Description: San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree ended up playing more snaps than anyone expected - 42 of 67 plays.
Insight: Crabtree missed the Niners' first 11 games while rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon. He caught two of four targets for 68 yards. If the 49ers continue to increase Crabtree's snap count over the next games, Crabtree could be a viable fantasy playoff option.
Description: San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis caught a touchdown for the third straight game Sunday against the Rams
Insight: Davis had 82 yards on four catches in the game, giving him 42 receptions, 705 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 games this season. He's the best fantasy tight end not named Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham.
Description: San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree had two catches for 68 yards on four targets in his season debut Sunday against St. Louis.
Insight: Crabtree missed the Niners' first 11 games while rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon. His day would have been quiet had he not hauled in a 60-yard bomb. The 49ers likely will continue to increase Crabtree's snap count over the final four games.
Description: It's official. San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree will make his season debut Sunday against the Rams. SOURCE: Matt Maiocco, Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area
Insight: Crabtree missed the Niners' first 11 games while rehabbing a torn Achilles tendon. Similar to Percy Harvin two weeks ago in Seattle, he's likely to be on a snap count. This week we have him at No. 49 in our TSN wide receiver rankings.
Description: Niners wideout Michael Crabtree (Achilles) is expected to be activated from the PUP list Tuesday and play against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
Insight: Crabtree has been practicing for several weeks and could be a flex option against the Rams' 22nd-ranked pass defense in Week 13. He'll likely ramp up his workload over the next few weeks and could be a major factor by Weeks 15 and 16.
Description: Though Niners wideout Michael Crabtree (Achilles) won't play on Monday, ESPN's Adam Schefter expects he'll return next week against St. Louis.
Insight: Crabtree still hasn't been activated from the PUP list though that could change in the next 24 hours. He's been practicing for several weeks and could be a flex option against the Rams' 22nd-ranked pass defense in Week 13.
Description: San Francisco receiver Mario Manningham is listed on the injury report as questionable, but he is expected to play Monday night against Washington.
Insight: It's a good matchup for the 49ers passing offense, but Manningham is the No. 3 target behind Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin. He's caught just four passes for 38 yards over the past two games. And the 49ers are one of the most run-oriented teams in the league.
Description: Niners linebacker Ahmad Brooks was slapped with a $15,750 fine for his hit on Drew Brees during Sunday's loss to New Orleans. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: The satire website, Sports Pickle, mocked the play with a headline reading "49ers stupidly sack a popular QB late, draw penalty, lose." Sadly, that mock headline wasn't far off from the truth. ESPN analysts Ray Lewis and Tedy Bruschi were so fired up about the controversial play that they offered to cover part of Brooks' fine. Time to ante up, fellas.
Description: San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis (concussion) is on track to play Sunday against New Orleans, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Insight: Davis has not experienced concussion symptoms and practiced throughout the week. He went through the final step of the NFL's post-concussion protocal -- a simulated impact drill -- Friday. As long as he didn't experience symptoms Saturday, he'll play Sunday.
Description: San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh finally acknowledged Saturday that injured 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree is unlikely to play this week against New Orleans. SOURCE: NBC's Pro Football Talk
Insight: Crabtree's torn Achilles seems to be healing nicely but coming back in Week 11 was always a bit of a stretch. A return next week versus Washington or the week after against St. Louis would be far more realistic.
Description: San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis says he feels fine just two days after suffering a concussion. SOURCE: Cam Inman, Mercury News
Insight: He seems confident that he'll be cleared to play on Sunday. Only three tight ends in the league have averaged more fantasy points per game than Davis this season (10.1 ppg in standard scoring).
Description: The Niners released wide receiver Kyle Williams on Tuesday. SOURCE: Adam Caplan, ESPN
Insight: He won't be needed now that Mario Manningham has returned from injury and Michael Crabtree is on his way back too. Williams hasn't had a very productive year. In nine games, he's only reeled in 12 catches for 113 yards. None of those catches went for touchdowns.
Description: San Francisco 49ers backup running back LaMichael James will replace Kyle Williams in punt and kickoff returns in Week 10.
Insight: The team is trying to get James more touches and with little room to run behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter this is the only option available. He's still not likely to produce enough yardage to be fantasy worthy.
Description: San Francisco receiver Mario Manningham is not listed on the injury report at all heading into Week 10.
