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49ers WR Michael Crabtree has been watching from the sidelines due to injury. Can he have a fantasy impact in 2009?


49ers burning fantasy question: Can Michael Crabtree make an immediate impact in fantasy football?

No.

Don't even be tempted. Let somebody else in your draft waste a pick on somebody who has no chance of being productive fantasy player this season. You'd be better off drafting Dwight Clark in your fantasy league because he'd likely have just as much fantasy impact as Crabtree.

49ers' top 5 fantasy players
1. Frank Gore
2. Michael Crabtree
3. Isaac Bruce
4. Shaun Hill
5. Vernon Davis
Sleeper: Josh Morgan
- Michael Fabiano

This isn't to say Crabtree can't be a productive pro and fantasy stud ... in the future. Crabtree just isn't going to have a statistical impact in 2009.

There's history going against him, but you can't always use history as a guide. Denver's Eddie Royal had 91 receptions for 980 yards and five touchdowns as a rookie, showing that history can't always predict success. But Crabtree has much bigger problems.

Crabtree had a stress fracture in his left foot and had surgery to insert a screw in March, which caused him to miss the 49ers' offseason workouts. Rookies have a hard enough time adjusting to the NFL, and watching practice from the sidelines certainly won't ease that adjustment.

Crabtree's absence in workouts gave guys like Josh Morgan, Jason Hill and Dominique Zeigler a chance to distance themselves from Crabtree.

And there are a couple of other things to consider. Coach Mike Singletary fired offensive coordinator Mike Martz to go with a run-based offense. Oh, and the 49ers' quarterback situation is so dire that Michael Vick's name is often mentioned in connection with the team.

Crabtree's best chance to have a fantasy impact is to be a decoy and draw attention away from Isaac Bruce and Morgan. Other than that, you will only be disappointed if you waste a pick on him.

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