Fooch's Update: Marshall and Jeffery are questionable, with Adam Schefter reporting one source believes there is a 75 percent change neither plays.
It was more of the same for the 49er fantasy stars last week in Dallas. A big lead early led to a conservative offensive attack as the game went on. Anquan Boldin looked as good as he did in week 1 of 2013. Kaepernick appeared sharp and decisive. Carlos Hyde got his first NFL TD and the defense forced 4 turnovers. Other than Michael Crabtree's limited snaps and Gore's relatively subpar performance, it was a good day for San Francisco.
This week, the 49ers get another favorable match-up against the Chicago Bears. This contest has similarities to last week's game. Like Tony Romo, Jay Cutler is a decent start in fantasy, but he is prone to mistakes. Chicago's receiving group are a bit better than the fellows in Dallas as a whole and Matt Forte is a better version of DeMarco Murray. Here is what to expect from the fantasy relevant players in Sunday night's home opener.
I put him here last week and rewarded me with a 63 yards rushing and no TD. C'mon Frank! Still, I can't quit him, especially not when he is going against a Bears defense that gave up 193 rushing yards to the Buffalo Bills. Carlos Hyde will certainly get a few touches, but hopefully Gore can find the end zone.
DeMarco Murray had his way with the 49er defense last week. Matt Forte is a better running back with a similar skill set. The 49er defense will have their hands full keeping tabs on him Sunday night and his versatility should land him in the weekly top 5 among running backs.
With a little help the 49er defense; Tony Romo kept Dez Bryant in check last week. Cutler and Marshall probably won't suffer the same fate. If Alshon Jeffery is forced to sit out, then I like Marshall's potential all the more. Tremaine Brock and Chris Culliver are both dealing with injuries and if they can't go Marshall will be eating targets all night.
When Kaep had to throw the ball last week he looked great. The bad news for fantasy heads is that he didn't have to throw too often. Outside of the low passing attempts, gamers should be happy with what they saw. Sunday Night figures to be a tougher match-up for #7, but the Bears did allow a QB rushing touchdown last week and they aren't very good at stopping the other skill positions, either. Kaep is again a quality QB1 this week.
If he plays he is a must start. The San Francisco secondary showed amazing resilience after Brock and Culliver both left last week's game, but Chicago boasts arguably the best WR duo in the league. Both Jeffery and Marshall are primed for fantasy success and I wouldn't be surprised if both put up top 15 numbers provided they suit up.
Maybe I should have included this guy in last week's article. The vet hauled in 8 receptions for 99 yards while seeing more snaps than any other 49er receiver. He is a trusted target willing to go over the middle. I don't think he flirts with 100 yards again on Sunday, but 5 receptions and 80 yards would be decent numbers for a WR3.
Often criticized for being touchdown dependent, Vernon was all "Hows about I just score touchdowns?" and proceeded to to turn 4 of his receptions into scores. The Chicago linebackers are no match for his speed and their safeties don't exactly match-up well, either. I'd still try to deal Davis if I drafted him, but you should be able to enjoy another productive week from Captain Torpedo.
He saw limited action last week and the box score reflected that. Crabs didn't miss any practice time this week and the only thing holding him back from a quality game is the potential for the 49ers to rely on a conservative attack if they go up a few scores. If he doesn't come through this week I may have to reconsider ranking him in the WR2 crowd, but I think he'll be okay with 6-7 receptions 70+ yards.
Martellus was a top 5 tight end last week, possibly benefiting from Jeffery's absence. He'll probably see a lot of Patrick Willis this game who helped shut down Jason Witten last week. He'll finish the year as a top 10 tight end and while he may not net another 8 receptions, his size makes him a red zone threat.
This is tough game to find someone you should sit, but Cutler seems like the best candidate to under perform, especially if Jeffery and/or Marshall are out or limited. He could put up 350 yards this week, but it might not matter if keeps throwing a pick for every touchdown. I have him ranked at QB11 making him a shaky start in 12 team leagues.
Maybe we saw more of him last weekend because the game got out of hand so quickly? Whatever the reason the rookie had a fantastic debut and faces one of the weakest run defenses in the league. I don't think he gets enough touches to be an RB2, but he could pay off handsomely for those willing to give him a try at RB3 or deep league Flex positions.
Good luck in week 2 and be sure to leave you fantasy questions in the comment section as they are my life force by which I survive.