Insight: Manningham tore both his ACL and PCL in December 2012, but he's ready to return. San Francisco wideouts have had trouble separating from defenders this season, so Manningham could emerge as Colin Kaepernick's No. 2 target behind Vernon Davis if he regains his pre-injury form. However, he doesn't need to be added immediately outside of 14-team leagues.
Description: San Francisco linebacker Aldon Smith could be ready to return to game action as soon as this week. SOURCE: Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area
Insight: Smith hasn't missed a beat since returning from a five-week stay in rehab. Assuming his off the field issues are a thing of the past, Smith should be able to return to the level that made him one of the most feared linebackers in football a season ago.
Description: Niners halfback Frank Gore produced another solid fantasy outing Sunday against the Jaguars (19 rushes, 71 yards, 2 TD).
Insight: Gore doesn't have the jets of a C.J. Spiller or a Chris Johnson but he might be the most consistent running back in the league. He's rushed for at least 70 yards in each of his last six games with six end zone scampers over that span. Fantasy owners will miss him when he goes on bye next week.
Description: The Titans held Frank Gore to 70 rushing yards on 24 carries (2.9 ypc) Sunday afternoon, but he had 34 receiving yards on two catches and scored two touchdowns.
Insight: Gore has produced RB1 numbers -- 542 total yards, four touchdowns -- over the last five games after picking up just 95 yards on 33 touches the first two games. He's averaging 21.5 carries per game in four games since he voiced complaints about his usage to coach Jim Harbaugh.
Description: Niners tight end Vernon Davis was an unstoppable force Sunday against Arizona.
Insight: Davis broke free for eight catches and a career-high 180 receiving yards in the 49ers' 32-20 win. Davis has scored in every game he's played this season with just one exception: a Week 2 loss at Seattle. As far as tight ends go, you're not going to find many better ones than Davis in San Francisco.
Description: The 49ers are prepared to play the season without linebacker Aldon Smith. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: Smith, who has a history of substance abuse, is currently in a rehab clinic trying to get clean. His off-field issues including two separate arrests, aren't close to being resolved. Football is probably the last thing on Smith's mind right now.
Description: 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis is listed as questionable ahead of Week 5's tilt against the Texans, though the team's defensive coordinator Vic Fangio believes he has a better than 50 percent shot at playing on Sunday. SOURCE: Comcast Bay Area
Insight: Willis missed last week's contest against St. Louis because of a pulled groin but he's been practicing all week. Expect the six-time Pro Bowler and former first-round pick to be on the field Sunday night at Candlestick Park.
Description: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said receiver Jon Baldwin will see "more action" going forward, according to ProFootballTalk.com.
Insight: Baldwin, a former Chiefs first-round pick who was traded to the 49ers in August for fellow first-round bust A.J. Jenkins, was inactive for the first three games before catching two passes for 19 yards Thursday against the Rams. With rookie Quinton Patton out indefinitely with a broken foot, San Francisco is desperate for receiving help opposite Anquan Boldin.
Description: According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, 49ers receiver Mario Manningham (knee) is on track to return to practice after Week 6.
Insight: Manningham isn't likely to be a reliable fantasy option but at least he'll be able to get open consistently, which should help Colin Kaepernick and the rest of San Francisco's passing offense.
Description: San Francisco wideout Quinton Patton suffered a fractured foot Thursday against the Rams, according to SFGate.com.
Insight: Patton played often in the first quarter and was likely to assume a more prominent role in the offense going forward as the team's No. 2 receiver, but he'll miss an extended period of time. The rookie won't be placed on injured reserve, so he'll be back at some point.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tailback Frank Gore (knee) is probable for Thursday's game against the Rams, according to CSNBayArea.com.
Insight: Gore banged his left knee during San Francisco's loss to the Colts Sunday, but he was never in danger of missing Thursday's game. Gore had 82 yards on 11 carries against the Colts but the 49ers went away from the run, leading to Gore having some words with coach Jim Harbaugh Sunday. Look for him to carry the football early and often Thursday against a Rams team that allowed a big game to DeMarco Murray in Week 3.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) has practiced in a limited capacity in each of the last two days.
Insight: Davis is likely to be a game-time decision again Thursday against the Rams after missing Sunday's game. San Francisco's receivers have had a difficult time getting open over the last two weeks, and a healthy Davis is necessary to open things up.
