SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 20: Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball against the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on August 20, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Fantasy Football Sit/Start News 2011: Who Do You Start Beyond Frank Gore & Vernon Davis?

Each week we'll provide suggested start and sit suggestions for the San Francisco 49ers fantasy football options. Frank Gore and Vernon Davis are the easy decisions, but what about beyond that?

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Fantasy Football Week 15 Waiver Wire: Is Kendall Hunter Worth A Spot?

We have reached the most important part of the fantasy football season as the playoffs are officially underway. Teams have either advanced past their first round matchup, or four-team playoff leagues have officially completed their regular season. Accordingly, it is all about the waiver wire pickups that can give you that last little edge to get over the hump and into the money round.

The San Francisco 49ers host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football this week, which means late roster decisions and a tough defensive matchup for 49ers skill position players. There are some waiver wire sleepers on the 49ers roster, but most are better suited for teams that are getting desperate at a given position due to injuries.

If you lost DeMarco Murray because of his broken ankle, one deep sleeper is 49ers running back Kendall Hunter. The 49ers gave Hunter eight carries to Frank Gore's ten and in his day after press conference, head coach Jim Harbaugh acknowledged that Gore was not 100% and that he was dealing with some things. Unfortunately the 49ers are fairly secretive about their week-to-week plans, but if you are desperate, Hunter could be an intriguing play. The Steelers rush defense is not nearly as good as their pass defense, so it is something to consider.

Kyle Williams remains a guy with modest upside in an inconsistent 49ers passing attack. Michael Crabtree is the primary weapon, but the team is utilizing Williams a bit more frequently lately. Two weeks ago he had two receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown. This week he had four receptions for 42 yards. He has not blown up yet, but he is getting more and more looks.


Fantasy Football Week 14 Sit/Start Projections: Could Kyle Williams Surprise Folks?

The San Francisco 49ers head into Glendale Sunday afternoon to face the Arizona Cardinals in what is frequently a fun rivalry game. The two teams do not really care for each other and even if one is struggling more than the other, they often bring out the best in each other. The 49ers have had their way in the rivalry the last couple years, but before that it was a very back-and-forth affair.

Fantasy football playoffs are getting started this week, which means folks are looking for every edge they can find. Sunday's game provides the 49ers with some intriguing fantasy options. Frank Gore, the 49ers defense and David Akers are must starts. They have the most upside and had the best performances to date. There is really no reason to sit them.

Michael Crabtree has quickly developed into an excellent point-per-reception start, and a solid enough regular start as well. He has been off the team's injury report for two straight weeks now as he has said he is 100% healthy for the first time this season. This puts him in a position to get more first team reps with Alex Smith, and thus get on the same page with a bit more regularity.

Kyle Williams is an intriguing fantasy prospect. He is not projected to put up big numbers, but he is coming off a big performance against the St. Louis Rams. It will be interesting to see how his playing time is impacted by the return of Braylon Edwards. He is not a guy you would be starting in your playoffs, but he could be worth stashing in a dynasty/keeper league.


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 12: David Akers, Delanie Walker Top The List

The San Francisco 49ers travel to Baltimore to face the Ravens on Thanksgiving in what could be an intense defensive struggle. The two defenses have been playing as well as anybody lately, which could make for a low-scoring game. It also makes fantasy football tips a bit more difficult. From an offensive standpoint, it's hard to suggest many of the players involved in what could end up a 13-10 victory for one of the two teams.

Among potentially available San Francisco 49ers players, I could see Delanie Walker and David Akers being the two best choices. For Walker, when the 49ers feel the need to get a bit more conservative in the game plan, even when they are passing a fair amount, Delanie Walker seems to get the call. We saw it against the Lions and we saw it again against the Giants. He is a roll of the dice, but if you are having tight end problems, he is an intriguing play against a strong defense.

David Akers is a fun little option as well because some folks might unload him after a tough day against the Arizona Cardinals. Akers had a ton of kicking opportunities but had two field goals blocked and pulled another one wide. If somebody has unloaded Akers because of that one bad performance, you should pounce on him.

Kendall Hunter loses value against a strong Ravens defense, particularly with Frank Gore looking solid against the Cardinals. Hunter is a decent player to stash on your bench, but not much more for now.


Alex Smith Fantasy Projection: 49ers QB Looks To Overcome Rain

The San Francisco 49ers welcome the Arizona Cardinals to town in the 49ers first divisional matchup since the season opener. The weather has been a bit dreary in the Bay Area this weekend and it has been raining throughout Sunday morning. The rain is expected to stop by game-time, but conditions could be sloppy at Candlestick Park.

Alex Smith entered this weekend with a solid opportunity against a questionable Cardinals pass defense. The 49ers are significant favorites but it remains to be seen how much they'll open things up against Arizona. The opportunity is there, which makes Alex Smith an intriguing fantasy football option. If the 49ers open things up a bit, he could be in line for a very solid effort.

The folks at project a decent but not great performance of 13.28 points. That is the most likely result, but there is some decent upside. If you have Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger and need some fantasy help, Alex Smith is an intriguing little option.


Frank Gore Fantasy Projection: 49ers RB Expected To Play

San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore enters Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals listed as questionable on the team's injury report. He has been dealing with a knee issue this week, which cost him most of the second half against the New York Giants. That followed an ankle injury that limited him in practice for much of last week.

Gore has been limited again this week, but is expected to start against the Arizona Cardinals. The question is how much playing time he will get. At this point, it really remains a toss-up. The 49ers have said they are not looking ahead to the coming short week and Thursday's showdown with the Baltimore Ravens, but if they take a sizable lead early, Frank Gore could find himself on the sideline at some point before the game ends.

