- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
THE NINERS rely on their running backs and all-world tight end Vernon Davis as their red zone scoring options (along with record-setting kicker David Akers), so Crabtree is a long shot to ever be a real red zone force. And the addition of Mario Manningham, Randy Moss and rookie A.J. Jenkins will seriously cut into his catches and yards.
11 Steven JACKSON
WHAT FANTASY owners really need from a running back is a nose for the end zone, which Jackson lacks (his five rushing touchdowns in 2011 tied for 23rd among backs). Add to that the offense's lack of playmakers to divert defenses' attention and the addition of second-round draft pick Isaiah Pead—and Jackson no longer merits high-round consideration.
12 Antonio GATES
GATES HAS been slowed by a foot injury each of the last two seasons, and newly signed wideouts Robert Meachem and Eddie Royal won't open up the middle of the field for him the way that Vincent Jackson did. For all of Gates's accomplishments, there are much better fantasy options among the league's bevy of fast, young and talented tight ends.
13 Josh FREEMAN
FREEMAN REGRESSED badly in 2011, throwing 22 interceptions (the second most in the league) versus just 16 touchdowns. This year he'll have to learn a new system installed by new coach Greg Schiano and coordinator Mike Sullivan and is more likely to spend time handing the ball off (to rookie back Doug Martin) than throwing it.