Description: San Francisco All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis (groin) said he is "hopeful" that he'll play Thursday against the Rams, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
Insight: Willis left Sunday's game with a groin injury and doesn't have a lot of time to heal with the 49ers on a short week. With Aldon Smith out while he deals with alcohol issues, the 49ers defense could be down two of its best players Thursday.
Description: According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith is expected to be out for the next month.
Insight: Smith checked himself into rehab after Sunday's loss to the Colts. The 23-year-old was second in the league in sacks last season with 19.5. He has 3.5 sacks in his first three games this season.
Description: San Francisco All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis injured his groin and is not expected to be available for Thursday's game with St. Louis.
Insight: Willis will have an MRI on Monday night, but with just four days until the next game its unlikely that he can rehab in time. Add in Aldon Smith being placed on the reserve/NFI list and you have a vastly weaker 49ers' defense.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) did not play Sunday against the Colts and only has a few more days to recover as the team is scheduled for the Thursday night game in Week 4.
Insight: Davis was a true game-time decision, but the team might have held him out to have him ready for the divisional battle with St. Louis. Rookie Vance McDonald caught one pass for six yards in Davis' absence as isn't a fantasy option.
Description: According to ProFootballTalk.com, 49ers CEO Jed York said after Sunday's game that Aldon Smith will not play Thursday.
Insight: He was arrested for suspicion of DUI Friday, the second alcohol-related incident of his three-year career. He played Sunday against the Colts but could be entering rehab for alcohol abuse. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports that Smith's locker at Candlestick Park is "completely empty."
Description: San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick only completed 13-of-27 for 150 yards with a pick and a lost fumble Sunday against the Colts.
Insight: We could excuse Kaepernick's subpar effort last week at Seattle when the Seahawks fans set a new world record for loudest crowd, but this game was at home against a defense that let Terrelle Pryor and Ryan Tannehill post strong numbers in the last two weeks. The 49ers play again Thursday against the Rams, so Vernon Davis (hamstring) doesn't have much time to get healthy after missing Sunday's game. Given the usual sloppiness that comes with Thursday night games, fantasy owners should consider benching Kaepernick in Week 4.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) will be a game-time decision for Sunday's contest against the Colts. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: San Francisco's game doesn't start until 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, which puts fantasy owners in a tough spot. Tony Gonzalez, Coby Fleener, Martellus Bennett, Heath Miller and Julius Thomas are the other fantasy-worthy tight ends playing in the late games this week.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) hasn't received medical clearance for Sunday's game against the Colts.
Insight: According to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, Davis seems least likely to play out of all of San Francisco's questionable players. San Francisco's game doesn't start until 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday, so fantasy owners could be put in a tough spot if Davis is a game-time decision.
Description: According to San Jose Police, 49ers OLB Aldon Smith was arrested early Friday morning for suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession after a one-car accident, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com.
Insight: This would be his second DUI as he was also arrested in January 2012. A suspension might be coming, but given the speed of the court system, it probably won't be until next season.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis' hamstring injury shouldn't be a problem if his tweet is accurate. It said "No need to worry y'all. My leg is feeling great just need a little rest til kickoff."
Insight: Davis and the 49ers had a tough matchup last week, but should rebound against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis grabbed two touchdowns and had six catches for 98 yards in Sunday's season-opening win over the Packers.
Insight: We were skeptical that the perennially disappointing Davis could post a top-five TE season after he failed to develop chemistry with Colin Kaepernick last season, but the QB looked Davis' way often Sunday.
Description: Anquan Boldin made his 49ers debut a memorable one with 13 receptions for 208 yards and a touchdown.
Insight: Wow. Boldin slipped right into Michael Crabtree's spot as the team's No. 1 receiver and looked as though he had played with Colin Kaepernick for years. Fantasy owners who drafted Boldin to be a WR3 have to be salivating.
Description: Place-kicker Billy Cundiff has been signed by the Cleveland Browns.
Insight: Cundiff was 7-for-12 last season with Washington. He has a career field goal rate of 75.5 percent. He'll certainly have trouble living up to the level of the Browns' kicker from 1999-2012, Phil Dawson, who hit 29-of-31 last season and owned a career 84 percent success rate oon field goals.
Description: 49ers wideout Austin Collie isn't likely to make the team's final 53-man roster. SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: Collie only made one catch in Sunday's preseason game against Seattle. It doesn't look like he's fully recovered from the knee injury that caused him to miss most of last season. Collie probably won't attract much interest from other teams until he gets a clean bill of health.
