The preference of most fantasy football owners is to win games with the help of players from their favorite team. The good news for San Francisco 49ers fans is that their team is now built from a very productive roster. In all three phases of the game, the Niners have value that could become highly sought after in this year's fantasy drafts.
At this point, with rosters still working themselves out, fantasy stock of certain players could still rise or fall. But based off of 2011, and expecting a natural development overall, the following three representatives from the 49ers could be hot commodities in 2012 fantasy leagues.
If you are looking for impact players from the San Francisco 49ers to assist your winning percentage this coming season, look no further.
The Pro Bowl tight end is the favorite weapon of the starting quarterback in San Francisco -- and recently, their chemistry together has been off the charts. Even with the addition of Randy Moss, Davis is the most valuable weapon in the 49ers passing attack entering 2012. And speaking of Moss, his presence alone is going to open the doors to a defensive landscape for Davis to shred like never before. For opposing defenses, Davis will not be the central focus of the offense despite his extreme talent and productivity.
Davis is one of the candidates to be the 49ers leading receiver in 2012, and his ability as a hybrid enables him to be capable of such a feat. Going into next season, we can expect Davis to have more of a featured role in the passing attack, rather than being overused as a blocker. He is so dynamic as a receiver, it would be silly to not utilize him as such. Davis can score the touchdowns, produce the big plays and get major yardage; he will be one of the first tight ends off the board, so target him early if you really want him.
If we're breaking it down value-wise, the 49ers defense and special teams unit might be the most consistent and productive one in fantasy football. This group gets it done on the field, leading in numerous statistical categories from a team and individual standpoint. Both the defense and special teams, separately, are among the best in the entire NFL. Their style and brand of football -- preaching fundamentals and the three phases of the game -- works wonders for them in the win-loss column; the history books as well.
The 49ers defense doesn't get scored on much, they don't allow rushing touchdowns, they get sacks and they led in takeaways; this is everything you want in a fantasy defense. And of course Ted Ginn Jr. makes the return game a threat as he is a top-3 return man in the NFL. He has top-flight speed and can take it to the house on any given return.
For the former first two-time Biletnikoff Award winner in NCAA history, it wasn't an ideal start to his pro career, statistically speaking. But with his first full offseason, a preseason, development with the playbook and another year with Alex Smith, Crabtree has a lot of reasons to finally take his game to the next level in 2012.
Perhaps the biggest deal for Crabtree next season is that he is now surrounded by weapons, and like Davis, won't be the central focus. With the addition of Moss, Crabtree can play the flanker where his natural skill set would be better suited. He had some success at that spot in 2011, and can continue to establish himself at that position. In 15 games in 2011, Crabtree had 74 catches for 874 yards and four touchdowns -- and those numbers are going to go up.
With months to go, things could still change for the 49ers in terms of fantasy value. If Randy Moss pans out to be what the 49ers hoped he'd be, the future Hall of Famer could command a roster spot once again in fantasy. Frank Gore will also no doubt have value, but with the loaded backfield, it's hard to say how much. Gore will obviously get the majority of the carries but until the running back situation shakes out, it will be hard to say what round he goes in.
Then we wonder about rookies like A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James. Two players who will more than likely go undrafted in the majority of fantasy leagues but may prove to be a good flex as a mid-season free agent pick up. Only time will, but it sure is special to have relevant 49ers players in fantasy football.