49ers Fantasy News
Ravens Steve L Smith continues to prove he has the best hands of all the Ravens receivers. His best catch on Thursday was reaching behind him for a low pass that would've been intercepted by Chykie Brown. Judging from camp, quarterback Joe Flacco has built a trust that Smith will catch anything thrown close to him.
Smith will likely see the third-most targets behind Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta. Anquan Boldin finished #34 and #30 as the Ravens' WR2 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, so that's probably Smith’s ceiling as he joins a new team. At 35, he’ll more likely finish as a spot starter/fantasy reserve.
Michael Crabtree missed his first practice of training camp Thursday, and it’s unknown whether his past Achilles or foot injuries are the reason. “Mike’s just working though something. He’s fine,” said offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who proceeded to praise how improved Crabtree is from his injury-shortened 2013 season.
Including three playoff games, Crabtree appeared in eight contests last season and averaged 4.3 catches for 61 yards and 0.13 TD. For a better indication of his potential for 2014, we should include the 10 games he played with Colin Kaepernick in 2012 (and in the 2013 playoffs). When those numbers are rolled in, Crabtree averaged 5.3 catches for 76 yards and 0.50 TD, which equates to 10.6 PPG, or strong WR2-type numbers. He looked liked himself during the 49ers' playoff run, so we're expecting a productive 2014 from the 6th-year receiver. Let's just hope this injury is nothing serious.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 10:16pm
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said running back LaMichael James is confident that he can come back quickly from a dislocated elbow. This is James’ third dislocated elbow since high school. He returned quickly both times. He was injured Sunday, and the working estimation is he will be out for four weeks.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 1:50pm
Miami Dolphins reporter James Walker says that WR Jarvis Landry has "really impressed" and hasn't dropped a pass all offseason.
Landry seems to be a good bet to win the slot job. His tape is reminiscent of Anquan Boldin -- not the fastest guy, but he has great hands and is strong at the point of the catch.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014, 8:38am
The 49ers addressed their injury-riddled running back corps Monday by agreeing to terms with former Arizona Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith, according to a league source.
Smith joins a unit hit hard by injuries since training camp practices began Thursday. Kendall Hunter, the incumbent No. 2 back behind Frank Gore, sustained a season-ending knee injury Friday, then LaMichael James dislocated an elbow Sunday that could sideline him for a month.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 3:43pm
Quarterback Cam Newton is running the Carolina Panthers offense in practice. But coming off ankle surgery, he’s done none of the running around that is his extra dimension.
That’s not bad news. You don’t have to be an orthopedic surgeon to know it just makes sense.
Newton looks comfortable dropping back, bouncing around in the pocket, setting his feet and making all the throws. He’s getting to know all-new wide receivers.
For now, that’s all he has to do. The Cam Newton who can slip out of the pocket and run for a quick 20 yards can wait until the Panthers start playing for keeps Sept. 7 at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I think it’s just a smart thing to do right now. What’s the use of running on it and go in the training room and it’s going to be swelled up,” Newton said after practice Monday, while wearing a sleeve on his repaired left ankle.
In March, Newton had surgery to tighten loose ligaments in the ankle. He sat out most of a June mini-camp except for some throws in a seven-on-seven drill the final day. He's expected to be fine by the start of the season. We rank Newton 10th among QBs this season with the big question being what will be the quality of WRs he'll have to throw to. He's going a little earlier in drafts than Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson who are both ranked ahead of him.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 2:28pm
Even with the injuries at running back, the 49ers are taking their time with first-year player Marcus Lattimore.
Lattimore continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired right knee and a hamstring strain he sustained during the offseason program.
Lattimore is close to being activated the team said. Lattimore spent last season on the NFI list. Yes, his knee injury was sustained during a football game, but it was not during his employment with an NFL team. Because the injury was sustained in college, prior to joining the 49ers, and he never was on the team's 53-man roster as a rookie, he did not accrue an NFL season.
Monday, July 28, 2014, 9:09am
This year is shaping up as 49ers RB Frank Gore's biggest battle since he played for the Hurricanes.
He's 31, ancient in running back years, and is surrounded by younger players, including two of the most highly regarded runners in the last two drafts, Marcus Lattimore and Carlos Hyde. Lattimore's challenge of Gore may be delayed. When the 49ers' first practice of training camp began Thursday, he was on the physically-unable-to-perform list as he continues to come back from his 2012 knee injury.
If the 49ers are eying a running-back-by-committee approach this season, they're not letting on.
Gore already lost two of his potential backups, though. Kendall Hunter is done for the year and LaMichael James is going to miss all of the preseason. That leaves Hyde as his main competition at the moment in camp until Lattimore returns, so it looks like Gore could emerge as a guy to again get significant work, perhaps especially early on in the season. Gore's age and previous workload are a little scary and because of that we have him ranked 23rd among our backs with an ADP of the 7th round. He looks to be a good depth option for your team, and if you can land him as an RB3, you should be in pretty good shape with your fantasy backfield.
