The PYRO Fantasy Football Depth Chart is a rundown of where Team PYRO projects the fantasy production for each team at each position. It is NOT an attempt to inform you of the current starters for each team. For example, we are well aware that Brandon Manumaleuna is currently the starting TE for the Chicago Bears, but if you look at the Bears Team Page, we have Greg Olsen listed at TE. Why? We’re projecting that Greg Olsen will be the most Fantasy Football relevant TE for the Bears this season. Since Olsen will be the Bears leading FF point scorer at TE, it’s his name at the top of the TE column on our PYRO Fantasy Depth Chart.
In an interview with Sports Illustrated's Michael Rosenberg, the 49ers' coach addresses rumors of his contract extension, whether Harbaugh desires more power in the organization and his supposed deteriorating relationship with general manager Trent Baalke.
Harbaugh says there is "zero opportunity" of him leaving San Francisco before his contract expires in 2016.
"There was never any opportunity to leave the San Francisco 49ers," Harbaugh told SI.com in a story published Monday night. "If that existed, it existed in somebody else's mind, not mine. I am too fond of my team, the players, the coaches. I really feel like we have one of the best, if not the best organizations in football."
The 49ers' enigmatic coach even went on to deny that he wants more cash in his next deal, admitting that he makes "plenty of money."
"I see all these reports about how I want to be the highest-paid coach in football," Harbaugh continued. "They presume I covet some kind of extension. I have never said to anybody that I want to be the highest-paid coach in football. I have never said that to anybody -- my wife, my brother, my dad. I make plenty of money.
"The other one is that I want more power. I have never said that, nor do I want any more power than I have. I coach the team. I've told my owner I don't want any more power. I want to coach the team. And I've never told anybody else otherwise."
Pyro's take: Jimmy has had a lot of controversies flying around him lately, and he has finally stepped out to squash them. There seems to be a lot of drama coming out of San Francisco these days, and it imprortant for Harbaugh to put an end to these rumors as quick as possible.
The 49ers are in good shape to make another run in 2014, as they have resigned Anquan Boldin, and will have their entire offense healthy for 2014 including Marcus Lattimore. Harbaugh knows that he needs to cut down on the distractions and put the focus back on his team.
Marcus Lattimore feels close to 100 percent and is counting down the days until he can run free and easy for the San Francisco 49ers.
The former South Carolina tailback is back in his home state speaking to church groups and running youth clinics and camps. And through it all, he's got April 21st circled in red when the 49ers open workouts and Lattimore has the green light to run as he did in 2012 before the second of two devastating knee injuries during college.
Pyro's take: I, and the rest of us here at Pyro are so excited to see this kid take the field in 2014. We will get our first look at him on April 21st, and from all reports he should not disappoint when he gets his chance.
Frank Gore is at the point in his career where he will begin to slow down, and the 49ers are hopeful that his heir apparent is Lattimore. The South Carolina product has all the ability in the world, and should be a major part of the running attack for San Francisco in 2014.
Anquan Boldin is getting closer to re-upping with the San Francisco 49ers. He has been in constant negotiations with the 49ers brass since the off-season started. He had a revitalization to his career in San Fran as he posted 85 receptions for 1179 yards and seven touchdowns, just below his best marks of 89-1038-11 while playing for the Cardinals in 2008.
Pyro's take: Boldin's numbers were solid throughout the season, and he is putting up numbers like a youngster. The 49ers offense is not going to falter and with Crabtree finally healthy, there is no reason for Boldin not to put up similar numbers like last year.
Boldin is now entering his 13th season, but he wont be relied on for speed, instead he will be a 49er possession receiver, and the dude has hands like silk.
There is very little doubt the 49ers are going to want to see Anquan putting up numbers in some other jersey.
According to 49ers.com Marcus Lattimore is hitting the offseason ready to go. The fourth round pick from last year's draft was basically a medical redshirt this year due to two consecutive seasons of knee injuries. Even though he was never activated last season he did practice in the last few weeks of the regular season. The 49ers will be excited to see this fourth round product with first round talent shine in the upcoming year.
