Michael Crabtree is entering his fourth season with the San Francisco 49ers and lucky for them–the former Texas Tech star has gotten better each season since joining the NFL in 2009. Even though he’s yet to break the 1,000-yard mark in his career, Crabtree appears to be set for a big year–which is why he’s one of the top 2012 fantasy football sleepers for the upcoming season.
Despite only crossing the 100-yard mark once during the regular season, Crabtree is coming off the best year of his career with the 49ers after catching 73 passes for 880 yards to go along with four touchdowns. San Francisco was able to reach the NFC Championship last season despite a weak receiving core, but they’ve upgraded during the offseason with the additions of Randy Moss and Mario Manningham–which should benefit Crabtree in the passing game.
Plus, the 49ers have one of the league’s top pass-catching tight ends in Vernon Davis–so the passing game should be much better in 2012. San Francisco realizes the talent is there to make a strong run at the Super Bowl and whether or not they reach the promised land may rely on the type of numbers Crabtree posts in the passing game.
From a fantasy perspective, Crabtree will fall in the later rounds of most drafts–most likely as a No. 3 or No. 4 choice for wide receiver. However, if he continues at the pace he’s been going over the first three years of his career, Crabtree could emerge as one of the biggest breakout stars for the 2012 season and move into the starting lineup on a few fantasy squads.