Anquan Boldin Proves He Is a Must-Start in Fantasy Football All Season

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 8, 2013

Sep 8, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) warms up before the start of the game against the Green Bay Packers at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

It only took one game for Anquan Boldin to prove that he was being overlooked as a fantasy receiver.

The veteran was traded to the San Francisco 49ers during the offseason, but many believed he was simply an aging player who was set to continue his decline. He had not topped 1,000 receiving yards in the past three seasons and only managed to score seven touchdowns in the past two years combined.

As a result, he was only the 28th receiver taken in average drafts, according to ESPN. In most leagues, this does not even crack the starting lineup.

However, he came through in a big way against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. After only one drive into the second half, he had 10 catches for 143 yards and one touchdown. He finished the game with an incredible 13 receptions for 208 yards. 

This was by far a better showing than he had in any single game last season. This of course begs the question that fantasy owners should ask themselves after a big week: Was this a fluke?

While it makes sense to be hesitant that a 32-year-old receiver is going to have a big year after doing nothing for so long, the truth is that this will simply be a sign of things to come throughout the season.

After missing most of the preseason, Boldin looked like the player of old with his agility as well as great hands and body control on jump balls. Whenever Colin Kaepernick threw the ball in the receiver's area, he was able to bring down a catch.

However, it is not just skill that will make the former Baltimore Ravens player a great fantasy option. He is also in a great situation with the 49ers.

San Francisco's projected No. 1 receiver entering the year, Michael Crabtree, is out until at least mid-October after tearing his Achilles. In all likelihood, he will be out for much longer.

Until that time, Boldin will be the top receiver, as shown in the first game when he was targeted more than anyone else, including tight end Vernon Davis.

Just as importantly, the 49ers showed a lot of confidence in letting Kaepernick throw the ball in the first game after finishing 31st in the league in passing attempts in 2012. This has the potential to be one of the top offenses in the NFL, and Boldin can end up being a big part of it.

Although it is hard to imagine the receiver getting this type of performance every week, he should be among the top 10 or 15 players in fantasy football at his position. This means that he should be kept in the lineup no matter who the team is facing.

Additionally, do not be afraid to offer a trade for someone who has less confidence in him going forward. It will only be his or her loss over the course of the season.

Boldin has proven himself in the past. He clearly will be one of the top fantasy wide receivers in football this year.


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