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Fancy fantasy football: Searching for Vernon Davis' muse

By Nicholas Minnix

Vernon Davis hasn't scored since his Week 3 contest against the Minnesota Vikings and has recorded more than 37 yards only once since then. The Seattle Seahawks conspired with the San Francisco 49ers' game plan to blank him in Week 7.

What. The. Fantasy.

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis
Davis' fantasy work: surreal

The Niners just looove his ability as a blocker, too. Davis says that he's been cool with his reduced receiving role, but his frustrated owners aren't. He's still helping San Francisco win, just not his pretend-pigskin proprietors.

But against, of all teams, the Chicago Bears (and, yes, their ferocious defense), he could be of more assistance.

Statistically, the matchup appears to be somewhat favorable. The Modern Monsters of the Midway have surrendered 5.89 receptions and 51.2 yards per game to players at Davis' position. The Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten caught 13 balls for 112 yards and a score against Da Bears in Week 4. Different player, different circumstances, but the point is that very good tight ends can beat this defense regularly.

Surely you recall that effective use of an athletic tight end is a tried and true strategy against Chi-town's Cover 2 D. Brian Urlacher, 34, is often responsible for the assignment, but health problems and age have eroded his physical ability. Greg Cosell, an NFL Films analyst, voiced a bit of an allusion to the former point and a testament to the latter one yesterday.

The Press Democrat writer doesn't see it happening because of his observation that Niners OC Greg Roman tends to dial Michael Crabtree's number as often as possible. That may be true, especially lately, but Davis had a few big games under Roman's watch last year. In a meeting that will have ramifications for playoff seeding, Chicago might be crazy not to exploit a spot in which they have such a distinct advantage.

Some productive brush strokes from Davis in Week 11 would be a nice way for him to head into enticing matchups versus the New Orleans Saints (Week 12), St. Louis Rams (Week 13) and New England Patriots (Week 15). Otherwise, he's nothing more than wall art with a great gift and a cool cause.

If Davis doesn't get going soon, there's no incentive to keep him on a fantasy roster by the time fantasy title-game week, numero diez y seis, rolls around. San Fran squares off with Seattle for the second time then. Even if the 49ers hope to pull a sneaky VD sneak attack against their NFC West rivals on the second go-round, it'll be too difficult to entrust Davis with a fantasy lineup spot in such a tough matchup based on such conjecture if he hasn't been putting up points.



 


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