QB Alex Smith (San Francisco)
Smith could improve on the 17 touchdowns and 3144 yards he had in 2011 as the 49ers have gotten him 3 new receivers, Mario Manningham, AJ Jenkins, and Randy Moss. However, they added another running back through the draft too so they will still be a run heavy team. I also don’t see his 5 interceptions as replicable.
Projection: 3200 passing yards, 18 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, 100 rushing yards, 1 rushing touchdown (196 pts standard/232 pts in 6 pt TD leagues)
RB Frank Gore (San Francisco)
Jim Harbaugh said their selection of LaMichael James wasn’t an indictment on Gore’s ability, but I don’t think there’s any way the addition of James, as well as Brandon Jacobs, doesn’t cut into Gore’s carries as he heads into his age 29 season. He probably has another 2 good years as the lead back, but he won’t see the 282 carries he had last year, even if he does stay healthy for 16 games for just the 3rd time in his 8 year career.
Projection: 220 carries 1010 rushing yards 7 total touchdowns 35 catches 280 receiving yards (171 pts standard/206 pts PPR)
WR Michael Crabtree (San Francisco)
Crabtree is still San Francisco’s #1 wide receiver, but only by default. He’ll have more competition for balls from Mario Manningham, Randy Moss, and AJ Jenkins, as well as Vernon Davis, who was very dominant down the stretch last season. He probably won’t even reach the 72 catches for 874 yards and 4 touchdowns he had last season.
Projection: 60 catches 810 receiving yards 4 receiving touchdowns (105 pts standard/165 pts PPR)
WR Mario Manningham (San Francisco)
Manningham had 60 catches for 944 yards and 9 touchdowns in 2010 as a starter for the New York Giants, but the 49ers’ passing offense isn’t nearly as good. He’ll be borderline fantasy irrelevant this season.
Projection: 50 catches 620 receiving yards 3 receiving touchdowns (80 pts standard/130 pts PPR)
TE Vernon Davis (San Francisco)
In Davis’ last 5 games, including playoffs, he had 28 catches for 536 yards and 5 touchdowns. That’s insane. Remember, he had 78 catches for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2009 and 56 catches for 914 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2010, before totaling just 67 catches for 792 yards and 6 touchdowns last year. He’s still San Francisco’s #1 receiver. Buy low while you still can.
Projection: 74 catches 920 receiving yards 7 receiving touchdowns (134 pts standard/208 pts PPR)