Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 15: 49ers vs. Buccaneers

Brian Bahr

The 49ers are starting to get hot at the right time in both reality and fantasy football. The next test awaits in Tampa Bay where the defense is still playing hard. Both offenses have a few fantasy stars that can help can help you to the next round of the playoffs, but who can you trust and who should you avoid?

If you are reading this you are probably still alive in your fantasy football league. Congratulations you either had a bye or survived the first round of the playoffs. Those who started Anquan Bolidin and Frank Gore weren’t disappointed in what was a low scoring defensive matchup. This week the 49ers travel east to Tampa to take on one of the league’s better run defenses. The Bucs offense isn’t a power house, but there are a few fantasy threats to discuss. Here is a fantasy preview for Sunday’s game to help you make those crucial playoff decisions.

Frank Gore

If you were brave enough to start Gore after a string of un-Gore like performances you were rewarded with his first 100 yard game in weeks. That late 50 yard scamper saved more than a few in the first round of the playoffs. He’ll need that sort of volume to show well against a Bucs D that has been game. Only Lesean McCoy and the dreaded Marshawn Lynch have topped 100 yards against Tampa, who has also allowed only 2 TDs to running backs. It’s not a great matchup, but Gore should once again be a mid level RB2, but don’t be surprised if he fails to get into the end zone.

Colin Kaepernick

In a defensive matchup, Kap delivered his best game against Seattle of his young career. The final stat line left much to be desired, but CK7 gets a better matchup Sunday. Outside of last week’s domination of E.J. Manuel, Tampa has been generous to opposing fantasy QBs throughout the season. Kap usually takes advantage of struggling opponents (see Washington and Jacksonville). He is a good bet to be in the top 12 of QBs when all is said and done week 15.

Anquan Boldin

Boldin gonna Boldin, especially when there are other offensive threats to open up his game. "Q" has strung together 3 strong games and the only thing keeping him on the border of the WR2 conversation this week is the presence of Darrelle Revis. No one knows which receiver Revis will cover or how often, but there should be enough opportunities for Boldin to muscle the Bucs out of a few receptions and possibly his sixth TD this season. He is a WR3 in standard leagues, but edges near WR2 in PPR formats. Start him if you have him.

Michael Crabtree

Crabtree hasn’t had a game breaking fantasy day in his two games, but he is becoming more involved and it’s just a matter of time before he delivers. With the Bucs allowing 8 TDs to receivers in the last 5 weeks, Crabs has a good chance to reward gutsy fantasy gamers Sunday. He is still getting back to his old self, which may result in less attention from Revis. The 49ers will need to throw against a stingy run defense so targets shouldn’t be a concern. I like Crabtree just slightly less than Boldin this week. If you want to roll the dice a bit, start Crabs in your FLEX position as his chemistry with Kaepernick keeps his floor relatively high.

Vernon Davis

Oh just 4 TDs in four games, nothing to see here. Davis came into the season ranked 5th-7th at tight end and will end up as the second or third best TE in fantasy. The Bucs have kept nearly every tight end not named Jimmy Graham in check this season. The matchup isn’t great, but you can’t sit Davis when he is on such a hot streak at such an inconsistent position. Unless you also own the aforementioned Graham you are starting Davis.

Mike Glennon

Including Glennon here for the gamers in 2 QB leagues, but even in this format he is best left to sit on waivers. The young QB isn’t bad, but he is still raw. Fantasy wise his last two games were forgettable at best. With San Francisco’s defense playing at a high level you don’t need to consider Glennon for at least this week.

Vincent Jackson

Glennon hasn’t exactly taken the league by storm, but he briefly looked to be the perfect complement to V-Jax. After two games the duo came off the tracks a bit. The good news is they appear to have evened out recently. Glennon is competent enough to make Jackson a threat, but he could go 3/30/0 just as easily as he could put up 7/120/2. He has become a boom or bust gamble at WR2. The 49ers aren’t likely to be burned by the big play so V-Jax steps back to WR3 this week.

Bobby Rainey

Rainey has made himself a comfy little home in weekly RB2 discussions. However, some of the shine may be wearing off. Outside of an 80 yard TD run against the Bills, Rainey has been held in check the past 3 weeks. He gets the bendable, but unbreakable 49er rush defense this week that has been playing better in recent weeks. The volume should be there for Rainey, but it’s not a great matchup. Bounce Bobby back a bit in the RB2 rankings and look for 60 yards rushing.

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