Although Boldin is no secret weapon—he’s an 11-year veteran with a Super Bowl ring—he’s re-emerged as a stud fantasy player for the first time since his days with the Arizona Cardinals.
Boldin was generally being drafted between the sixth and ninth rounds in most formats as ESPN's numbers indicate, and fantasy owners that snagged him are now jumping for joy, as they have unearthed a wide receiver that is worth starting every week.
Or is he?
Boldin definitely exceeded expectations in Week 1—and that’s an understatement—against a subpar Packers secondary. But the real question is whether he can continue that type of production or if it will drastically fall off in the coming weeks.
Some may think that Boldin is an ideal sell-high candidate this week, prior to a brutal matchup with the NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks next Sunday night.
Perhaps his four touchdowns all of last year and failure to top 1,000 yards during his three Baltimore Ravens seasons has skeptics doubting that Boldin could shoulder the load as a truly elite wideout.
However, think again. The No. 1 receiver is in an offense that should pass more frequently and efficiently this season—if Week 1 is any indication. The 49ers had 404 net passing yards to just 90 net rushing yards against Green Bay.
Young quarterback Colin Kaepernick has a clear rapport with the 32-year-old receiver and will continue to look for him when he drops back.
While Kaepernick is sometimes thought of as a run-first signal-caller, his 39 passes—compared to seven rushes—in Week 1 should help to dispel that notion.
Boldin’s 17 targets were by far the most of any player on the team, with stud tight end Vernon Davis getting the second most with just nine. The other receivers in San Francisco are hardly worth mentioning, and none will jeopardize Boldin’s dominance until Michael Crabtree returns from a torn Achilles.
Regardless, even if Crabtree is 100 percent healthy at some point in the 2013 campaign, there is no denying that Boldin has proved his worth and value within the 49ers’ passing attack.
The tough, sure-handed receiver is an absolute must-start on a week-to-week basis in PPR leagues and those that start three wideouts. In two-wideout formats that aren’t rewarding receptions, play the matchups and hope that Boldin can go off again.
Week 2 against Seattle will be a tough challenge, but it's one Boldin should be up to. He won’t be out-muscled and bullied by the strong Seahawks defensive backs, but he likely won’t carve them up for 10-plus catches and 200 yards.
Expect a more human but still solid performance that warrants a start in a majority of leagues.
Do not trade Boldin away for anything less than a star player, as that is what the veteran receiver is going to be for the 49ers and fantasy owners everywhere.