In this case, I should say “Fantasy Football Quarterbacks to Avoid” Yes Alex Smith was one of the NFL’s best success stories leading his team a to a big play off win against the mighty Saints but let’s not get carried away. For fantasy football purposes, this is a guy I am not touching. He will have a game or two up his sleeve but I would highly recommend leaving Alex Smith on the waiver wire where he belongs.
Fantasy Football Running Backs to Own -
Last season Frank Gore finished 16 games healthy for the first time since 2006. The main reason for this was his decreased work load. Factor in the addition of Brandon Jacobs and the speedster LaMichael James not to mention the fact that Kendall Hunter is still hanging around and you have a number two fantasy running back at best. I could see Frank Gore’s number of touches dropping down even further in 2012making him a risky play. I have no problem drafting him, just make sure it is a good value. If you intend to handcuff Gore you definitely want to tab Kendall Hunter. Let the other guys rush to the wire for the more exciting LaMichael James, I wan the guy who will inherit the bulk of the work, not third down back duty.
Fantasy Football Wide Receivers to Own -
If I am drafting any of these guys, it would have to be Michael Crabtree. He has shown good chemistry with Alex Smith and seems to have the weak quarterback’s trust. I would not expect big numbers but I can see Michael Crabtree being a reasonable number 3 fantasy wide receiver. Mario Manningham adds another reliable set of hands to the game and could be used as a nice possession receiver. I for one do not trust him this season outside of deep PPR leagues. The addition of Randy Moss is exciting on paper but the truth of the matter is that Randy Moss is a one trick pony at this point in his career. Moss can take anyone deep, I just doubt Alex Smith can deliver the football that far down field.
Fantasy Football Tight Ends to Own -
Vernon Davis remains amongst fantasy football's top tight ends. Don’t expect number like Gronkowski or Graham but 900 yards and 10 touchdowns should be attainable. As we all know a weak quarterback will lean on their tight end. Alex Smith is one of the weakest and Vernon Davis is among the strongest, draft with confidence.
Fantasy Football Defense / Special Teams -
This is an elite defensive unit and will probably come off the board earlier than I would like. I always recommend waiting on a defense but if you must reach, reach for the 49ers’defense. They are loaded up with super studs like Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. Additionally Justin Smith is amongst the leagues best defensive linemen.
Fantasy Football Kicker to Own -
David Akers was far and away fantasy football’s best kicker in 2011 and I see no reason he won’t repeat that success. The offense is historically terrible in the red zone providing Akers ample opportunity to score beyond the usual extra points. Again, I never recommend reaching for a kicker but Akers might be worth a small reach.
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