“Me, Myself, and IDP”: 2013 San Francisco 49ers

Last week, in my first post, I explained how my love(okay, obsession) for fantasy football has corrupted the “fan” in me; giving you a little insight into the man behind the keyboard.

Well, so as to keep with the theme of this column; one in which you get…you guessed it…a little bit of me, myself, and if I have time some IDP, I plan to hopefully impart some knowledge while sharing a sentiment I have relating to the team or city/region they play in.

This week the tour of team IDP series moves down the coast to the “City By The Bay”. When I think of San Francisco, the first thing that always comes to mind is none other than the greatest Heavy Metal band of all time. Naturally I’m referring to “The Boys in Black”, “The Four Horseman”, the one and only…Metallica!

Now, I’m fully aware the band did not originate in San Francisco but the band has such a rich history with the city, and, after locating there per the request of former bassist Cliff Burton(R.I.P.), San Francisco is widely regarded as the band’s home town.

photo courtesy of me

photo courtesy of me

For me, my relationship with band extends back to my sophomore year in high school where I got my first “real” taste of the power, speed, and energy that was Metallica. I can still hear “For Whom The Bell Tolls” emanating from my car stereo for the first time as my heart was carried away and the band had instantly gained another fan for life. The song itself remains my favorite of the band’s, and anytime I hear it I’m immediately transported back to my 93′ Grand Cherokee; the infamous intro of the bell toll, the pounding of Lars’s drums, that ominous and even eery guitar work, and James Hetfield bellowing out those haunting lyrics still give me goosebumps to this very day….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzeBIABXXSg

We now transition from the frantic pace and hard-hitting world of Thrash Metal to a much different kind of hard-hitting…

San Francisco 49ers (Base: 3-4)

The San Francisco 49ers, like their rivals last week, boast one of the league’s best defenses, and several members of that defense are worthy of IDP consideration.

Defensive Lineman

Justin Smith: As a defensive end in a 3-4, Smith’s duties are different than that of your typical defensive lineman that are coveted in IDP leagues. With most of the QB pressure and therefore more sacks coming from the linebacker core, Smith’s job is to be strong at the point of attack and to take up space; thus allowing the blitzing linebackers more room to apply pressure. A 3-4 end must also be stout against the run, which describes Smith to a tee. He will provide good tackle numbers(as far as DE’s go) while chipping in anywhere from 5-7 sacks; good enough for a low-end DE2

Linebackers

photo courtesy of csnbayarea.com

photo courtesy of csnbayarea.com

Patrick Willis: While Willis may no longer be a top 5 option at the position, he’s still one of the finest inside linebackers(and quite frankly, overall players) in all of football. As a solid run defender and THE best ILB against the pass, Willis rarely comes off the field. In addition to high tackle numbers, he will also contribute nicely in the secondary stats(sacks, fumbles, INT’s). He doesn’t have the upside of some of his counterparts, but he’s still easily an LB1.

NaVorro Bowman: You can blame Willis’s exclusion from the top 5 of LB’s on the arrival of Bowman. With Bowman in the fold, the 9er’s have yet another instinctual linebacker flying all over the field. Since becoming a starter back in 2011, he’s averaged 112.5 solo tackles to go along with 23.5 assists per year. And, like Willis, he too is very good in all phases of the game and will play most defensive snaps. He should be one of the first 2-3 defensive players taken in drafts, and in many cases could be the first.

Aldon Smith: Smith is the type of player that I always refer to as a “Game Changer”. There will games like week 11 last year against Chicago where he lights it up, gets 6 sacks, and wins you a matchup, hence garnering the moniker: Game Changer. But unfortunately, in most leagues, unless he’s getting to the QB, his value won’t ever be that high due to the nature of the defense and his role in it. As a pass rush specialist he won’t receive many tackle opportunities, but he’s a terrific matchup play when facing a weak opposing offensive line. He’s the ultimate high risk/high reward player and in most leagues should be a low-end LB2.

Defensive Backs

Due to the talented linebacking core that San Francisco boasts–specifically Willis and Bowman–there simply aren’t a lot of tackles to go around. As such, unless your league rewards more for secondary stats, the value of any 9’er defensive back won’t be that high. Additionally, secondary stats are very hard, if not impossible to predict. These two things combined make any of these players ones that you probably shouldn’t be counting on for any significant playing time.

Carlos Rogers: Cornerbacks especially aren’t known for racking up the tackles, so in order to be fantasy relevant they need to be getting their hands on the football one way or another. Rodgers is decent enough in run support that he should help somewhat in the tackle department and will likely chip in a few INT’s. He’s a decent CB3.

Tarell Brown: Brown will post similar tackle numbers to Rogers, but is significantly better in pass coverage. He will have more passes defended and likely a few more interceptions, but at best is still a CB3.

Eric Reed: As a rookie, Reed will no doubt have his struggles, especially in coverage, but the heavy hitter should provide solid run support as long as he wins the starting job out of camp. He’s one to keep an eye on especially in keeper/dynasty leagues, and has DB2 upside.

Donte Whitner: Whitner doesn’t grade out that well against the run or the pass, but he can wrap up and has proven to be a steady source of tackles over his career. He got a combined total of 84 tackles last year(his 2nd with the team) to go along with 2 forced fumbles and 1 INT. Similar numbers should be expected going into 2013.

 

P.S. Our FakePigskin 2013 Draft Guide will be released on August 1st in PDF form for FREE! Simply go to our home page and sign up to receive it and our newsletter in the upper right corner right under our banner.

 

 

 

 

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