Kendall Hunter is an able backup running back and could be looking at a decent amount of touches whatever Gore's status. The 49ers offense has been so unpredictable to this point that nothing would surprise me. Frank Gore will start, which means if you have him you need to get him in your lineup. If you have Gore AND Hunter, I really think you just have to stick with Gore and hope for the best. If you only have Hunter, he could be a solid flex option this week.

For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation. For more on fantasy football, check out Fake Teams.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 11: Alex Smith's Chance To Shine?

The San Francisco 49ers welcome the Arizona Cardinals to town on Sunday looking to further lock in their division lead and solidify their chances for a first round bye. The Cardinals bring a struggling defense that has been abysmal against the run and pretty bad against the pass. It could open the door for some significant opportunities on the fantasy football front.

The big news for the 49ers has once again been the health of running back Frank Gore. He missed most of the second half last Sunday against the New York Giants and Kendall Hunter came on with a very solid effort. Gore missed Wednesday's practice but was back Thursday and expects to be starting on Sunday. If you are short a running back, Kendall Hunter is actually not the worst start in the world on Sunday. He isn't great, but not that bad.

The most interesting player this week is Alex Smith. He faces a Cardinals pass defense that has struggled for much of the season. They have shown some potential, but this provides Smith with a solid opportunity. Aside from Matt Schaub going down with an injury, Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees are both on bye this week. If you have not found a decent backup, might I recommend Alex Smith?

Must Starts: Frank Gore (if active), Vernon Davis, 49ers D/ST, David Akers

Situational Starts: Michael Crabtree, Delanie Walker


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 11: Alex Smith Worth A Look

The San Francisco 49ers have performing pretty well, so most of the usual fantasy options have probably been taken. You probably have guys like Vernon Davis, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, David Akers and the Niners defense already are all probably loaded up on your rosters.

But this week, for once, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith is an excellent option this week facing awful Cardinals secondary at home. If you have Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger going on bye this week and you recently had Matt Schaub on your roster, then it might be worth picking up Smith as a one week or fill-in option.

Additionally, 49ers running back Kendall Hunter is worth grabbing to stash on a roster in case Frank Gore's ankle acts up. If Gore struggles to see much playing time, Hunter probably isn'tt worth starting at this point, but you might as well keep an eye out just in case you need a backup option.

To talk about the 49ers and potential fantasy options, check out Niners Nation.


Vernon Davis Week 10 Fantasy Update: 49ers Tight End Has Decent Week, Makes History [VIDEO]

The San Francisco 49ers picked up yet another big win on Sunday, defeating the New York Giants 27-20 to improve their record to 8-1 this season. Several key players contributed to the victory, and the San Francisco defense was integral in holding off the Giants, but Vernon Davis had a notable week offensively.

David has been fielding fewer passes as of late, averaging just over three catches per game in the last six weeks. On Sunday, he again had three catches for 40 total yards, but his 31 yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith in the fourth quarter was significant. The TD gave him a career total of 33, which ties him with Brent Jones for the most touchdown receptions by a tight end in San Francisco 49ers franchise history.

In case you weren't able to see the historic touchdown, we've provided you with a video below. Particularly enjoyable is the leap into the end zone while being tackled in midair.

As always, for information and news on all things 49ers, please visit Niners Nation.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 10: Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham Game-Time Decisions Versus 49ers

As the San Francisco 49ers and New York Giants prepare to square off, their are some last minute roster decisions that will have fantasy football implications in this game. New York Giants wide receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham are both considered game-time decisions for the 1:15pm PT start.

Nicks has been dealing with a hamstring injury but seems fairly confident he will play. He did not practice on Wednesday and then was limited on Thursday and Friday. Mario Manningham was not on the injury report all week, but then woke up on Saturday with some swelling in his knee. He was added as questionable and at this point seems like a longer shot than Nicks to play.

There is nothing new from the 49ers regarding Frank Gore, so it looks like he will be good to go at game time. It will be interesting to see if Kendall Hunter gets a few extra touches to spell Frank Gore a bit.

Below are projections for both the 49ers and Giants. For more projections, head over to


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 10: Frank Gore Ankle Sprain Could Make Kendall Hunter Viable Option

The San Francisco 49ers welcome the New York Giants to town on Sunday for a game that has significant implications in the battle for first round bye positioning. The 49ers are on a solid run and will look to continue winning with their recent formula for success: power rushing, dominant defense, excellent special teams. That limits a lot of fantasy football options, but it is getting them all-important victories.

For fantasy purposes, the big question mark surrounding the 49ers is Frank Gore. He sprained his ankle against hte Washington Redskins and has been limited in practice this week. He was a bit gimpy on Wednesday and again limited on Thursday. Gore will most likely play, but Kendall Hunter could be a solid option in spite of this. If Gore plays as expected it would be a bit of a gamble to go with Hunter, but the 49ers often mix him in on some passing plays so there is some upside there. If you have Gore AND Hunter, if Gore is active you go with Gore.

The 49ers defense is normally a solid play and I would play them this week, but they could find themselves giving up more points than normal. They are facing a more explosive offense than they have seen in recent weeks, but the aggressive 49ers defense is likely to still grab some points via sacks and potentially turnovers.

From a wide receiver perspective, Michael Crabtree is the best play, particularly if you are in a points-per-reception league. Outside of PPR leagues he still has some value, but it's a bit of a stretch. Other than Crabtree, Braylon Edwards has some potential, but until we see Alex Smith target him more frequently it will only remain potential.


