Fantasy football owners surely had some interest in the game, with multiple relevant players on each side depending on the size of your league. Here’s my breakdown of Sunday night’s game from a fantasy perspective.
– Running back Adrian Peterson made his preseason debut against the 49ers, but played just two snaps and did not get a carry. Those that had the first overall pick or spent a truckload of auction dollars on Peterson are surely glad he was not exposed to potential injury.
– Quarterback Christian Ponder played into the third quarter, completing 17 of 23 passes for 116 yards with two touchdowns and one interception along with 20 rushing yards on four carries. The interception can be partially blamed on wide receiver Stephen Burton, but a lack of explosive gains in the passing game is a concern. Any fantasy owner that drafts Ponder as a QB2 with the expectation he’ll start all 16 games is taking a risk.
– Toby Gerhart had seven carries for 20 yards and two catches for 11 yards against San Francisco. He has some value to Peterson’s fantasy owners as a handcuff, but even that is a bit of a reach outside of the deepest leagues right now.
– Wide receiver Greg Jennings had just two receptions for 24 yards, but Ponder overthrew him on a deep pass on the Vikings’ first play. Jennings is the most fantasy-worthy wide receiver on Minnesota’s roster at this point.
– Quarterback Colin Kaepernick overcame a slow start to go 7-for-13 for 72 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings. He did not play much this preseason, but remains a top-tier fantasy signal caller due to his ability as a passer and runner.
– Running back Frank Gore had just two carries for two yards in Sunday night’s game, but at age 30 they key thing for his fantasy owners is continued good health. Gore is a solid RB2 as the 49ers’ No. 1 tailback with one of the league’s best offensive lines in front of him.
– Rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton looked good in his preseason debut, with four receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown. The fractured finger that limited him until recently looks to be behind him, and a significant role could be awaiting Patton if he continues to make progress.
– The 49ers acquired Jon Baldwin from the Kansas City Chiefs last week, and the former first-round pick had two catches for 23 yards against the Vikings. He has a long way to go before being worthy of a roster spot in single-season fantasy leagues, but Baldwin is back on the radar in dynasty leagues.
– Running back LaMichael James had nine carries for 15 yards on Sunday night, before being sidelined by an elbow injury. The injury is not thought to be serious.
– Kendall Hunter made his preseason debut on Sunday night, after working his way back from an Achilles’ injury that ended his 2012 season early, and had three carries for 13 yards (including a 15-yard run on his first carry). Now that he is healthy, Hunter looks locked into being San Francisco’s No. 2 running back ahead of James and is a viable handcuff to Gore in deep leagues.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.