Niners fantasy numbers at the halfway point

Norm Hall

Eight weeks into the season, the Niners have shown themselves to be a fantasy friendly team- at certain positions.

The Niners weren't generally thought to be a fantasy football juggernaut team coming into the year- that was reserved for teams like the Patriots, Falcons, Saints, and Texans. But they have certainly exceeded expectations and become a reliable source of consistent production. I will outline how each of their players have performed so far.

QB Alex Smith- After several disappointing years under center, Alex has exploded this year to become the twelfth-best fantasy quarterback, good enough for a starting spot in many leagues. While he doesn't often have the 300-yard passing days or high touchdown numbers, he also rarely turns the ball over and avoids those negative points. He scores 13.6 fantasy points per game in standard ESPN leagues, ahead of many quarterbacks drafted ahead of him such as Tony Romo, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, Philip Rivers, and Jay Cutler. Alex probably went undrafted in many leagues this year and has been a huge steal for whomever may have acquired him.

RB Frank Gore: Gore was a first round fantasy pick a few years ago and then fell off the map when the team really began to struggle on offense. However, this year he has catapulted himself back into first-round consideration for 2013. He is the 8th best overall RB and scores 11.8 fantasy points per game, ahead of such backs as LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Chris Johnson and Maurice Jones-Drew, all of whom were considered first-round picks.

TE Vernon Davis: Davis has built on his solid performance in the playoffs last year to become a top player at the tight end position and has to be considered in the same tier as Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham. Davis is scoring 7.3 points per game as the fifth best tight end and is outperforming Graham, Antonio Gates, and Jason Witten at his position.

Defense: The Niners defense was the top-ranked fantasy unit in most drafts and is currently third best for fantasy purposes, scoring 9.3 points per game. That ranks them ahead of the Ravens, Steelers, and Giants, and they trail only the Bears and Texans.

The Niners' top receiver is Michael Crabtree, who is the 28th overall wideout scoring 7.4 points per game.

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