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 10: Frank Gore Ankle Sprain Could Mean More Time For Kendall Hunter

The San Francisco 49ers head home to face the New York Giants in week ten, and they could have a limited Frank Gore for the game. Gore sprained his ankle on Sunday against the Washington Redskins, and while he was able to finish the game, he was a bit gimpy afterward. He indicated on Monday he planned on practicing this week and playing on Sunday, but you never can tell with ankle sprains.

For fantasy purposes, the waiver wire pick up of note this week would be running back Kendall Hunter. Although Gore has indicated he will play, his ankle sprain could slow him enough to cost him Sunday. Hunter has not had monster numbers this season, but he has shown the athletic ability to succeed in the 49ers rushing attack if called upon. If you have Frank Gore and Hunter is on waivers I highly recommend grabbing him. Even if you don't have Frank Gore, Hunter could be worth stashing this week.

Other than Hunter, the waiver options are thin for the 49ers. WR Braylon Edwards remains a deep sleeper at this point. He is behind Crabtree in terms of targets and even though he might be a better deep threat, he is just not seeing enough targets for it to matter. He is a decent option to stash on your bench, but it is hard to justify sticking him in your starting lineup.

Other than that, the pickings remain slim for 49ers waiver wire options in week 10. The 49ers defense and David Akers are already likely snagged up. Alex Smith is not looking at a huge game against the Giants. And the rest of the 49ers receiving options are fairly limited.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 9: 49ers Defense/Special Teams Have Solid Matchup

The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Washington Redskins in a game that will hopefully provide a bit more clarity as to the 49ers fantasy prospects. The offense has been putting points on the board, but it has been a broad mix of players. Frank Gore remains the engine of the offense, but in the passing game, few players are stepping up on a consistent basis. Normally reliable tight end Vernon Davis is still one of the team leaders, but he is not getting the big games that fantasy owners have been used to in recent seasons.

One solid play once again is the 49ers defense/special teams unit. The aggressive nature of this unit creates a lot of opportunities for fantasy points. They are grabbing a lot of sacks and forcing numerous turnovers. Add in Ted Ginn's big play ability and it is a great unit to roll out each week. Against the Washington Redskins, they should be in line for a solid game.

Beyond Frank Gore and the 49ers defense, the rest of the starters are tough calls. Vernon Davis likely has to remain in your lineup, although time is running out for him being a weekly start. Michael Crabtree is likely the safest wide receiver play, although Braylon Edwards is healthy and could come on strong in the deep game. Crabtree and Edwards are decent but not spectacular flex plays at this point.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 9: Is Frank Gore The Only Fantasy Option?

The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Washington Redskins Sunday afternoon looking to improve to 7-1. The 49ers are coming off a dominant defensive performance against the Cleveland Browns, but a less than stellar offensive performance. Frank Gore was once again the dominant force as the passing game continued to struggle.

Michael Crabtree managed his first touchdown of the season and appears to be coming on as an Alex Smith target. On the other hand, Braylon Edwards is healthy once again, which could cost Crabtree some targets. The 49ers passing offense provides some decent enough weapons, but they serve primarily as bye week fill-ins for now.

The big question mark on offense has been Vernon Davis. He has struggled to get much of anything going as the 49ers either hold him back to block or leave him to deal with double- or triple-teams. He entered the season as a top-ten or even top-give fantasy option. Through seven games it is hard to tell what to do with him. You could argue he is due for a big game, but time is running out on his must-start status.

Must Start: RB Frank Gore, TE Vernon Davis, 49ers Defense/Special Teams, K David Akers

Bye-week Fill-in: WR Michael Crabtree, WR Braylon Edwards

Desperate Starter Need: TE Delanie Walker, RB Kendall Hunter, QB Alex Smith

Leave On Waivers: Ted Ginn Jr., Kyle Williams


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 9: Michael Crabtree Emerging As The No. 1 Receiver

The San Francisco 49ers head east to face the Washington Redskins in a week nine contest, hoping to improve to 7-1 and further secure their chances at the NFC West title. The Redskins defense has been fairly solid against the pass, but has struggled quite a bit against the run. The 49ers offense has been a bit inconsistent at times, although if you have Frank Gore in fantasy football you have been enjoying the last month of 125+ yard performances.

As the 49ers prepare to face the Redskins, they have some decent fantasy options, but few spectacular ones. After Gore, normally reliable Vernon Davis has operated as much as a blocker and a double-teamed decoy. He remains a must start, but he will have some slow days. His backup, Delanie Walker, has developed into a scoring threat, but he was held catch-less this past week as the 49ers continue to mix and match their offense.

The best option that might still be out there in a few leagues is wide receiver Michael Crabtree. He is emerging more and more as the go-to threat for Alex Smith. He hasn't put up huge numbers, but Smith continues to target him. He finally got in the end zone this past week and his numbers should continue to improve.

One player likely on your waiver wire is wide receiver Braylon Edwards. After returning from knee surgery this past week, Edwards grabbed four catches for 42 yards. The 49ers mix things up week in and week out, but against the Browns Braylon Edwards was able to overpower the smaller corners. He is incredibly physical and can use that to his advantage. He could make a decent flex option as you try and make it through a bye week. After that, stash him on your bench and see how his role develops in the 49ers offense.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 8: Frank Gore Could Get a Big Workload

The San Francisco 49ers host the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon and will look to improve to 6-1 and take further control of the NFC West. The 49ers are sizable favorites for the first time in quite some time, tipping the line at upwards of nine points. Oddsmakers think the 49ers could roll it up on Cleveland, which could be good for fantasy football options.

Below we have embedded a widget that provides up to the minute fantasy projections for pertinent 49ers fantasy players. As you can see, Frank Gore is projected to put up a monster day against Cleveland. He is ranked fifth among all running back projections. He is an obvious start and one would hope for big numbers on the day.

