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Only the Niners played this week with Oakland on a bye, so who stepped up big for the team and their fantasy owners?
On Sunday, the Niners blew out the Bills 45-3 in San Francisco. With a game like this, the Niners don't have too many guys who would be considered Duds for fantasy purposes. They dominated on both sides of the ball, shutting down the Bills offense and piling up 621 yards of offense, including a 303 yard passing day from Alex Smith. They rushed for 311 yards with much of that coming from Frank Gore. Let's get on with the beatification.
STUD: Alex Smith. He enjoyed one of his best games as a professional, throwing for the aforementioned 303 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. This grades out to a quarterback rating of 156.2 and an ESPN QBR of 99.2. That is about as perfect a performance as any Niner quarterback has achieved in many years. Smith completed 75% of his passes on the day and spread the ball around to seven different receivers.
STUD: Frank Gore. While he rushed for 106 yards, he only recorded fourteen carries. That's an average YPC of 7.6, which is insane for a feature back. He scored yet another rushing touchdown. The Niners took advantage of a good opportunity to limit Gore's carries and reduce wear and tear on his body, which should bode well for Gore and the team going forward.
STUD: Michael Crabtree. The Niners brought in Randy Moss and Mario Manningham in the offseason, but the real revelation in the receiving corps has been Crabtree. He has really stepped up his game and become a legitimate #1 wide receiver. He caught 6 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown on the day. The Niners have not shown the inclination to air it out often, but when they do, Crabtree can put up big numbers.
Pretty much every Niner was a stud today, but those are the three guys I wanted to point out. Vernon Davis would have made the list, as he went for over 100 yards receiving, but he did not score a touchdown so he did not help fantasy owners as much as he does normally. The defense was extremely good, holding the Bills to only three points and forcing two turnovers, but after last week's outburst of defensive production including a defensive touchdown I didn't want to single them out for such a 'pedestrian' performance. Next week the Raiders are back in action, so there will be more studs and duds for both teams.