The San Francisco 49ers, coming off a crushing 10-9 loss to the Carolina Panthers a week ago, travel to Louisiana for a 4:25 p.m. ET game against a New Orleans Saints team that set a season-high in points (and almost everything else on offense) last week. There are all sorts of fantasy implications in the game:
Start if you're desperate: Colin Kaepernick, Defense/special teams
Since a rough start to the season, Gore has scored six touchdowns in his last six games, with double-digit fantasy points in each. The Saints are tough against wide receivers, but running backs tend to have more success. Dawson hasn't missed since Week 4, and has three double-digit games in his last five.
It has been an awful season for Kaepernick overall. He has only topped 200 passing yards once since Week 1, and he has had four different fantasy games in the single-digits. A Saints team that has been strong against quarterbacks is another factor against Kaepernick; only his rushing yards keep him valuable right now. The 49ers' defense is sixth in the NFL in points, but the Saints give up the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing defenses. If you feel like you have a read on how the game will go in that department, have fun.
Boldin's 49ers debut was one of the best games for a wide receiver all season. He hasn't topped 90 yards sinceand has only two scores on the whole season. He has fewer than 30 yards in three of his last five. He's close to droppable, and he definitely isn't startable. Manningham was the 49ers' leading receiver last week, which was nice, but that was still only 30 yards, which was less nice. He might be a sleeper pick down the stretch, but not yet. Davis looks unlikely to play. If he does, he's unlikely to be very valuable.
Brees is obvious, but thanks for your click anyway. Same with Graham. The Saints' defense is 11th in the league, and the 49ers' offense is not the best. It's a fun combo.
Thomas hasn't scored between 10 and 20 points all season. He has two games of 20 or more, but everything else has been below 10. Sproles, meanwhile, followed up consecutive scoreless fantasy games with an 18-point outing Sunday. Both are fine candidates -- particularly in PPR -- but neither is anything like a sure thing. Hartley has had a good season overall by sheer quantity alone, but has missed four field goals in the last three weeks.
The Saints have three fine wide receivers for fantasy in Colston, Moore and Stills. If you could combine them into one fantasy spot and use the highest scorer each week, it would be one heck of a roster spot. But if you're guessing which one will do best in a given game, good luck.