Alex Smith is not quite such an obvious start, but there is something intriguing about rolling with him if you have bye week issues. The Browns have a solid enough pass defense, but if the 49ers can build an early lead and establish their power rushing game, Smith could get into a groove and put up some decent numbers. He likely will not have huge yardage totals, but he could get two or three touchdown passes with his array of red zone weapons.

In looking through some of the other sit/start options, obvious starts are Vernon Davis, the 49ers defense/special teams and David Akers. Beyond that, Delanie Walker remains a great bye week option as he has become a big red zone threat for the 49ers.

Keep an eye out for information on Braylon Edwards active status. Michael Crabtree could be on the way to becoming Alex Smith's go-to guy between the 20s, in which case an inactive Edwards only helps that.

Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of Head over to to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.


Fantasy Football Week 8 Sit/Start Sleepers: 49ers Defense, Delanie Walker Solid Options

For the San Francisco 49ers, the fantasy football options have been pretty cut-and-dry: start tight end Vernon Davis whenever you can and, if you have running back Frank Gore, run with him week-in and week-out, barring the oft-occurring injury. But what of any sleepers? If you're faced with a bye week here or there, you need to mine teams for diamonds in the rough, potential sleepers that could be primed for a big game. Let's take a look at who are solid option sleepers for the 49ers on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.

TE Delanie Walker - It makes a lot of sense to bring Walker out this week if you're facing a bye week. It's true that the Cleveland Browns haven't been allowing that many yards (fourth in the NFL), but they do give up touchdowns, and that's why Walker is a good option. He's coming off a game in which he had a mental error, missing a catch or two against the Detroit Lions, but then was trusted on fourth down in the fourth quarter to catch a touchdown pass and put the team up. He caught it, the 49ers took the lead, and eventually won the game.

Walker will be looking to get more playing time and more looks, especially with receiver Josh Morgan on injured reserve. Jim Harbaugh has always been a coach who utilizes his tight ends, and trusting in Walker to be the guy who catches that touchdown pass - and he was the primary option on the play - shows that he wants him to be a part of, at the very least, the red zone offense.

RB Kendall Hunter - If I had him, I'd start him if there was a bye week. The Browns don't give up big receptions - they give up short completions. Usually, they give up a lot of them. So it's in the players' hands to make some yardage happen. That's where Hunter has shown flashes, and he's itching to get the ball in his hands. With all that considered, Hunter is a solid option just for his rushing ability, as well. Even with the recent bye week, the 49ers might look to limit Frank Gore (not so much limit as swap some carries) and give Hunter some carries.

49ers Defense - This may or not be obvious to you, but the Cleveland Browns had a woeful offensive performance on Sunday. Despite getting good rushing yardage without Peyton Hillis, they weren't able to put the ball in the endzone once, and Colt McCoy didn't look good. On top of that, receiver Mohamed Massaquoi and tight end Benjamin Watson are not practicing with concussions, and could be limited or out on Sunday.


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 8: Delanie Walker, Braylon Edwards Look Like Solid Options

The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a bye week and as they head into their week eight matchup with the Cleveland Browns, they have a few interesting fantasy football options. League waiver wires will begin to process Wednesday morning, which means you need to jump on whatever players are out there. Early in the season you might be able to hop on the next big thing that comes out nowhere. But when you get to week eight, you need a slightly better nose for talent to scrape the bottom of the barrel.

For the San Francisco 49ers, the player you should seriously consider adding is tight end Delanie Walker. While Walker plays in the shadow of Vernon Davis, he is tied for the team lead in touchdowns and is quickly becoming an every down player. His improved blocked does not help you in fantasy, but it does allow the 49ers to switch to a base two tight end set. They can run or pass from it, which opens the door for more target opportunities for Walker. He is an excellent bye week tight end option.

Braylon Edward will be returning to the 49ers this week after a month's absence with a knee injury. Most leagues likely saw him waived at some point since then. The 49ers receivers are not the best option, but before the injury he was showing solid chemistry with Alex Smith. It is hard to know what to expect this first week back, but there is enough of a chance of some big games the rest of the way that I would recommend adding him to stash on your bench.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 6: Frank Gore Remains The Man

The San Francisco 49ers head on the road to face their biggest challenge of the season in the Detroit Lions. The 49ers are 4-1 and coming off a dominant victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in which they received strong fantasy level performances from a few different folks. Alex Smith did not have a monster game but was effective thanks to three touchdown passes, Frank Gore had a big day and the defense had a huge day thanks to a pick-six by Carlos Rogers.

They now face a Lions team that is 5-0 and playing solid football. They are flawed enough for the 49ers to emerge victorious, but they are going to need to get some solid performances across the board. The 49ers have lost Joshua Morgan for the season, so somebody will need to step up on offense to fill his void in the passing game.

We've made a slight change to the breakdown. The 49ers have certain players that are must-starts every week and really require no explanation (Vernon Davis, Frank Gore). The 49ers defense has entered that level due to an aggressive nature that leads to turnovers and sacks. Then there are situational starts for guys who are not every week starters, but are worth consideration in certain situations. And of course, then we have the sits.


Frank Gore, RB Projections
: 12.01 FP - 76.43 rushing yards, 0.50 touchdowns, 1.87 receptions, 12.39 receiving yards

Vernon Davis, TE Projections: 6.48 FP - 3.78 receptions, 40.80 receiving yards, 0.39 touchdowns

49ers Defense Projections: 7.97 FP - 18.89 pts allowed, 2.56 sacks, 1.70 turnovers, 0.16 touchdowns

David Akers Projections: 4.70 FP - 1.14 FGs made, 0.80 XPs made


Delanie Walker, TE Projections: 4.98 FP - 3.07 receptions, 34.61 receiving yards, 0.25 touchdowns

Analysis: The loss of Morgan opens up a bit of a void in the 49ers passing game. I fully expect Delanie Walker to take up a chunk of that void. Walker played wide receiver in college before converting to tight end. He is often in Vernon Davis' shadow, but Walker has a crazy amount of athleticism that makes him a dynamic weapon. When Braylon Edwards gets back after the bye Walker might take a back seat, but for one week he could be a fantastic fantasy option.

