2011 Gridiron Challenge: Crabtree's value

Inside the 2011 NFC West Gridiron Challenge heading into Week 14:

  • Leader: msclemons67, again, after getting 24 point from Rob Gronkowski, 23 from the San Francisco defense and 19 from 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. msclemons67 had to adjust at quarterback after losing Jay Cutler to injury earlier in the season.

  • High score of the week: Marino's FF&S and Dan E. Bones are coming off 180-point weeks. Both had Aaron Rodgers, Arian Foster, Gronkowski and the 49ers' defense.

  • Lowest score on first page of leaderboard: 90 points, by Go Get Me a Juicebox!. Five total points at running back and a six-point game from Joe Flacco proved costly.

  • My team: tied for 425th place (77.5 percentile) after an 118-point week featuring only seven points from the very pricey Frank Gore. Michael Crabtree proved to be a bargain, scoring 15 points despite a modest price tag.

  • My wife's team: tied for 815th place (54.6 percentile) after getting only 27 total points from her running backs, wide receivers, tight end and kicker. My heartfelt sympathies.

  • Dan Graziano's team: tied for 521st place (73.1 percentile) after a 116-point week featuring 24 point from Maurice Jones-Drew.

  • Note of the week: I'm sticking with Crabtree at receiver and betting on Miles Austin to produce in his first game back from injury. Neither is a sure bet to produce at receiver, but with Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton eating up $16.1 million of my weekly $50 million allotment, prospecting at other positions is a necessity. Crabtree has 17 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown over the past three weeks. He had 7-120-0 against the Cardinals three weeks ago.

Tom Carpenter's latest Gridiron Challenge advice column points to Rex Grossman as a possible budget pickup at quarterback against the New England defense. The column closes by pointing to the Patriots' defense as a potential value because Grossman is the opposing quarterback. Such are the tradeoffs in a league allowing owners to choose from all players each week.