If you’re a fan of the San Francisco 49ers, a fantasy football enthusiast or both, well, your Wednesday just took a turn for the worse.
NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree suffered a torn Achilles tendon during Tuesday’s organized team activities. Rapoport later reported that Crabtree already has had surgery to repair his torn Achilles, and the estimated recovery time is six months. USA Today first reported the story of Crabtree’s injury.
A potential breakout candidate in fantasy land, Crabtree now is all but undraftable in most seasonal formats – unless you have deeper rosters or injured spots.
In his absence, the Niners will have to lean on a mish-mash of wide receivers to fill the void. Anquan Boldin, acquired in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens, now becomes the top option at the position. He’ll see an uptick in value, but not enough to make him more than a No. 3 or No. 4 fantasy wideout. The rest of the depth chart includes A.J. Jenkins, who was non-existent as a rookie, Mario Manningham, who is coming off a reconstructive knee procedure, and rookie Quinton Patton.
None of them jump off the board as potential fantasy stars, but they are players to watch in training camp.
Fantasy owners should expect tight end Vernon Davis to see more targets, but he’s been unpredictable in recent seasons. He’ll be a risk-reward No. 1 fantasy tight end.
This news also is unfortunate for the overall draft appeal of quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
While I still see him as a surefire No. 1 fantasy QB, losing his top option pushes him out of the running to finish in the top five at his position based on points. The Niners will have to run the ball more, though, and Kaepernick’s skills as a runner are well known.
The loss of Crabtree also will mean more of running back Frank Gore, who should be seen as a viable No. 2 fantasy back after what was an impressive 2012 campaign. Just be advised, though, that he will be at the dreaded age of 30 entering his ninth season.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!