Alex Smith, QB Projections: 11.20 FP - 198.44 yards, 0.88 TDs, 0.86 INTs

Analysis: In the course of a few short weeks, Alex Smith has moved from fan pariah to viable fantasy option. That's almost crazy talk. Smith is not an every week must-start at this point (barring some kind of QB disaster in your roster), but he is now a very viable bye week fill-in. That is a big step up for a guy who likely wasn't drafted once in a non-dynasty fantasy league over the last six years.

Michael Crabtree Projections
: 6.74 FP - 3.80 receptions, 49.97 receiving yards, 0.28 touchdowns

Analysis: Michael Crabtree has not been spectacular this year, but he is becoming a decent flex play here and there. The loss of Joshua Morgan means even more snaps for Crabtree, which likely means more targets from Alex Smith. Crabtree is not a must-start every week, but this is a good week to get him in your lineup.


The 49ers have a handful of guys that are great for the football team, but not so much for fantasy purposes. Kendall Hunter remains a good handcuff, but I've downgraded him from situational start to sit for now. I actually think he could end up with a great game if utilized on Sunday, but I really don't know what to expect in terms of playing time now that Gore appears to be back on track.

The 49ers also have Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams moving up on the depth chart to replace Morgan. One or both might emerge as a viable fantasy weapon, but until we know for sure, they are not worth adding at this point.

Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of Head over to to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire, Week 6: What Does WR Joshua Morgan's Injury Mean For Delanie Walker, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams?

Fantasy football owners are likely spending their Tuesday scouring their league waiver wire looking for that player who could be a difference-maker for them. Through five weeks, most "sleeper" players were grabbed through the first month, leaving mostly scraps at this point for leagues of twelve or more teams. However, there are some interesting possibilities out there if you know where to look.

If you are looking for a wide receiver, the 49ers might have a couple intriguing options for you. Starter Josh Morgan suffered a broken bone in his lower leg in the 49ers 48-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is out for an undisclosed amount of time, but it could be upwards of a couple months or more.

Morgan had developed into a solid wide receiver for the 49ers this season as the offense continued to grow under head coach Jim Harbaugh. Now that he is gone, the 49ers are looking at some other options in free agency, including T.J. Houshmandzadeh. While a free agent could get some looks, the biggest beneficiaries will be Delanie Walker, Ted Ginn Jr. and Kyle Williams. If you are looking for a body at wide receiver during this bye week, Ginn and Williams both could see some good looks. If you are looking for a tight end replacement, consider Delanie Walker. He is not a superstar, but he was a wide receiver in college before being converted to tight end. I actually think Walker could be up for a big week against the Lions.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 5: Kendall Hunter And Frank Gore Raise Question Marks

The San Francisco 49ers are back home this week to face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, with both teams looking to improve to 4-1. The 49ers pulled off a big victory in Philadelphia, putting together a 21-point second half comeback to knock off the Eagles. The 49ers fantasy prospects were much improved against the Eagles, particularly with Frank Gore blowing up coming off the bench behind Kendall Hunter.

Both players had notable performances against the Eagles, which raises a question of which is worth starting in a given week. Gore would seem to be the go-to guy given his history with the team, but Hunter has shown an explosiveness that makes him almost a Darren Sproles-type weapon as a rookie. Many think he could turn into more of a full-time back than Sproles, but for now that might be his role.


Frank Gore Projections
: 12.40 FP - 81.32 rushing yards, 0.32 touchdowns, 2.37 receptions, 16.58 receiving yards

Kendall Hunter Projections
: 3.82 FP - 23.02 rushing yards, 0.16 touchdowns, 0.92 receptions, 4.55 receiving yards

Analysis: I would actually argue that both 49ers running backs are worth a start in a week that has numerous running backs on a bye. Frank Gore will likely get more of the carries, but Hunter is an explosive threat that would seem to have earned more touches. It's a roll of the dice, but there's some decent upside with Hunter.

Vernon Davis Projections: 6.36 FP - 4.44 receptions, 48.88 receiving yards, 0.24 touchdowns

Analysis: The 49ers are starting to take the gloves off their offense, which should only mean bigger and better things for Vernon Davis. With Aqib Talib potentially sidelined on Sunday, that's one fewer defensive back on the field to try and contain the big tight end. I could see a very big afternoon from Davis.

Alex Smith Projections
: 12.66 FP - 220.71 yards, 1.40 TDs, 1.45 INTs

Analysis: This might catch you off-guard, but Alex Smith could be in line for a nice day against the Bucs secondary. If Curtis Painter can put up 281 yards and two touchdowns against the Bucs defense, what's to stop an improving Alex Smith? More importantly, the offense is opening the playbook up more and more each week. And just to put my money where my mouth is, in one of my money leagues I have Josh Freeman and Alex Smith on my roster and I'm starting Smith over Freeman. We'll see if this plays out poorly.

49ers Defense Projections: 7.97 FP - 18.89 pts allowed, 2.56 sacks, 1.70 turnovers, 0.16 touchdowns

Analysis: The 49ers gave up a sizable number of points to the Eagles last week, but they were able to use turnovers and sacks to get some of them back. I think this shapes up to be a tight game and I think the 49ers defense can continue to win the turnover battle, which has been a key for this fantasy defense.

