I got this idea from Andrew over at Revenge of the Birds. We have plenty of discussion about who we like on the 49ers, and who we fear on the opposing team. However, this post allows us to go off into fantasy-land a bit and decide who we might like from an opposing team. In doing this, you can approach it from a variety of angles. You can take a player just because you like that player, no matter what the 49ers current situation is at that position. You can consider who the 49ers might lose in the offseason or positions they need to improve. If you want to take into account the player's contract and look for "realistic" additions, you're free to do that. You can be as realistic or as fantastical (if that's even a word) as you'd like. For this week, here are some of the guys I'd enjoy having on the 49ers...
The 49ers season comes to a close with two of the bottom-feeders of the league. Last week they faced the Detroit Lions, this week they get the even worse St. Louis Rams. It's a divisional road game, but the Rams do have a lot worth losing for if they really want that #1 pick. The team has a ton of holes, but we all know there is some production and some potential worth snagging from their roster.
Steven Jackson, RB: I realize each week this first choice has been an incredibly obvious selection. We've had Larry Fitzgerald, DeSean Jackson and Calvin Johnson. Not exactly rocket science. This week, we look at a running back I've always enjoyed watching. I also enjoy his production because twice over the last four years he's won me a championship in a fantasy league I run. You win me money, you're going to be on my good side. But even still, he's an amazingly productive running back playing on some truly awful teams.
The 49ers do have Frank Gore, so this would be more just a fantasy type of pick. However, it would certainly be quite the fantasy. Jackson has rushed for 1,000+ yards for five straight years and is closing in on 1,400 for this season. Throw in talent in the receiving game and you've got a recipe for a great running back. Really one of the elite running backs in the league, particularly given the talent around him at times.
Jason Smith, OT: The #2 overall pick from the 2009 draft has been banged up quite a bit this season, including an early knee injury, and a concussion in week 11 that has sidelined him ever since. The slow recovery from the concussion would certainly give a team pause, but the talent Jason Smith possesses is undeniable. I'm sure some folks would question this move given the injuries, but the 49ers offensive line needs are pretty huge at this point. Imagine if the 49ers could roll with Joe Staley and Jason Smith at the tackle positions for the next decade? Of course, the salary would be an issue, so it's certainly a lot in fantasy-land. At this point, if I had to choose who would be my left tackle long term I'd go with Staley. He had his injury this season, but has been otherwise healthy and is growing into the role.
James Laurinaitis, MLB: Let's continue the youth trend with the 3rd pick of the second round of the 2009 draft. Laurinaitis is only a rookie, but he is putting together quite the season as the Rams middle linebacker, racking up 115 tackles and 2 interceptions thus far. While I don't think he'll win defensive rookie of the year, he definitely deserves some consideration. Imagine pairing him up as the Ted with Patrick Willis in the middle of the 49ers 3-4 defense? Takeo Spikes is great there, but having this kind of rookie next to Bamm Bamm would be simply filthy.
OJ Atogwe, FS: Atogwe went on injured reserve a couple weeks ago, but that doesn't mean I want him any less. One drawback is that his stats have gone down this season (even considering the injury) and last since his career year in 2007 when he finished with 75 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 12 pass deflections. Nonetheless, if we're thinking long term, pairing Atogwe with Dashon Goldson could provide quite the explosive defensive backfield. I remain a fan of Michael Lewis, but it would certainly be intriguing to try out OJ Atogwe back there.