2013 Team Outlook: San Francisco 49ers
WR Michael Crabtree, OAK - Dynasty Only
A freshly minted superstar, Crabtree was pushing to be one of the first wide receivers off the board in fantasy drafts this summer, but will now miss most or all of 2013 after tearing his Achilles tendon during OTA's. Score one for the holdouts. Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles last season and was back on the field just five months after surgery -- a remarkable recovery from an injury that can sometimes be career ending. Best to temper your expectations with Crabtree and plan instead for his return in 2014.
WR Quinton Patton, SF - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Update (8-30): Rookie Quinton Patton scored for the second straight preseason game with a 26-yard TD grab and finished with two receptions for 52 yards against the Chargers. In both games, Patton had six receptions for 87 yards - and looked like a legitimate contender for the 49ers receiver spot opposite Anquan Boldin. With Boldin resting, Patton started opposite Marlon Moore, who started throughout the preseason. Those two have moved into possible late round flyer category with Patton nudging in front.
The 128th pick in the 2013 draft, Patton was expected to step in and push A.J. Jenkins for the no. 2 or 3 WR spot but Paton missed most of preseason with a broken finger and Jenkins played himself out of San Francisco. Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore have been battling for Michael Crabtree's vacant position, making it look very much like Patton will begin his NFL career as Anquan Boldin's backup.
WR A.J. Jenkins, DAL - Gamble (high risk)
The underperforming 2012 first-rounder was shipped off to Kansas City during preseason. Maybe a change of scenery will kickstart his floundering pro career.
WR Jon Baldwin, --- - Bust (overvalued)
Update: Baldwin was traded to the 49ers in a straight up trade with the Chiefs for second year wide receiver AJ Jenkins. Trash for trash? Maybe. Baldwin could slot right into the WR4 spot in the Niners offense, or he could get cut before the season. Let's see how he adjusts.
Preview: Before his rookie and second season, we looked at Baldwin and thought that maybe this is when it all comes together. Alas, we're still only imagining as the former first round pick has 41 receptions and two scores in 26 games. Baldwin has tremendous size (6-foot-4) and natural ability, but he hasn't been able to put that talent to use in the NFL. Having a high-percentage passer like Alex Smith should help with better throws, but that probably won't be enough. For those thinking this could be Baldwin's year, we should not that taking any NFL starting WR in the final round or two is fine and he might beat out Donnie Avery for the starting job opposite Dwayne Bowe. However, he shouldn't beat out more worthy fantasy options for a spot on your roster.
WR Marlon Moore, CLE - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Update (8-26): For those needing proof of San Francisco's uncertain WR2 slot, meet Moore. The former Dolphin started his third straight preseason game on Sunday, catching three passes for 32 yards. It is the number of starts that matters more than the grabs because at this point in the preseason, that type of lineup consistency grabs attention. So does the idea that he's a "lock" for the 53-man roster. The three-year veteran played 14 games for Miami last season, finishing with four catches. He now has four in the preseason. Don't go drafting Moore just yet, but considering the other uncertain options, it is conceivable he'll have value at some point this season.
WR Mario Manningham, --- - Not Draft Worthy
Still recovering from ACL and PCL surgery, Manningham is a long shot to make an impact this season. He's likely to begin the year on the PUP list; even if he doesn't, he'll still take time to get back to full speed. Manningham scored only one touchdown through 12 games with the 49ers last season and never recorded more than five catches or 72 yards in a contest.
Update 9/1: Mario Manningham has been released from the team.