Value: Tim Hightower. Hightower is currently listed as the starter and is trusted by the staff as a solid receiver, blocker and goal-line back. While everyone is touting Wells this year, Hightower can be had at a 10th of the price and could provide better, or at least 75% of the stats Wells produces. When you also factor in Wells injury history in college, Hightower is looking like a nice depth value with upside.
Disappointment: Steve Breaston. Breaston has produced solid numbers when Boldin was out of the line-up, and many are expecting similar results in 2010. Some problems with this logic are there if you look beyond the numbers. First, Matt Leinart is not close to the same quarterback as Kurt Warner, especially when it comes to finding the open man. Second, the team is clearly going to switch to a more balances offense which means less passes in 2010. Finally, Early Doucet is going to be given every opportunity to take touches away from Breaston since the team has much more invested in him than Breaston in the future.
San Francisco 49ers:
Value: Josh Morgan. As Crabtree and Davis cause the defense problems on a weekly basis, defenses are going to put Morgan in a lot of one-one one situations. Prior to Crabtree starting last year Morgan averaged 15.5 yards per catch so we know he can make big plays. He could be a nice depth option for a low price.
Disappointment: Alex Smith. He is being drafted by many as a back-up, and I just don’t see the logic. His production has been spotty, and his upside is limited. I back-up QB should be both solid and have some upside. I see neither here and I am afraid those that draft him will be looking for a better option by mid-season.
Value: T. J. Houshmandzadeh. T. J. has been buried far too early by fantasy owners who had far too high of expectations for him last year. His quarterback missed two games last year (and played injured in many more), and the offensive line was a big issue last year and TJ still had 79 catches, 911 yards, and 3 TD’S. T.J. played thru a number of injuries last year, and is now back to 100% If he can add 5 TD’s and a 100 yards to last year’s numbers he will be a steal in most formats. Look for him to be a nice value this year, as many fantasy owners stay away.
Disappointment: Justin Forsett. He is a trendy pick to be a value this year, but I think he is going to be a disappointment. The offensive line is still going to need to improve in 2010 to help the backs reach their full potential. While I know they dropped White off the roster, Forsett still has Leon Washington and Julius Jones on the roster to steal touches. Even if Forsett is the “starter”, will get enough touches to be worthy of a start? I don’t think so.
Value: TBD. While I don’t know who it will be, the fantasy value for my $ will be whoever is the back-up for Steven Jackson. Even before Jackson was having serious back problems, he averaged 13-14 games a year. Now he has a serious back injury that is something Jackson owners are going to have to worry about with every big hit. We don’t know who the back-up will be yet, but whoever it is will have some nice value for a very, low cost. This player is a must have for Jackson owners, and a nice lottery ticket for the other owners in any format.
Disappointment: Steven Jackson. Should be no surprise is you read above. In addition to being a major injury risk, Jackson is on a team with should be starting a rookie QB most of the season, has an average offensive line, and few still players on offense. This means defenses working to stop and hammer Jackson every play. Not only will his injury risk be high, his production will suffer. I would not draft him in the first round of a fantasy draft this year, which means he will not be on my teams this year, and I am fine with that.