Pyro's take: There is no doubt that Lattimore would have been a first round choice if it was not for his injuries, but with the 49ers having one of the best talent pools at running back there was no doubt he was the right selection for San Francisco. He still has an aging Frank Gore ahead of him, but there will be no doubt he will get his chance to wreck havoc on opposing defenses
Every week the younger Harbaugh coach goes ballistic on the sidelines and looks like he's a little brat when the Niners don't get a call their way. The worrying part is that his demeanor is getting worse, not better.
Pyro's take: I've been a Niners fan my whole life and while I know Jim is an amazing coach, he's not setting a good example for his players. He's been coaching for three years in the NFL and is going to his 3rd conference championship game in as many, that's something that has never been done before by any other coach. He's good at what he does, one of the best coaching in the NFL good.
But, as the figurehead for a storied franchise in an amazing city he's gotta take it down a notch and understand that he's the faceplate for this whole thing. I even grimace at how he composes himself on the sidelines during games... so animated and bratty, I can't imagine people that aren't rooting for the 49ers feeling any love for the guy and this team.
Bottle up the emotions coach, cause as you say... nobody's get it better than you.
In two playoff games, Colin Kaepernick has taken 49ers fans breath away … and not always in a good way.
In wins over Green Bay and Carolina, Kaepernick has thrown near-pick-sixes, but the ill-advised throws were dropped by Green Bay cornerback Micah Hyde and Carolina safety Quintin Mikell.
Kaepernick, obviously, has recently benefited from some good fortune, but he’s also been very good when it comes to avoiding turnovers in his 28-start career: Including playoff games, Kaepernick has thrown 14 interceptions in 777 attempts, one pick per every 55.5 passes (Perspective: His Highness, Joe Montana, averaged an interception every 38.3 attempts).
Kaepernick, though, has been far less successful in Seattle, where he’s thrown four interceptions in 64 attempts in two career starts. In a 29-3 loss against the Seahawks in Week 2, he threw three interceptions and had a career-worst 20.1 rating.
Now, four months later, he will arrive for the NFC Championship Game on Sunday with one interception in his past 146 attempts, while the 49ers have committed one turnover in their past 21 quarters.
Pyro's take: Kaepernick will be the quarterback with the most weapons in this game, and he has also been let loose in the running game this postseason. The issue is the same for all the 49ers; how do we overcome our recent failures in Seattle?
The answer lies with Kap. He needs to be to the one to take care of the ball in this game, as well as keep the Seahawks defense off-balance. That is easier said than done.
This is the ultimate bragging rights game, and the Seahawks own a dominating home field advantage, while the 49ers bring more playoff experience. Experience is what led San Francisco over Carolina last week, but they have also experience a lot of defeat in Seattle.
Since 2009, Gore has played in nine games for the 49ers against the Seahawks.
In five San Francisco wins, he has rushed for 590 yards on 94 carries, with a high of 207 and a low of 59.
In four 49ers losses, he has rushed for a combined 107 yards on 41 carries, and never more than 38 (he missed a game against Seattle in 2010 due to injury).
“They’re going to get Frank Gore the ball,’’ Seattle defensive end Cliff Avril said Monday, then repeated that “they’re going to get Frank Gore the ball, then maybe take a shot or something like that. But it all starts with Frank Gore.”
Harbaugh is 4-2 against the Seahawks, and in those four wins Gore has rushed for 383 yards on 78 carries. In the two losses, each in Seattle, he has 44 yards on 15 carries.
Pyro's take: The Seahawks defense is going to key in on Gore, just like they have in their last two meetings in Seattle. Last season Gore ran for 28 yards on six carries, and only 16 yards on nine carries this season.
The success Gore has had against Seattle has come at home. The crowd is going to be making a lot of noise, and it will be incumbent on the running game to take them out of the game. This could be a tough day for the Tank.
