There was a song in the 1980’s by the hair band called Cinderella that was titled, “Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)”. The song is about lost loves and how guys in a rock band can still have feelings … or something like that. Well, if this song was reality, then it would describe the feelings of the San Francisco 49ers towards returning wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Crabtree had a very bad Achilles’ injury in the offseason that kept him off the field until Week 13 of the season. He was in line to have a huge fantasy season with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The two built a strong chemistry when Kaepernick became the starter in San Francisco. Since his injury, the entire San Francisco offense has not been the same.
Many fantasy football managers are wondering how Crabtree’s return will affect the players that they own from the 49ers.
In the receiving part of the game, Crabtree’s return will help Vernon Davis and Aquan Boldin owners the most. The only two 49ers to catch a touchdown this season have been these two players. Davis has had the stronger season out of the two, but imagine what it would have been like for him to be protected by Boldin and Crabtree?
Davis will be in line for many more goal line looks and should have a nice playoff run. Boldin’s production can only go up. While Crabtree has been injured, Boldin has been seeing the best cover corners that teams can throw at the 49ers. Now, Crabtree will get those players and Boldin will get many more one-on-one looks. If you own Boldin, you have to be playing him going into your league’s playoffs.
In the running game, Crabtree’s return will have a huge affect on not only Frank Gore, but Kaepernick as well. Gore will now see less five-man fronts and bigger holes in the running game. Kaepernick will also get better looks on any quarterback read-options that the team may call. This will make the running game and the passing game much more wide open.
In the passing game, Kaepernick has to be thanking his lucky star that his favorite target has returned. He has not exactly had the season that everyone thought he would have, especially after the Super Bowl run the team had just one year ago. Many experts have been blaming Kaepernick, but when you lose your no. 1 target, it is not easy to adjust to the change.
With Crabtree’s return, I expect Kaepernick’s fantasy value to only go up. He can now be the fantasy football stud that everyone drafted him to be for this season.
If your team is still in the hunt and you have Crabtree, you can expect some production out of him down the final stretch. He will pay off for all of those who were patient with him this season. However, the biggest benefactors will be the other 49ers that you own on your teams.
Just remember, when the San Francisco 49ers on your team start to finally go off, say a little thank you to Michael Crabtree.