We're officially one week into the NFL season, which means some of you are 1-0, some of you are 0-1 and an unlucky few are 0-0-1. I've never actually tied in a fantasy football game, but I'd imagine it would be kind of frustrating, even if it's not a loss.
The 49ers got the win last week but it was in spite of much of their offense, which struggled mightily in the red zone. Alex Smith actually was a modestly decent fantasy performer last week thanks to his rushing touchdown. Beyond that, Frank Gore led the offense in fantasy scoring with Vernon Davis behind him.
The real winners last week were owners of the 49ers defense/special teams and David Akers. If your league uses team DST, Ted Ginn Jr. was huge for you. Beyond that, the 49ers defense was aggressive and able to grab multiple sacks and turnovers, while not giving up too many points. And given the 49ers red zone foibles, David Akers ended up with four field goals. They were all short, but still count for something.
As we head into week two, the question is what 49ers, if any, should you start against the Dallas Cowboys. We've got plenty of suggestions, but we've also got a handy-dandy new widget courtesy of numberFire.com. They are a website that runs their own statistical analysis and comes up with projections for players each week and during the year. To date their weekly projections have faired much better than ESPN and Yahoo!
I believe the 49ers defense has shown it should be a fairly consistent start for now. I realize that is only based on one game, but I believe they will be active enough throughout the season to likely get a decent number of sacks and turnovers. Even when they are giving up points, as they might do on Sunday to the Cowboys, they'll counter that with the side stats. And of course, Ted Ginn has shown what he can do on special teams, so it seems worth the risk.
David Akers is also a must-start if the red zone problems continue. He is a safe, conservative play, which is really all you need from a kicker.
Normally I'd say Frank Gore and Vernon Davis should stay in your lineup no matter what. I'll stick with that mantra this week, but depending on how the offense looks against the Cowboys, is it possible that might need to be changed? For now I'd say no, but I think it's a thought that should at least be in the back of your head as you're preparing for each week.
Beyond that, the rest of the 49ers are all guys that should be sat. Braylon Edwards could be a modest sleeper this week against the Cowboys. His numbers weren't great last week (3 rec, 27 yards), but Alex did look for him in the endzone at one point. I'm curious to see how many fade patterns we'll see to Edwards.
In reality, Edwards fantasy value would seem to be directly tied to how much more aggressive the 49ers get in the passing attack. While Crabtree remains a bit gimpy, Braylon Edwards is arguably the only wide receiver with significant fantasy value. A better way to put that might be that Edwards is the one receiver with significant fantasy "upside."
Do you see any other 49ers fantasy sleepers, or is it pretty cut and dried at this point?