David Akers Projections: 4.70 FP - 1.14 FGs made, 0.80 XPs made

Analysis: Last week was a brutal week for the 49ers kicker, but I think the return to Philly might very well have had something to do with his struggles. I think he returns to form back at Candlestick and remains a safe option.

Michael Crabtree Projections
: 5.68 FP - 3.36 receptions, 43.82 receiving yards, 0.22 touchdowns

Analysis: Why not go for a clean sweep of 49ers. Crabtree is slowly improving after a foot injury got him off to a slow start. He led the team with 68 receiving yards and is due to get in the end zone sooner rather than later. With Aqib Talib questionable with a knee injury, Crabtree could have an intriguing matchup opposite Joshua Morgan and Vernon Davis. For a bye week, he's not a bad option.


Of the remaining 49ers, only Joshua Morgan is really a borderline fantasy play. He is connecting with Smith, but we have to draw the line somewhere. Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn remain non-entities, and Delanie Walker is only getting inconsistent looks this season.

Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of Head over to to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.


Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Week 5: San Francisco 49ers Defense Worth A Look

You're probably at the point where most of your moving parts are set for the season barring injury. Sadly, the San Francisco 49ers, despite their 3-1 record, probably don't have any attractive options for you to pick up.

  • Frank Gore had a nice week, but it's not like he's available for you to pick up. Just make sure not to be silly enough to drop him; keep him on the bench until he's ready to go.
  • Kendall Hunter is putting up decent numbers as the second-string tailback, but his reliability cannot be trusted at this point because his snap total is likely to be inconsistent.
  • Alex Smith is getting better, and his two touchdown throws against the Eagles make him look like he can be reliable at some point. But right now he's best used as a backup QB.
  • If you really want to pick anyone up for the 49ers, go with the defense and special teams, since the average Tampa Bay offense is next on the docket.

Yeah, sorry, no real interesting options for San Francisco right now.

To discuss the 49ers further, head to Niners Nation. To discuss or learn more about fantasy football, go to SB Nation's fantasy page.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 4: Frank Gore Or Kendall Hunter?

The San Francisco 49ers continue a two-game road trip with a visit to the Philadelphia Eagles. The 49ers are coming off a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that was fairly ugly and did not inspire a lot of fantasy confidence outside of David Akers and the 49ers defense. At the same time, the fourth quarter emergence of Kendall Hunter raised some eyebrows. When Frank Gore admitted to an ankle injury earlier in the game, eyebrows went up further.

Gore has been fairly limited in practice this week and sounds like he will be a game-time decision. If Gore is unable to go, Kendall Hunter would get the start. He looked solid in limited play and the Eagles have struggled against the run this season. At the same time, it's too early to tell what to do with Hunter if you've got him, or even Gore for that matter. For now you'll just have to check in Sunday morning.


49ers Starting Running Back
Analysis: Facing one of the worst rushing defenses in the league, the 49ers starting running back could prove to be a solid play. The 49ers need a strong rushing attack to control the clock and keep the Eagles explosive offensive playmakers on the sidelines. Even thought the 49ers rushing game has struggled, this is a solid matchup for them.

Vernon Davis Projections: 7.36 FP - 4.82 receptions, 50.73 receiving yards, 0.37 touchdowns

Analysis: Davis broke out last week with 114 receiving yards. The Eagles really have nobody who can matchup evenly with Davis which either means a big game or he'll be doubled all day long. He'll find some chances to get the ball in his hand even amidst a double-team so you have to continue to stick with him.

49ers Defense
numberFire Projections: 7.10 FP - 20.99 pts allowed, 1.76 sacks, 1.64 turnovers, 0.18 touchdowns

Analysis: While the 49ers do face an explosive Eagles offense, the 49ers seem to be turning into a fairly consistent fantasy option. Even if they give up a lot of points, there is a great chance for turnovers and sacks, particularly with a scrambling QB like Michael Vick.

David Akers Projections: 6.15 FP - 1.24 FGs made, 1.95 XPs made

Analysis: He's a safe play week in and week out even if the 49ers offense is questionable. He won't put together a lot of monster games, but you can figure on seven or eight fantasy points each week without fail.


While I do think Michael Crabtree could break out this week, that Eagles secondary is mighty talented and the 49ers don't exactly boast a bevy of great wide receivers at this point. I just don't expect a ton particular if the 49ers go to more of a ball control offense to control the time of possession.

Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of Head over to to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 3: Running Out Of 49ers Options?

The San Francisco 49ers head into week three coming off a brutal loss to Dallas and now traveling to face a Cincinnati Bengals squad that has a lot of question marks but could be incredibly dangerous. They have played stout defense while Andy Dalton and A.J. Green look to hook up all day long.

The 49ers offense has been inconsistent with flashes of greatness mixed with some truly god-awful performances. Their remain some intriguing options, but it's growing more and more limited until they prove they can get it together. It is worth noting that wide receiver Braylon Edwards had a procedure on his knee that could bench him for two to four weeks so he definitely will not be playing on Sunday.


Frank Gore Projections: 11.27 FP - 61.99 rushing yards, 0.37 rushing touchdowns, 3.16 receptions, 23.69 receiving yards, 0.08 receiving touchdowns

Analysis: Gore has gotten off to an abysmal start with some questioning his legs, some questioning the offensive line and some questioning both. It's hard to tell what exactly is the issue and we're fast approaching the time when it might be time to start benching him until he proves otherwise. I'd say give it one more week for now.