Description: San Francisco backup quarterback Colt McCoy has won the No. 2 job behind Colin Kaepernick, according to coach Jim Harbaugh.
Insight: Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that McCoy can produce at Kaepernick's level if the starter gets injured. The 49ers would likely make big changes to their offensive scheme and McCoy still has yet to show us he's fantasy worthy. There is no handcuff for Kaepernick.
Description: San Francisco wideout Quinton Patton got plenty of praise from his starting quarterback after Sunday night's game against Minnesota, according to Matt Maiocco of csnbayarea.com.
Insight: Colin Kaepernick said he knows how to get open and make plays. The 49ers are desperate for a guy like that at the receiver position after losing Michael Crabtree to an Achilles injury. Fantasy owners should keep an eye on Patton to watch how this combination develops.
Description: The Chiefs traded disappointing receiver Jonathan Baldwin to the 49ers for equally disappointing wideout A.J. Jenkins.
Insight: Many expected Baldwin to have a breakout season in 2012 but it didn't happen. Baldwin did catch 20 balls for 325 yards, but a player with his physical ability should be able to do much more than that. Perhaps coach Jim Harbaugh can get him to buy into the program.
Description: The 49ers have agreed to a one-year deal with cornerback Eric Wright.
Insight: The Niners traded for Wright a few weeks ago but the deal fell through after he wasn't able to pass his physical. The Buccaneers then released Wright, which allowed him to become a free agent. Wright, who tallied 37 tackles for Tampa Bay last season, has been placed on San Francisco's active/non-football injury list.
Description: 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver has been diagnosed with a torn ACL in his left knee. SOURCE: Ian Rapoport, NFL.com
Insight: He'll miss the entire 2013 campaign. Culliver notched 47 tackles and two interceptions last season. Tramaine Brock and Perrish Cox will have to play a bigger role in the secondary now that Culliver is gone for the year.
Description: ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting that 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis is dealing with a fractured right hand.
Insight: Schefter called it a "slight" fracture and said that Willis will play through the injury. Willis dealt with the same injury back in 2007 and ended up winning Rookie of the Year honors. That, ladies and gentleman, is called toughness.
Description: The 49ers 2013 fourth-round draft pick, running back Marcus Lattimore (ACL, MCL), has already been put on the PUP list, but appears to be well ahead of schedule, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
Insight: The 49ers selected the most talented back in the draft for a couple of years down the road since many doctors didn't think he'd even be walking for a year. He's apparently already running, though he will not be ready to practice at the 49ers camp opening. He's another Dr. James Andrews miracle.
Description: Eric Wright failed his 49ers physical on Monday. SOURCE: Albert Breer, NFL Network
Insight: Wright was sent to the 49ers in a trade last week. After Wright was returned to the Bucs, Tampa Bay immediately cut him. Wright was expected to start opposite Darrelle Revis in Tampa, but off-the-field issues were his downfall.
Description: Defensive back Eric Wright was traded to the San Francisco 49ers for a draft pick.
Insight: Wright was expected to start opposite Darrelle Revis in Tampa, but will now try to work in with a much better 49ers defensive unit. San Francisco now has a lot of talent in their secondary with the arrival of Wright and Nnamdi Asomugha in the offseason.
Description: Latest estimates for 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (torn Achilles) is that he'll miss 10-12 regular season games, according to Matt Maiocco of csnbayarea.com.
Insight: If your fantasy league runs through Week 13 with the next three weeks for the playoffs, Crabtree could return at a key time. Someone in your league will make him a late-round selection and could reap the rewards in the playoff. Why not make that person you?
Description: According to SacBee.com, 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin looked as if he'd been playing with QB Colin Kaepernick for 10 years rather than a few weeks this spring.
Insight: With Michael Crabtree out for most or all of the 2013 season with a complete tear of his right Achilles' tendon, Boldin, along with tight end Vernon Davis, will see plenty of targets from Kaepernick. Crabtree saw 10.4 targets per game during Kaepernick's nine starts (including playoffs) last season.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis practiced exclusively with the wide receivers during the team's minicamp, according to PressDemocrat.com.
Insight: Davis could play more on the outside this season due to Michael Crabtree's injury. Anquan Boldin, the 49ers' No. 1 receiver, plays his best football in the slot. There's no denying Davis is one of the most physically gifted players in the NFL, but that hasn't often translated to fantasy success during his seven-year career. He's only reached 800 yards twice and double-digit touchdowns once.
