We break down the 49ers performances in fantasy football, focusing on Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore.
Normally each week we have a fantasy football post to open the floor for discussion about the 49ers upcoming matchup. This week that is not quite the same option since the 49ers have a bye week. However, I thought there was room for some measure of fantasy discussion, which in and of itself can also roll over into some general 49ers discussion.
We are doing some weekly fantasy minute type videos in which we have a "host" offering up a couple questions for me to answer about the 49ers. This week's questions were about Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore, and their fantasy viability. The video is posted above, but I wanted to expand a bit on the thoughts.
In regards to Michael Crabtree, I do think he is a viable fantasy option, although it does depend on the type of league you are in. In standard leagues, Crabtree is a solid flex option, with some upside as a WR2 based on matchups and byes. In PPR leagues he is considerably more valuable given the targets he gets from Alex Smith. He is a better WR2 in PPR leagues.
But in reality, he is a much better real-life receiver than fantasy receiver. As I said in the video, there generally aren't bonus points for key third down conversions. Yes, you get credit for the yards gained, but in real life, getting that third down can be incredibly huge, even if it is only a three- or four-yard gain. While I do enjoy fantasy football quite a bit, I am plenty pleased to have a wide receiver who does more for my team in real life, than my fantasy football team.
Frank Gore is a guy who I think might have misspoken on in the video. I spoke of how he is a solid option, but also could be considered a better real life player than fantasy player. I didn't quite realize where Gore was at in terms of overall statistics. He currently ranks ninth among all running backs in total fantasy points. In eight games he has three 100-yard performances and four games with a touchdown. With only three relatively poor performances, he is looking quite sharp heading into the second half of the season.
Where it gets interesting is his usage over the next eight games. He is on pace for his second best single season rushing total, currently sitting at 656 yards. With an eight-touchdown pace to go along with it, Frank Gore is in line for a very strong season. However, it will be interesting to see if the ratio of touches between Gore and Kendall Hunter changes between now and January. The 49ers really aren't overworking Gore by any stretch, as his current pace would rank fourth among his eight seasons, and that includes his rookie platoon with Kevan Barlow and his busted hip year.
Will the 49ers be fine sticking with their current rushing ratio between Gore and Hunter? I suppose they could work Brandon Jacobs into the mix as well, but at the current rate, that might just be considered crazy talk!