Michael Crabtree's Achilles' tear opens up San Francisco 49ers targets

      May 22, 2013 @ 14:24:11 PDT

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Michael Crabtree (Achilles'): There's a substantial chance he's done for 2013, but he might be back around Thanksgiving or early December if his rehab goes smoothly. Maybe he'll follow the quick recovery paths of Terrell Suggs and Da'Quan Bowers. If only your average fantasy league had an IR spot....

Cue the San Francisco 49ers' target scramble.

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis
Will VD be a catch once again?

On the surface, this favors Vernon Davis, who could reclaim some of his early-season statistical potency from 2012. Remember, though, that most of that came with Alex Smith at the helm. Following Kaepernick taking over in Week 11, when Davis went 6-83-1, VD's stat line was infected, and he totaled six receptions over his final six contests, with 61 yards and zero touchdowns. He spent much of last season, in fact, continuing to accept a less prominent offensive window -- more decoy than difference-maker through the air.

Still, he showed in the NFC Championship and Super Bowl (11 catches, 210 yards, 1 TD combined) that he was starting to click with Kap. Expect San Fran to display more flexible deployment of Davis now that they're short-handed.

At their current TE ADP ranks, per Mock Draft Central, I'd rather own Davis (8th) than Dennis Pitta (5th) and probably Kyle Rudolph (7th) just because of Kaepernick's presence. The discount that Average Draft Position sites have given him in May will dissipate in the coming months, though, so the payoff won't be as great in what could be a wide-open fake-football position.

Anquan Boldin, the other immediate beneficiary, still shouldn't be held as anything higher than a WR3. He's shown in the last few years that he's making more big plays, but he's mostly reliant on his hands and possession-style calls, so PPR takers should add a buck when bidding on him.

He's had trouble acting as an unquestioned real-life No. 1, though, so you're right to question his ability to handle increased coverage. Having a mobile quarterback should help the wily vet make something out of broken plays more often, at least.

Who else could benefit?

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

During baseball and football season, he appears on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio on Thursdays and Sundays, and every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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