Description: The 49ers fourth-round draft pick, running back Marcus Lattimore, has sign a contract with the team, but will likely spend the season on injured reserve.
Insight: The 49ers selected the talented back from South Carolina for a couple of years down the road as they have plenty of talent on their current roster with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James. Only keeper league owners should be interested in Lattimore this season.
Description: San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said Tuesday that receiver Anquan Boldin has "picked up the system fast," according to SacBee.com.
Insight: Boldin caught several passes from Colin Kaepernick during practice Tuesday and was the top target for the team's other three quarterbacks. With Michael Crabtree possibly out for the season due to an Achilles' tendon tear, Boldin will be the No. 1 receiver. Crabtree saw 9.4 targets per week and compiled 41 catches, 595 yards and five touchdowns in seven games after Kaepernick became the starter last season.
Description: The 49ers fourth-round draft pick, running back Marcus Lattimore, is not likely to play at all this season.
Insight: The 49ers selected him for a few years down the road as they have plenty of running back talent on their current roster with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James. Only keeper league owners should be interested in Lattimore this season.
Description: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has agreed to a one-year deal with the 49ers. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: It comes with a $1.5 million base salary, a far cry from the $12 million he earned annually during his two-year stint with the Eagles. Asomugha underachieved in Philadelphia but perhaps playing for a contender will rejuvenate him. He'll be 32 when training camp starts in July.
Description: Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports is reporting that the Browns have traded quarterback Colt McCoy to the 49ers for a pair of draft picks.
Insight: McCoy will only be of use to fantasy owners if Colin Kaepernick gets hurt. Now that McCoy is out of the picture, Brandon Weeden won't face any competition for the starting quarterback job this season.
Description: The Ravens swapped wide receiver Anquan Boldin for the 49ers' sixth-round draft pick on Monday.
Insight: It's a sad end to what was mostly a successful tenure for Boldin in Baltimore. Boldin wasn't willing to take a pay cut and apparently that was enough to send him packing. Expect Boldin and Colin Kaepernick to hook up on plenty of touchdown passes in San Francisco next season.
Description: The 49ers have released kicker David Akers after missing an NFL-high 13 field goals last season.
Insight: Akers was the top fantasy kicker selected last season after booting 44 field goals in 2011-12, an NFL record. His downfall is further proof that fantasy owners shouldn't select a kicker until the last round of drafts.
Description: According to Jason La Canfora from CBS Sports, the 49ers have reached an agreement to trade quarterback Alex Smith, though the deal won't become official until March 12th when the new league year begins.
Insight: La Canfora couldn't confirm which team Smith would be traded to, though Kansas City would seem to be the most likely destination. Smith threw for 13 touchdowns and five interceptions last season before being replaced by Colin Kaepernick in Week 11.
Description: Chris Mortensen from ESPN thinks it's highly unlikely that the 49ers will cut backup quarterback Alex Smith this offseason.
Insight: The Niners would much rather trade Smith than let him go and get nothing back in return. The trouble is, Smith hasn't generated much interest at all around the league. It's a sticky situation for sure and one that may not be resolved until April 1st when Smith becomes eligible to receive his $1 million roster bonus.
Description: ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that 49ers QB Alex Smith hasn't generated much interest on the trade market.
Insight: Three months ago, Smith (13 TD, 5 INT in 10 games) was the quarterback for a division-leader. Today, he's trapped on that same team with no way out. It seems like a waste to keep Smith as a backup but for some reason, nobody is jumping at the chance to acquire a quarterback who threw for a QB rating of 104.1 in 2012. Maybe the market will open up for Smith later this offseason, but for now it looks like he'll remain with the 49ers.
Description: San Francisco wideout Randy Moss implied that he isn't planning on re-signing with the 49ers this offseason. SOURCE: Tom Curran, Comcast New England
Insight: Moss hasn't seen many targets from Colin Kaepernick this postseason and that obviously hasn't sat well with the veteran wide receiver. Some wondered if Moss might retire if the 49ers won the Super Bowl but it appears the 35-year-old is dead-set on playing again in 2013. It just doesn't look like he'll be playing for the 49ers.
Description: San Francisco QB Alex Smith is expected to ask for his release after the season according to Mike Fiorio from Profootballtalk.com.