Colin Kaepernick has 362 rushing yards in 4 NFL playoff games during his short career, ranking him fifth all-time. Steve Young has the most postseason rushing yards by a QB in NFL history, ending his career with 594 rushing yards in the playoffs, which took him 20 games.
Pyro's take: If the 49ers go to the Super Bowl this year, the bicep kisser will possibly end up at the #1 spot, but he'll for sure beat out John Elway (Elway #2 - 461, Roger Staubach #3 - 432, Donovan McNabb #4 - 362) for the #2 spot, this year! That's incredible. It took Elway 22 games to get 461 yards, Kaep could feasibly do it by his fifth game, all he needs is 99 yards on Sunday.
I pushed hard for Colin in my preseason TIER RANKINGS... I thought he was gonna run, and I didn't think he'd miss Crabtree as much as he has. But really it just looks like the 49ers know they are a Super Bowl caliber team and have told Colin not to risk it by running in the regular season, for fear of their franchise QB getting hurt.
Now I know... Colin isn't gonna run around like a Gazelle in the regular season, if goes down the season is lost for the team. Meaning bump him down on your boards next year even if he wins a ring this year and rushes for 300 more yards. During your fantasy season, it ain't happening.
It wasn’t a catch, but a complaint that let Jim Harbaugh know wide receiver Michael Crabtree was feeling comfortable in his 2013 debut on Dec. 1 against St. Louis.
On the sideline, Harbaugh heard a player squawk: “What do I have to do to get the ball?”
His reaction: “Alright, Crab’s back.”
Anquan Boldin is averaging 7.5 catches and 95.5 yards the past two games. In his seven games before Crabtree’s return, Boldin averaged 4 catches and 50.3 yards.
On Sunday, Boldin, who caught six of the eight passes thrown his way for 93 yards, said he benefited from coverages that differed from those Seattle employed in a Week 2 win. Boldin had one catch in that game – a 29-3 yard loss in Seattle.
Said Harbaugh of Crabtree’s impact: “That’s another high-level guy that’s got to be accounted for.”
Pyro's take: Boldin has finally reemerged since his breakout game against the Packers to open the season. Two weeks ago, against the Rams, Boldin had more than 10 targets (14) for the first time since that week 1 game. Over the past two weeks he has 22 targets.
This week the 49ers will square off against the Buccaneers, and that means Darrelle Revis. The good news for Boldin is that Revis should spend most of his day following Crabtree, which means Boldin is the receiver that has the chance to do real damage Sunday.
Sherman, of course, is a compelling figure in the 49ers-Seahawks series given his not-so-cuddly relationship with Jim Harbaugh, his former coach at Stanford, and the fun he’s had at the 49ers’ expense in the teams’ last two meetings.
In the Seahawks’ 42-13 win in December, Sherman had an interception, returned a blocked field goal for a 90-yard touchdown and limited Michael Crabtree (4 catches, 65 yards). In Seattle’s 29-3 win in September, Sherman made Anquan Boldin invisible (1 catch, 7 yard), celebrated an interception by boogying on the sideline with the SeaGals and patted Harbaugh on the rear after the game.
Pyro's take: When Crabtree is on the field it is likely that he will see a large dose of Richard Sherman. That is bad news from a fantasy perspective. It is also bad news for the receivers as a group.
The Seahawks are dominating defense, as if you didn't already know that, and are third best against receivers allowing only 14.4 points per game to all receivers. While Kaepernick has been playing better, this is just the type of match-up that can set you back. Crabtree can pay dividends, just not this week.
Gore looking to get back on track against Washington
On Sunday, against a Saints team that was ranked 23rd in the league against the run and was allowing a league high average of five yards a run, Frank Gore carried 13 times for 48 yards (a 3.7 average).
The Saints defense is vastly improved this year, but Gore said: “It was more us making mistakes. I give them credit, but we made a lot of mistakes.”
