Crabtree to start for 49ers?

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat is reporting that there’s a strong possibility that first round pick Michael Crabtree will start this week when he makes his NFL debut against the Texans. He would replace Josh Morgan while Isaac Bruce will remain at flanker.

There’s a good chance that Crabtree won’t have much of an effect on the Niners’ offense for at least a couple of weeks. They’ll remain a run-first team and Morgan will still see plenty of playing time considering he’s San Fran’s best run-blocking receiver.

The question I have regarding Crabtree is what kind of an affect he’ll have on the team’s locker room. Considering he held out for five weeks, he couldn’t have endeared himself to his teammates. And now at the first opportunity, he’s being thrust into the starting lineup.

With that in mind, Mike Singletary wouldn’t make a move like this if he knew he’d lose the locker room. He has the respect of his players and they trust his decisions. If he thinks that starting Crabtree gives his team the best chance to win, his players will follow.

Why not see if the rookie can sink or swim right away?

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Fantasy Quick-Hitters: Gonzalez, J. Jones, Austin and Crabtree

Anthony Gonzalez not due back in Week 7. This is speculation by the Indianapolis Star, but Gonzalez only recently resumed running. If you’ve hung onto him this long, wait a week or two more and see how this situation develops. He has a lot of upside and he can certainly help in a fantasy championship run. This is good news for owners of Pierre Garcon, but it is Austin Collie that seems to be getting most of Gonzalez’s looks in recent weeks. That run should continue.

Miles Austin usurps Patrick Crayton as starting WR2.
Now it’s time to get excited about Austin, who has gone from potential one-week wonder to bona fide fantasy starter. Austin is the one Dallas WR who has made the most of his opportunities, so it wouldn’t be too surprising if he’s more productive than Roy Williams over the remainder of the season.

James Jones is the new Packers’ WR3. He was splitting snaps with Jordy Nelson, but Nelson is fighting a knee injury and Jones had a nice game against the Lions. Jones is worth rostering in deep (or three-WR) leagues, but will have to battle with Jermichael Finley for targets. Jones’ value would really skyrocket if Greg Jennings or Donald Driver were to go down, so he’s a nice handcuff for either.

Crabtree to replace Morgan as starter? Wow. Morgan was seemingly turning the corner, averaging 3.3-54-0.3 over the last three weeks. That’s a healthy 53-864-5 pace over a 16-game season. It’s not shocking that Crabtree would eventually take over, but that the move would happen so quickly. The rookie is suddenly fantasy viable. He’s not starter-worthy, but he is roster-worthy in 12-team leagues.

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