Fantasy Football: Why You Should Ride Michael Crabtree's Hot Streak

Jamal Collier@@JCollierDAnalyst IIIJanuary 19, 2013

Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree have become a prolific combination.
Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree have become a prolific combination.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Michael Crabtree has scored a pair of touchdowns for the San Francisco 49ers in three of his last four games, including the playoffs. He should be a strong fantasy football option in the NFC Conference Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons, and—should San Francisco advance—in the Super Bowl, as well.

Crabtree averaged eight catches for 132.7 yards and two touchdowns over the 49ers’ last three wins. He’ll be on the road this weekend in Atlanta; he performed quite well on the road in San Francisco’s last road victory. Against the New England Patriots in Week 15, Crabtree hauled in seven catches for 107 yards and two scores.

His last appearance away from home was an intra-division matchup with a playoff-bound opponent, the Seattle Seahawks: On nine targets, Crabtree brought in four passes for 65 yards and no end-zone trips. He didn’t score against the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome either (Week 13): seven receptions for 101 yards on 11 targets.

The 49ers lost that game, too—but those are the only two matchups that San Francisco has dropped since discovering the Crabtree-Colin Kaepernick connection. Since Kaepernick ascended to the starting quarterback job in Week 11 against the Chicago Bears, Crabtree has averaged 6.3 receptions for 89.3 yards on 9.6 targets (64.9 percent completion) with seven total touchdowns.

Atlanta was quite stingy to opposing fantasy wide receivers in 2012, but as the regular season wound down and the playoffs picked up, the Falcons have allowed nice performances to their opposition’s wideouts. Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions went for 225 yards on 11 catches in Week 16.

He’s Megatron, though. Megatron does that sort of thing.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Williams caught six of his 10 targets in Week 17, taking them for 65 yards and a score. In the divisional round, Seahawks receiver Golden Tate caught six balls for 103 yards and a TD.

With double-digit targets in five of his last six games—and nine in the other—Crabtree has a good chance to produce a solid fantasy stat line. For rosters that lock after the start of the conference championship round, rolling with a 49ers skill position player through the Super Bowl isn’t an outlandish proposition.

If San Francisco gets there, they’ll be facing either the Patriots or Baltimore Ravens, who have combined to allow 12 touchdowns to wide receivers since Week 14 (11 games). Crabtree has become the safest bet of all 49ers pass-catchers to find the end zone.


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