NFL Nation: Gridiron Challenge

2011 Gridiron Challenge: Gore, Crabtree

December, 4, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO -- A few last-minute fantasy considerations heading into the 2011 NFC West Gridiron Challenge for Week 13:
  • Romo against the Cardinals: Arizona's defense is improving, but Tony Romo still seemed like a bargain relative to other quarterbacks costing about the same ($6.8 million of our $50 million allotment). I moved him into my lineup over Cam Newton and used the $1 million savings to load up at running back. I considered playing the Cowboys' DeMarco Murray against an Arizona defense that lost nose tackle Dan Williams for the season. Murray was cheaper than the backs I went with (Frank Gore and Chris Johnson).
  • Gore against the Rams: We all saw what Beanie Wells did to the Rams' last-ranked run defense in Week 12. I moved Wells out of my lineup late in the week because I wasn't sure whether his knee would limit him. Bad move. Gore has had 10 days between games. He should be fresh and ready to attack the Rams' defense.
  • Crabtree as well: With Braylon Edwards hurting, I went with the 49ers' Michael Crabtree at receiver. His low price was appealing relative to his potential against a Rams secondary missing all of its top cornerbacks. The 49ers could get their points on the ground and by targeting tight ends, so playing Crabtree comes with risks. Crabtree did catch seven passes for 120 yards in his last home game, however.

Best of luck to you this week.

Much fantasy love for Gore, 49ers

July, 20, 2010
ESPN fantasy guru Matthew Berry is all over Frank Gore specifically and the 2010 San Francisco 49ers in general.

"Gore, (Michael) Crabtree, (Vernon) Davis, Josh Morgan and (Alex) Smith are all on my love list this year," Berry proclaims. "I think Davis might regress a little bit, but he'll still be an elite tight end."

Berry ranks Gore fourth overall among all NFL fantasy prospects. He likes the other San Francisco players largely in relation to where he thinks others will value them in fantasy drafts. Berry likes the Seattle Seahawks' Justin Forsett in the later rounds, but he doesn't like the team in general from a fantasy standpoint because too much remains unknown.

One thing I'm not sure about regarding the 49ers is to what degree Crabtree will get into the touchdown mix. Gore and Davis were the primary scorers for San Francisco last season. Crabtree scored only two receiving touchdowns. That number should climb, but by how much?

I'll be organizing a fantasy league on the blog again this season. It'll likely be a Gridiron Challenge league again. We'll have a hard salary cap and the ability to change rosters from week to week, with players' prices changing based on how they perform.

Back to Gore. He was a solid producer last season in terms of final numbers, but his week-to-week production was sporadic. The chart shows the top 30 touchdown scorers in the NFL last season. Three of the top four were in the mighty NFC West.


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Sunday, 12/28