Vernon Davis Projections: 7.52 FP - 4.24 receptions, 51.74 receiving yards, 0.39 touchdowns

Analysis: Davis has had a slow start to the season and faces a potentially tough matchup against former 49ers OLB Manny Lawson. Nonetheless, with Braylon Edwards out and Michael Crabtree somewhat limited practice, I think the 49ers find a way to get the ball to VD.

49ers Defense
numberFire Projections: 7.74 FP - 18.84 pts allowed, 2.14 sacks, 1.73 turnovers, 0.19 touchdowns

Analysis: Andy Dalton and the Bengals offense are off to a solid start, but there is almost always upside for a defense facing a rookie. The 49ers will pressure the young man and there is the potential for big points on sacks and turnovers. It could blow up in your face, but I think the upside is tremendous.

David Akers Projections: 8.19 FP - 1.57 FGs made, 2.86 XPs made

Analysis: Akers has always been fantastic inside the 40, but last week against the Cowboys he proved he could still bang 'em from deep, drilling a 55-yard field goal. He's one of the safest kicking options out there right now.

Ted Ginn Jr. Projections: 4.18 FP - 2.46 receptions, 27.23 receiving yards, 0.24 touchdowns

Analysis: This is a deep sleeper pick for this Sunday. Against the Cowboys, Ginn appeared to become Alex Smith's go-to receiver after Edwards went down. I think we could see Smith continue going to him this week. And if you get points for touchdown returns, there's always the chance he returns a punt or kick against the somewhat questionable Bengals special teams.


Aside from Ginn, just about everybody else is a sit this week. Michael Crabtree is likely making his return to the field, but we don't know what he'll put together after the second layoff. For now the 49ers are a fairly limited fantasy potential outside of Davis and Gore. Ginn might be working his way into it, but he could be back in this group by Monday.


Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of Head over to to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week Two: Vernon Davis Could Be The Name That Pays

Week Two of the 2011 NFL season is upon us and most of you are either 1-0 or 0-1 (apologies to any ties out there). We've seen some early injuries create adjustments on the fly whether you're dealing with Steven Jackson, Arian Foster or the 49ers own Michael Crabtree. Foster is looking more and more like he'll play while the other two are questionable at best.

The 49ers will host the Dallas Cowboys in a game featuring old rivals with a lot of room for improvement. The 49ers defense and special teams absolutely blew up last week against the Seattle Seahawks, but could find itself with a serious dogfight against Dallas. The 49ers offense struggled mightily last week and it remains to be seen what exactly they are capable of on a week-to-week basis. You should continue start Vernon Davis and Frank Gore, but the rest of the offense leaves open some question marks.


Frank Gore Projections: 9.60 FP - 51.70 rushing yards, 0.28 rushing touchdowns, 3.25 receptions, 24.14 receiving yards, 0.06 receiving touchdowns

Analysis: If the 49ers are going to beat the Cowboys they may have to get a bit more crazy through the air, but they'll need a big game on the ground to keep Tony Romo and company off the field. The Cowboys have more talent on display and time of possession could prove key. Gore struggled against Seattle but he remains a must-start as the 49ers are set on riding him as a workhorse.

Vernon Davis Projections: 7.49 FP - 4.09 receptions, 50.39 receiving yards, 0.41 touchdowns

Analysis: Vernon Davis quietly put together five receptions and 47 yards last week, leading an otherwise anemic offense. The 49ers may have to open things up a bit more if they're going to hang with the Cowboys and Vernon Davis would be a prime possibility to benefit. He remains a must-start.

49ers Defense
numberFire Projections: 7.81 FP - 19.05 pts allowed, 2.16 sacks, 1.75 turnovers, 0.19 touchdowns

Analysis: The 49ers defense/special teams absolutely blew up against the Seahawks thanks primarily to a pair of Ted Ginn Jr. touchdown returns, but also due to five sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. The 49ers won't get return touchdowns every week, but they've shown an aggressiveness that will provide a decent amount of sacks and turnovers during the season. They may give up big points in a game, but the extra points will be there for the taking.

David Akers Projections: 6.82 FP - 1.31 FGs made, 2.38 XPs made

Analysis: Akers had a solid debut for the 49ers with four field goals and three extra points. The 49ers offense showed tremendous red zone difficulties, which bodes well for Akers fantasy value.


In all honesty, everybody else on the 49ers should be sat until the offense proves it can become more efficient and productive. Of all the 49ers, Braylon Edwards is probably the biggest start option, but we don't really know what to expect from the offense this week. The 49ers will need to open things up to hang with a potential high flying Cowboys offense, which could help the likes of Edwards, Alex Smith and a few other players.

For now though, it's a developing process and it is entirely possible it somehow clicks and goes off like gangbusters this weekend. As a 49ers fan I would thoroughly enjoy that. Unfortunately, I'm not holding my breath. Consider me at a point where I have to see it to believe it.

Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of Head over to to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.


The All-Bay Area Fantasy Team - Which Raiders And 49ers Made The Cut?

We created a fantasy team with only Raiders and 49ers. Check out who went first, and if this team could actually contend in a real fantasy football league.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week One: Frank Gore Set To Dominate

The San Francisco 49ers head into this weekend's season opener against the Seattle Seahawks with plenty of question marks as they start the Jim Harbaugh era. They are implementing a West Coast offensive scheme and make aggressive changes to the defensive scheme and personnel. Frank Gore and Vernon Davis will remain top notch fantasy football options, but beyond that the 49ers feature some tough decisions when it comes time to choose who to start and who to sit.


