Last season, Anquan Boldin may have been one of the biggest steals in all of fantasy football.
In a year that saw him play the role as the number one wide receiver for 11 of 16 games, Boldin caught 85 passes for 1,179 yards and 7 touchdowns. His impact on the field was enormous, especially in the playoffs where he caught 16 of the 27 passes targeted for him, good enough for 227 yards a touchdown.
His toughness in the Divisional Round against Carolina gave the 49er offense an added edge that they probably hadn’t had since the days of Terrell Owens.
Michael Crabtree missed the first 11 games of the season after suffering a torn Achilles, and his loss was felt by the 49ers, who were 7-4 without him, and 5-0 with him in the lineup.
Back in the lineup in Week 12, Crabtree finished the season by setting career highs in YAC (yards after catch) and average yards per reception. His return the last five weeks and into the playoffs, allowed Boldin to put up big numbers as the 49ers finished 7-1 with Crabtree back in the lineup, their only loss was in the NFC Title game.
A healthy Crabtree, in a contract year, could be an MVP Crabtree.
With Boldin on one side, Crabtree on the other, and former Buffalo Bill Stevie Johnson, who put up three straight 1,000 yard seasons (2010-2012) in the slot, the 49er wide receivers could become a poor man’s Denver Broncos.
They might not put up the huge fantasy numbers that last year’s Broncos did, but in the middle of the draft, they are worth taking a look at.
Starting in the 5th round and on for Crabtree, the 8th round and on for Boldin, and the late teen’s for Stevie Johnson, the 49er trio could be quality pickups in regular 10-team league drafts, or perfect “moneyball” picks in auction drafts.
Expect big things from a healthy 49er receiving core in 2014.