It was good to see every notable fantasy starter in San Francisco find the end zone in Week 4. The sledding gets rougher Sunday night when the Texans come to town looking to erase the memory of their defeat at the
hands.. feet...talons of the Seahawks. It will be a battle of top notch defenses Sunday night, so fantasy points may be hard to come by. Do you have a 49er or Texan on your fantasy roster? Here are a few thoughts for each player most likely to be started in fantasy leagues.
Much to the enjoyment of Gore owners, the 49ers got back to their running roots last week against St. Louis. Expect a similar approach against the much more game Texans Sunday night. Houston boasts one of the better run defenses in the league, but in regards to fantasy they haven't been able to limit top level rushers (Chris Johnson 96 rushing yards, Marshawn Lynch 98 yards). I wouldn't be too concerned about Gore Sunday. San Francisco will lean on the run again and Houston isn't as scary as they used to be. Another 100 yard game? Not out of the question, but 80 yards and a TD seems more likely.
Kaepernick owners were glad to see some solid numbers from CK7 last week, but they were still short of what you expected going into the season.The game plan was clearly to get the most out the run game with defenses bracketing Boldin and Vernon not being 100%. It is clear Kaepernick is more than a game manager, but without his full supporting cast you have to lower your expectations, especially when facing a top shelf defense. The Texans have yet to allow a 200 yard passer and Kap hasn't sniffed 200 since week 1. All signs point to another less than stellar outing for the 49er QB, but perhaps this is the week we see him show a little leg and bust a long run.
The most trusted wideout in San Francisco certainly has his work cut out for him this week. The Texans have been very good against opposing receivers. Those that have found success are all smaller and quicker than Boldin (Torrey Smith/Kendall Wright). He will get targets, but Anquan's history against the Texans doesn't give me much confidence. This may be the week you explore another option at WR3.
Davis gave it a go at less than full health last week resulting in 2 receptions. Thankfully, there is a silver lining since one went for a TD. Hopefully, his hammy is ready for Burnin' Vernon to turn on the jets. VD is perhaps the 2nd or 3rd option in this offense (behind Gore and Boldin), but the Texans have kept other tight ends in check. Davis is by far the most explosive TE Houston has faced thus far (sorry Antonio). If he is close to 100%, I like his chances to produce the most fantasy points of any 49er in this game. Bold prediction of the week: 6 receptions 100 yards, 1 TD
Foster looked much more like himself against Seattle last week, totaling 170 yards on 33 touches. This doesn't bode well for a 49ers defense that has shown it can be run on this year, especially when teams keep hammering away despite poor results early on. Foster reminded us he is a threat in the passing game, which gave the Seahawks fits last week. Ben Tate still looks like the more explosive back, but Foster is the clearly in the driver seat. Expect Houston to give both plenty of work in a game that should be closely contested.
He produced against two of the best corners in the league last week and that spells trouble for Tarell Brown and company. Johnson is among the league leaders in targets making him a PPR monster. The only concern is that he is still without a TD. Schaub targets his tight ends when they get close to the end zone even though Johnson looks the part of a jump ball all-star. Big bodied receivers haven't done well against the Niners this season, but Johnson will be the biggest test yet for this unit. 8 receptions for 80 yards seems about right.
Despite having one of the better running back duos in the league, the Texans have asked Schaub to throw the ball at a pace that would result in a career high for attempts. The results haven't been horrible from a fantasy angle (if your league doesn't penalize pick six interceptions), but he has killed the Texans when it comes to winning real games. This is a fantasy football article though and Schaub is currently ranks around 7th at QB (better than Kaepernick by more than a few spots). Odds are you drafted him for your bench and that is where he should be this week. QBs not named Aaron Rodgers haven't yielded eye-popping fantasy points against the Niners and the Texans will utilize Foster and Tate to wear down the defense.
Other than Andre Johnson, Daniels has been the other key benefactor of Schaub's drawn out Matt Stafford impression. To date, Owen has been a poster boy for those who suggested gamers wait to draft a tight end. If you did pick him up late, you've been rewarded with 3 TDs in 4 games. I don't see the yardage being there for him this week, but the Niners do have issues covering tight ends in the red zone. Unlikely TD vulture, Garret Graham, is also getting a fair share of looks near the end zone. There is a good chance he finds his way to a touchdown, but downgrade Daniels this week.
This is a long shot, but I'm intrigued by the idea of Baldwin getting more snaps this week. Speedier receivers have been able to make hay with this Texans defense and Baldwin looked okay in limited action last week. On most days, I'd rather wear a Cortland Finnegan jersey in Andre Johnson's presence before relying on one of the young Niner receivers to be fantasy relevant, but the former 1st rounder has some upside as a WR4.
Okay, let's hope I'm wrong on Kaepernick, Boldin, Foster and Johnson. As always, please leave your fantasy football questions in the comment section for some quick advice.