Gore was stifled, save for on 24-yard run. But, as they did a week ago, the 49ers seemed to want to win or lose the game on Colin Kaepernick’s arm. Gore carried the ball just six times in the second half, gaining just 15 yards.
Pyro's take: Gore has been held under 100 yards rushing and without a touchdown over the past 2 weeks. The 49ers have not featured a dominant offense this season, but Gore has been one of the stronger performers.
The Tank has a good chance to have his third 100-yard game of the season, as the Redskins are allowing running backs to score over 22 points against per game. Frank should be able to rush for a touchdown this week as Matt Forte rushed for 3 touchdowns against Washington in week 7.
Without Davis this season, Kaepernick has completed 22 of 49 passes for 229 yards with three interceptions (33.5 rating). With Davis, Kaepernick has completed 102 of 171 passes for 1,446 yards with nine touchdowns (seven to Davis) and three interceptions (97.3 rating).
See the difference? Kaepernick does.
“Vernon changes defenses,” Kaepernick said. “He makes them adjust differently. He makes them do things that they don’t normally do. He’s a big loss."
The 49ers have had 18 full drives without Davis this season. The results: 11 punts, 3 interceptions, 2 fumbles, downs, touchdown.
At this point, it’s not known if Davis will be available for Sunday’s game at New Orleans after he sustained his second concussion since Dec. 23.
Pyro's take: Davis suffered a concussion last week, and the 49ers offense went into a coma. Vernon has been the only consistent threat for fantasy points in the passing game for the 49ers. Kaepernick has been absolutely horrible, and without Davis he has been putrid.
Davis is going to need to play if the 49ers have any chance of keeping up with the Saints. If Davis does play, he will be heavily targeted in this game.
Michael Crabtree is practicing with his team... just getting acclimated, nothing that will happen to quickly... but a top 10 wideout is available in most leagues and will play this season.
Pyro's take: If you have a bench spot and a team that will be in the fantasy post season, this is a guy that could help you down the stretch... if you are looking for #FF points right now, Crabby isn't your guy.
Wide receiver Mario Manningham is back for the 49ers, and could make an immediate impact.
That’s the hope anyway. Coach Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers are still looking for a reliable No. 2 receiver to complement Anquan Boldin — and San Francisco has the league’s lowest-ranked passing offense.
Manningham was activated Monday from the physically unable to perform list to the 53-man roster and will be available for Sunday’s home game against the Carolina Panthers.
Pyro's take: This is what the 49ers, and more importantly Colin Kaepernick has been looking for. Manningham has a nose for the redzone, and working the sideline. Back with the Giants in 2010 he had 60 catches for 944 yards, and an impressive 10 touchdowns. Mario will immediately take pressure off of Boldin and Davis, and should find himself in single coverage in his return. Manningham is a sneaky sleeper this week.
After seven games, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has 961 yards, eight touchdowns, two interceptions and a 111.6 passer rating when targeting Boldin and Davis. When targeting other pass-catchers, Kaepernick has 459 yards, no touchdowns, three interceptions and a 54.5 rating.
Manningham began practicing last week after he tore two knee ligaments on Dec. 23. He is not expected to be moved to the 53-man roster for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars, but is likely to return after next week’s bye and could make his 2013 debut on Nov. 10 when the 49ers host the Panthers.
During the 49ers’ practice on Wednesday, Manningham scored a touchdown while running with the first-string offense.
Manningham, 6-0 and 185 pounds, is known for his speed and quickness. But inside linebacker Patrick Willis noted he’d logged some extra time in the weight room as part of his recovery.
“When he had the injury, he was able to rehab and put on some muscle mass,” Willis said. “I still tell him he’s got a ways to go. In his mind, he feels big.”
Pyro's take: Manningham's return will be a huge benefit to Kaepernick. When he does return, he will immediately take over the 2nd receiver role, and could be a real nice pickup if you grab him now.
The 49ers are on a bye after this week, so grab him now before others start paying attention.
Titans coach Mike Munchak would like Colin Kaepernick to keep doing exactly what he’s not doing: running.
