We are hours away from kicking off the fourth week of the 2013 NFL season as the San Francisco 49ers try to get back on track against the St. Louis Rams. It’s also Week 4 of the fantasy football season, so here’s a look at players who should be in your lineups tonight.
Colin Kaepernick had an epic run last year that nearly ended in Super Bowl glory. He picked up where he left off in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, throwing for 412 yards and three touchdowns.
Then reality set in.
In the past two games he has totaled just 277 yards and thrown four interceptions without a touchdown. He is very capable of running the football, collecting 129 rushing yards through three games. Kaepernick had 325 yards passing in two games last year against St. Louis, but ran for 150 yards and a score.
He should get right against the Rams, who have allowed 288 yards per game and seven touchdowns through the air. Kaepernick should be in most fantasy lineups.
Sam Bradford has thrown for 282.7 yards and a pair of touchdowns per game. He has shown improvement, thanks in part to the arrival of Jared Cook and Tavon Austin. Timing is everything. Playing the 49ers after two brutal losses isn’t a good thing.
Bradford averaged 248 yards and a touchdown in two games against San Francisco last year. You can trot him out there in two-quarterback leagues, but he’s not a recommended play in standard leagues.
Frank Gore has 142 yards on the ground but has managed just 3.5 yards per carry. He showed signs of life against the Indianapolis Colts last week, though, piling up 7.5 yards per carry. He also augments his numbers by catching the ball out of the backfield.
Gore has averaged 18.7 yards per game through the air. The Rams have allowed 105 yards per game at 4.1 yards per carry. Frank Gore should be in your lineup.
Kendall Hunter isn’t a good option.
Daryl Richardson has just 98 rushing yards, but he’s made up for it with 78 receiving yards. He’s dealing with a foot injury and is facing a Niners team that is looking to stop the bleeding. This isn’t a good play.
Isaiah Pead has 82 total yards. He’s not a good option either.
Anquan Boldin is the only 49ers receiver worth considering. He has had one monster game, one dud and one average game. It’s really been a mixed bag, but he should produce against a Rams team that has struggled against the pass.
Chris Givens is a burner, but he’s hit or miss. He’s equally capable of making a big play to provide fantasy relevance or turning in a dud.
Tavon Austin has a pair of touchdowns, but he has just 128 total yards. Austin Pettis also has a pair of touchdowns, but he shouldn’t be on fantasy rosters.
None of the Rams receivers are strong plays.
Vernon Davis is a beast when healthy, and had 98 yards and a pair of scores in Week 1. He’s been dealing with a hamstring injury, but as long as he doesn’t suffer a setback, he should be in your fantasy lineup.
Jared Cook also had a big first week with 141 yards and two touchdowns. He has just 54 yards in the past two games. He’s a borderline fantasy play.
Phil Dawson has just three field goals and five extra points. The Rams have allowed three field goals and 11 extra points. He’ll return to form when the offense wakes up. That should be this week, but is he really worth the risk?
Greg Zuerlein has five field goals and five extra points. He has the leg to make long kicks, which adds to his value. The Niners have allowed four field goals and 10 extra points. Greg the Leg is a solid fantasy play.
San Francisco has been a shell of its former self. The Niners should return to form as early as this week’s game. They aren’t exactly a risky play, but they are no longer a must start. If you don’t have a solid alternative, they should be solid.
The Rams aren’t a powerhouse on defense. I’m expecting San Francisco to be much better offensively. I’d avoid the Rams defense this week.
Also check out Lester's Legends Week 4 Fantasy Football Rankings.