Frank Gore Projections: 15.90 FP - 80.18 rushing yards, 0.64 rushing touchdowns, 4.35 receptions, 38.72 receiving yards, 0.03 receiving touchdowns

Analysis: Frank the Tank has appeared in training camp to be fully recovered from a hairline fracture of his hip, thus making him a solid start. He is facing a Seattle defense filled with question marks and one against which Gore has historically had some strong performances. His two biggest rushing games and three of his top seven rushing performances have come against the Seahawks. Look for another big day.

Vernon Davis Projections: 9.30 FP - 4.33 receptions, 56.79 receiving yards, 0.60 touchdowns

Analysis: Vernon Davis could benefit as much as anybody in the Jim Harbaugh offense as Greg Roman mixed in a lot of plays designed for the tight end at Stanford. Stanford had some solid tight ends last year, but none of them is quite like Davis. There is no reason not to start him at this point, particularly facing a potentially brutal Seahawks defense.

Braylon Edwards Projections: 7.80 FP - 3.64 receptions, 56.54 receiving yards, 0.33 touchdowns

Analysis: Edwards escaped the swift sword of Goodell justice as the league decided not to suspend him for his September 2010 DWI. For fantasy football owners, that could prove huge. Thanks to Michael Crabtree's foot injury, Edwards has worked his way into the heart of Alex Smith and could be an excellent flex or third receiver option. It's hard to tell what will happen with this new Harbaugh offense, but Edwards has been working extra time with Smith to develop necessary timing and chemistry. It's a roll of the dice in week one, but against a questionable Seahawks secondary, it's a worthwhile gamble.

49ers Defense
numberFire Projections: 8.21 FP - 20.17 pts allowed, 2.29 sacks, 1.95 turnovers, 0.20 touchdowns

Analysis: Two words, Tarvaris Jackson. The 49ers are implementing a more aggressive, more blitz heavy defense in 2011. Against a questionable quarterback like Jackson, you might as well get your fantasy points while you can.

David Akers Projections: 1.49 FGs made, 2.72 XPs made

Analysis: Akers makes his debut with the 49ers against a sufficiently weak Seahawks defense that he should get numerous field goal and extra point attempts. The 49ers had some red zone struggles in the preseason, which could bode well for Akers fantasy performance.


Michael Crabtree Projections: 3.90 FP - 2.56 receptions, 32.54 receiving yards, 0.11 touchdowns

Analysis: Although Crabtree has worked his way back onto the practice field, it's questionable how effective he can be after only a few days of practice. He is immensely talented, but if you have him on your bench it's worth waiting to see how he bounces back from the injury. He thinks he "should" be ready for Sunday, but there is always the chance he could be a late scratch. Have other options available until you know he's healthy and ready to produce.

Josh Morgan Projections: 1.89 receptions, 29.91 receiving yards, 0.07 touchdowns

Analysis: Morgan is going to start opposite Braylon Edwards on Sunday and could benefit from the new West Coast offense. However, until he proves to be a consistent threat for several weeks in a row, Morgan remains a fantasy sit.

Alex Smith Projections: 125.52 passing yards, 1.01 touchdowns, 0.63 interceptions

Analysis: Alex Smith enters potentially his last hurrah with the 49ers and Jim Harbaugh is hoping to reinvent Smith in his West Coast offense. As the projections show, confidence is not high. Smith could potentially turn into a decent bye week or injury option later this season, but for now it is too early to get crazy and roll the dice on him.

Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of Head over to to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.


49ers Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Decisions And Weekly Projections

Over the course of the 2011 football season, football fans find themselves trying to decide which players to start and which players to sit every Sunday in fantasy football. A fantasy football owner can make or break their playoff chances by benching one player or starting another player.

There are numerous decisions to be made and while we can't help you with every decision, we can help you sort through 49ers players that will be worth a start or a sit. While Frank Gore and Vernon Davis are generally locked into your starting lineup, other 49ers players might be worth a start pending certain matchups and how they have developed over the course of the season.

For the next 17 weeks we'll provide you with suggested sit 'em and start 'em decisions. Anybody can start Frank Gore, but championships can be won by a timely start of Braylon Edwards. In order to help with these decisions, we have teamed up with to provide you with weekly projections to better situate you for fantasy glory.

For those who've never used them, uses their own proprietary statistics to make weekly projections for fantasy football. Their projections are based on a standard Yahoo! scoring league. Last year their system proved 66% more accurate than both Yahoo! and ESPN's weekly projections and on average, their predictions came within 4.38 points of actual performance while Yahoo! was at 4.83 and ESPN was at 5.73.

Some specific examples of their accuracy can be seen in wide receiver Brandon Marshall. In weeks seven, eight and nine, consistently out-performed ESPN and Yahoo! in projecting Marshall's numbers. Here is a breakdown of those numbers:

Week ESPN Yahoo! numberFire Actual
7 16 9.11 8.18 5.7
8 14 9.64 8.66 6.5
9 14 10.11 8.27 3

A second example would be tight end Antonio Gates. During the early parts of the season when projections can be especially hard to nail down, outperformed five out of six ESPN and Yahoo! projections:

Week ESPN Yahoo! numberFire Actual
1 19 8.52 10.03 13.6
2 16 11.7 13.75 17.7
5 20 9.73 12.86 16.2

SB Nation Bay Area will combine weekly projections with our own knowledge of the 49ers to provide you with information that will help your fantasy performance. For more details on the algorithmic modeling and analysis that helps create these weekly projections, head over to


San Francisco 49ers 2011 Fantasy Football Preview: Looking Beyond Frank Gore & Vernon Davis

The San Francisco 49ers feature an entirely new coaching staff that have brought a variety of scheme and personnel changes to the Bay Area. While Frank Gore and Vernon Davis and reliable fantasy football options, we think there are some other potential fantasy starts mixed in. We provide a breakdown of the various skill position players in advance of the 2011 football season. For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.

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