In five of the 49ers’ six games this season, Kaepernick has rushed for fewer than 23 yards. In his last four games, he’s averaged 15.8 yards, and he’s had 172 yards this season. That’s nine fewer than he had in last season’s division-playoff win against the Packers, which helped inspire an avalanche of how-will-defenses-stop-the-read-option stories in the offseason.
Munchak’s message in advance of the 49ers’ visit on Sunday: Keep it up, Colin.
“I hope he continues not to run against us,” he said on a conference call this morning with the Bay Area media.
That sounded like a one-liner, but Munchak went on to hail San Francisco’s approach with their franchise quarterback.
“I don’t think he should run,” he said. “You don’t want a quarterback running so much. You’re not going to hold up. I don’t care who you are. And so I think it’s smart. The less he runs probably the better … I think when you have Frank Gore you want him running the ball as much as possible”
Pyro's take: I find it hilarious that Munchak would say this, and I am also very happy he did. Munchak is using the old scare sell tactic to keep Kaepernick from running against him, but, as often happens with this sales approach, it is going to backfire on him.
I have been screaming at my television all season, while watching 49er games, for Colin to RUN!!! He will be a much more successful quarterback by keeping defenses off guard and opening more opportunities for his receivers to get open. Munchak is trying to get a win and is hoping that warning of injury will stop him from running, but here’s to hoping that backfires and we see the running gunning Kap this weekend.
Coach Jim Harbaugh expects top 2012 wide receiver Michael Crabtree to return to game action in mid- to late November after recovering in quick fashion from a torn right Achilles tendon that required surgery.
"It's been very good. It's more November, middle to late November is kind of what we're hoping for," Harbaugh said. "He seems to be on track for that. That's what we're hopeful for, being able to play."
Crabtree recently resumed running as a significant step in his progress.
"I catch it now and then, sometimes even when we're practicing he's doing his rehab work, pretty much talk to him every day and things seem to be going well," Harbaugh said. "He's been very positive and very upbeat and feels like things are progressing well."
Pyro's take: Well, if Crabtree is able to get back by then it would be a major increase to the wide receiver talent of the 49ers. It would also be a major boost for Colin Kaepernick, who has struggled with no other weapons besides Boldin and Davis.
This return would also get Crabtree back before the fantasy playoffs. So...If you have a spot that can hold on your roster and did not grab Percy Harvin, then don't miss out on Crabtree. This is the type of waiver wire add that could win you fantasy playoff games and a championship.
TE Vernon Davis (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday. He is expected to play against Houston.
Pyro's take: Davis should be on the field for the 49ers this weekend, which is great news for Colin Kaepernick, but he won't be 100%. Davis showed that he can still be a factor in the redzone while injured with a touchdown last week, but that was about all he gave fantasy owners. If you own him you are going to start him, so let's just hope he is back to form this week.
Vernon Davis a gametime decision, but likely to play
Vernon Davis has returned to practice and all signs point to him playing, after sitting out last week. Davis will be the biggest loss for San Francisco if unable to play, as the offense needs as many playmakers as possible on the field, and Davis is the only receiver with any chemistry with Colin Kaepernick.
Pyro's take: This is big news for Vernon as well as Colin Kaepernick. The Kap has been a disappointment the past 2 weeks, and is in desperate to get Davis and his firepower back in the offense. If Davis plays he should see a healthy amount of targets, and Kaepernick will have a great chance to deliver for fantasy owners.
Vernon Davis a gametime decision for Thursday Night
49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who missed Sunday's loss to the Colts with a hamstring injury, probably will be a game-time decision Thursday in St. Louis, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. Davis was limited in Monday's practice.
Pyro's take: This is a tough break for Davis owners as the 49ers are on the short week turnaround. Davis is absolutely essential to the success of the 49ers and Colin Kaepernick this season and they need him back on the field. That being said I hope he does not rush back and reaggrevate the injury. If it ends up he does not play in week 4 he is 95% assured to play the following week.