd2345 SuspendingBJ
Ninjames Tre9er
ZeroIndulgence Sloan
pwarren85 Cruithear
jtoj cybermaldonado
Mullester gold nuggets
BucksForever Florida Danny
sirhcrocks Andrew Davidson
J2daZ Fooch
Cal Golden 49er fort9ers3298
jr49ers81 drunk9erfan

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Don't forget that if you're interested in a CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Commissioner League and you register through this link, you can receive a huge discount of 50% off for a total of $89.99. Whether you're just starting out, or have an established league looking to start a site, and you want to split the cost between 12 teams, it would only be about $7.50 per person. Considering the features and flexibility that CBSSports.com offers in terms of flexibility, it's well worth it for serious fantasy football players.

CBSSports.com is an SB Nation partner and paying sponsor of the SB Nation football communities. This post is one of a series of sponsor endorsed posts related to the CBSSports.com Fantasy Football Commissioner League.

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