49ers running back LaMichael James was carted off the field with an apparent left-arm injury early in Sunday's practice. It's believed James got hurt in a pass-blocking drill. Coach Jim Harbaugh hovered over James on the ground before a trainer whisked him off to the locker room. James appeared to be supporting his left wrist with his right hand.
James had just become a top contender for the No. 2 running back role behind Frank Gore Friday, once Kendall Hunter sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament and was lost for the season. Next up on the depth chart are Carlos Hyde and Marcus Lattimore. With Gore getting up in age, the 9ers RB2 can be fantasy worthy.
Sunday, July 27, 2014, 10:13am
Top 49ers WR Michael Crabtree’s return to full health – and he sure looks like he has, moving well in Saturday’s practice and making a one-handed catch in traffic – headlines a group with improved depth and talent. Anquan Boldin remains tough and crafty at age 33. Stevie Johnson, who had three straight 1,000-yard seasons in Buffalo from 2010 to ’12, arrived in a trade. General manager Trent Baalke made a point to praise rookie Bruce Ellington (“a young guy that’s come in and showed an awful lot of promise”) second-year pro Quinton Patton (“a year older, a year better”), and even 33-year-old Brandon Lloyd (“playing like he’s 28 years old out there”). RB Frank Gore said it’s “by far” the best receiver group the 49ers have had in his 10 seasons.
The 49ers have a lot of big names at WR, but outside of Crabtree and Boldin, fantasy owners will have to see where Johnson fits in, and perhaps even Lloyd. Either way, QB Colin Kaepernick figures to benefit the most from this experienced group around him.
Running back Kendall Hunter tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Friday at practice, the team confirmed Saturday morning. Hunter has served as the top understudy to Frank Gore since breaking into the league in 2011, aside from missing the final two months of the 2012 season with a torn Achilles. Candidates to fill the 49ers’ No. 2 tailback job are LaMichael James, Carlos Hyde, Jewell Hampton and Marcus Lattimore, who’s on the non-football-injury list but has been doing conditioning drills on a side field in camp.
This opens the door for Carlos Hyde to back up Frank Gore. Marcus Lattimore is also in the mix.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 7:52pm
San Francisco 49ers running back Kendall Hunter went down early in practice on Friday with an apparent right knee injury during a 7-on-7 drill. After he was checked by medical staff for a number of minutes, Hunter walked back to the locker room under his own power.
Friday, July 25, 2014, 12:31pm
Wide receiver Steve L Smith put on a show in his first training camp practice with the Ravens. He started by faking out cornerback Lardarius Webb to get open for an out route and then beat Chykie Brown and Webb again on deep passes. The Ravens expected Smith to raise the intensity level of practice when they signed him as a free agent. He certainly didn't disappoint.
Smith will likely see the third-most targets behind Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta. Anquan Boldin finished #34 and #30 as the Ravens' WR2 in 2011 and 2012, respectively, so that's probably Smith’s ceiling as he joins a new team. At 35, he’ll more likely finish as a spot starter/fantasy reserve, though if he keeps dominating practice, he may work his way into a fantasy WR3 role.
Tight end Vernon Davis, who did not take part in the 49ers' offseason program due to dissatisfaction over his contract status, reported to training camp Wednesday morning.
This doesn't mean that Davis is happy with his contract, but he realizes that the team isn't inclined to negotiate with a player who isn't practicing. We're avoiding Davis at his ADP due to his probable workload with Michael Crabtree back in the fold. Davis averaged 3.8-62-.90 on 6.1 targets without Crabtree in the lineup. After his return (and including three playoff games), those numbers fell to 2.4-35-.75 on 4.6 T/G. Those are still top 10 numbers at the position (thanks to the touchdowns), but Davis simply isn’t a no-brainer top 5 pick with Crabtree in the lineup. He has a history of being underutilized in the 49ers’ run-heavy offense, and that’s a possibility again in 2014.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 12:23pm
49ers beat write Cam Inman previews the team's RB corps: This is Frank Gore's 10th camp but his first with so many viable candidates to share the load. Marcus Lattimore's comeback attempt is of utmost interest, and aside from running, can he pass protect? Kendall Hunter remains the No. 2 back, though he's coming off a career-low 358 rushing yards and is in a contract year. Carlos Hyde could be a rookie gem with his deft hands and power legs. If that quartet proves strong, LaMichael James finally might get traded.
The 31-year-old Frank Gore has defied reduced preseason expectations in recent years, finishing in the top 13 in three straight seasons. Including the playoffs, he posted just 8.5 fantasy points per game after the 49ers’ Week 9 bye in 2013, so the writing is on the wall. The team has a capable backup in Kendall Hunter and also drafted the talented Carlos Hyde in the second round. Along with the return of redshirt rookie Marcus Lattimore, Gore’s touches are very much under pressure in 2014. One thing to note here -- Inman believes that Hunter is still the RB2 in San Francisco.
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