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Fantasy Football Week Three: Is Ted Ginn A Sleeper Against The Bengals?

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We're into week three of the 2011 NFL season and fantasy football is picking up some serious steam. It's possible injuries and benchings have left you looking for some options this week. As the 49ers prepare to face the Cincinnati Bengals, I find myself wondering if Ted Ginn Jr. could turn into a possible sleeper wide receiver this weekend.

I doubt anybody will use him as there are no byes this week and there are likely players with a bit more name recognition out there. However, as I look at his situation today, I find myself wondering if maybe he could put together a big performance for the 49ers. The upside for his fantasy value includes his kick and punt return abilities as well as the absence of Braylon Edwards. The downside would be the return of Michael Crabtree to the lineup, as well as a mix of skill position players that could take away looks and the fact that the 49ers offense remains inconsistent.

So why would anybody go with a wide receiver who likely hasn't been in a fantasy starting lineup since 2008? One word: Confidence. The 49ers raved about Ginn's performance in training camp. That was followed by no receptions in the opener, but two big return touchdowns. Week two saw him grab four receptions for 38 yards, with all four receptions gaining important yards. At this point it's probably no more than a hunch, but if the 49ers open up the passing game a bit this week, I just have a hunch Ginn is going to benefit.

I spoke with the folks at numberFire.com, who provided the projections below and thankfully they moved Brian Westbrook. They've got a wildly low projection for Kyle Williams but it's not all that surprising given how little he has seen the field. However, he is a bit of a wildcard for the 49ers given the state of their receivers. He flashed the skills last week, but it doesn't do much if he's not getting targeted.

At this point, the 49ers are filled with fantasy question marks. Frank Gore and Vernon Davis are generally must-starts, but they're even approaching a certain level of questionable status. It's not quite time to jump off the ledge, but fantasy owners are likely starting to have some doubts.