Okay stat watchers, we are getting into the meat of the fantasy football season. Congratulations if you started any 49er not named Randy Moss last week. It took 5 weeks, but Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham finally found the end zone in the blowout win. Alex Smith looked more accurate than ever en route to his first 300 yards game of the season. But before we consider San Francisco a treasure trove of fantasy points let's see what happens against New York on Sunday.
Not to diss Buffalo, but New York's defense is going to put up a fight this week in one of the most anticipated games on the schedule. The offense won't break the record set last week, but there are still plenty of solid fantasy plays on San Francisco's roster.
The Niner defense is capable of shutting down fantasy all-stars, but you can't bench Eli Manning or Victor Cruz in any contest. If Nicks and Martellus Bennett get cleared to play I feel safe with starting them as well. Ahmad Bradshaw is a shaky start for obvious reasons. Sit him if you have better options because San Fran's front seven is a horror show for opposing rushing attacks.
Even after two straight games where the offense excelled the Niners are still a tricky bunch to figure out in fantasy. This week I'll focus on the 49er fantasy options by answering a few questions I arbitrarily made up.
Where will Alex Smith finish Among Fantasy QBs Week 6?
With Cam Newton, Jay Cutler and Drew Brees on byes Alex could make it into the top 10 quarterbacks this week. He didn't exactly shine against the Giants last year, but as Tom Coughlin said "new year, new time, two new teams". The upgrades at wide receiver and the evolution of the offense give Alex the tools to rank among the top QBs in fantasy every week. His success at this point relies on the game plan constructed by the coaches. The Giants are a middle of the pack pass defense and Smith is coming off his best performance of the season. He may not be an "elite" quarterback, but he is an excellent spot start this week. "The Phoenix" rises in Genosha with another QB1 worthy performance this week (where my X-Men nerds at?)
Final Line: 275 yards passing, 20 yards rushing, 2 TDs
Which 49er WR has the biggest fantasy impact?
One thing you can take from last year's games is that the Giants secondary has a Vernon Davis allergy. They can't get close to this guy or even board the same flight as him. He and Crabtree are the safest bets this week, but Manningham will snake a few targets. He remains an option only in 14 team or deeper leagues until we see some consistency.
Here is a breakdown of what I expect from the Niner receiving options:
Michael Crabtree: 6 receptions for 75 yards. 1 TD
Vernon Davis: 5 receptions 80 yards. 1 TD
Mario Manningham: 3 receptions 45 yards
Randy Moss: 2 receptions 30 yards.
Is Kendall Hunter worth a start?
I think the Niners want to keep Eli off the field as much as possible. Gore will be the primary option, but Hunter should see about 8 touches in the run game and maybe even a few receptions. I'm not worried about Brandon Jacobs (you mad?) taking away touches. Hunter is the best change of pace option between the 20's and could break a big run on any attempt. If you missed out on Alex Green or William Powell and need to fill a flex spot you can certainly do worse than Hunter this week.
Final Line 55 yards rushing, 2 receptions for 15 yards.
Who has the better fantasy day: Ahmad Bradshaw or Kendall Hunter?