Insight: Smith missed one week because of a concussion and never saw the field again (with the exception of one pass in the season finale against the Cardinals) after coach Jim Harbaugh handed the controls over to second-year sensation Colin Kaepernick. Smith (104.1 QB rating, 13 TD, 5 INT) was having a solid season before he got hurt so he shouldn't have any trouble landing a starting job if the 49ers cut him.
Description: 49ers halfback Frank Gore was fined $10,500 by the NFL for wearing his socks too low in last week's NFC Championship game.
Insight: ESPN's Adam Schefter says Gore received a warning from the league earlier in the season before finally getting hit with the fine on Wednesday. Obviously this won't affect his fantasy value but it's still worth noting that Gore received a harsher penalty than Tom Brady, who essentially kicked Ed Reed during Sunday's AFC Championship (Brady was fined only $10,000).
Description: San Francisco 49ers backup running back LaMichael James was in on just 10-of-55 offensive plays against Atlanta.
Insight: Despite the small amount of playing time, James rushed for 34 yards and a score on five carries. The Baltimore run defense gave up about the same amount of yards as the Falcons' defense during the regular season, so James could see a similar workload in the Super Bowl.
Description: Matt Maiocco from Comcast Bay Area reports that David Akers will handle the kicking duties for San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII.
Insight: Akers cost the Niners three points by missing a very makeable 38-yarder Sunday against the Falcons. San Francisco's other option at kicker for next week is journeyman Billy Cundiff, so it makes senses to stick with Akers.
Description: In just his ninth NFL start, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick threw for 233 yards and a touchdown with zero turnovers in a hostile environment to help San Francisco advance to the Super Bowl.
Insight: Kaepernick completed 16-of-21 passes to bring the 49ers back from 17-0 down to beat the Falcons in Atlanta. It wasn't quite up to the caliber of last week against the Packers but Kaepernick was still impressive Sunday.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis caught five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown Sunday to help the Niners reach the Super Bowl.
Insight: Davis took advantage of an Atlanta defense that was shredded by Seattle tight end Zach Miller last week. Davis had a disappointing 548 yards and five touchdowns on 41 catches despite playing all 16 games in 2012 and will be bumped down in 2013 fantasy drafts.
Description: San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree will start Sunday in the NFC Championship game at Atlanta.
Insight: Police questioned Crabtree on Friday in connection with an alleged sexual assault but the investigation came too late in the week to seriously impact Crabtree's status for Sunday's game. The receiver had 1,105 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 85 catches this season, all career highs, and caught nine balls on 11 targets for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC Divisional playoff game.
Description: Police are reportedly investigating 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree for an alleged sexual assault. This comes less than 48 hours before San Francisco is scheduled to play Atlanta in the NFC Championship game. SOURCE: San Francisco FOX affiliate KTVU.
Insight: Crabtree had 1,105 receiving yards and nine touchdowns on 85 catches this season, all career highs, and caught nine balls on 11 targets for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the NFC Divisional playoff game. In all likelihood, he will be on the field Sunday against the Falcons.
Description: San Francisco made its most extensive use of the "Pistol" formation Saturday, the same offense QB Colin Kaepernick used when he played at Nevada. San Francisco OC Greg Roman said that the 49ers intentionally didn't use the formation at all in Week 17 after barely using it in Week 16 against Seattle to throw opponents off. "We didn't use it against the Cardinals because we wanted people to think we weren't going to use it," said Roman, who admitted that the team used the formation more than 50 percent of the time Saturday in the 49ers' divisional round win over Green Bay. SOURCE: Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
Insight: Kaepernick torched the Packers in his playoff debut for 263 passing yards, 181 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. The performance put San Francisco in the NFC Championship for the second straight year and validated coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to switch from Alex Smith to Kaepernick midway through the season.
Description: San Francisco DE Justin Smith (triceps) is active for Saturday's divisional round playoff game against Green Bay.
Insight: Smith isn't even close to 100 percent but it's the playoffs, so he's going to give it a go. He isn't a stats guy but he takes up blockers and allows Aldon Smith to get loose. Aldon failed to pick up a sack after Justin was injured in Week 15.
Description: 49ers defensive end Justin Smith expects to play Saturday against Green Bay. Smith missed the final two games of the regular season with a partially torn triceps.
Insight: Smith isn't even close to 100 percent but it's the playoffs, so it looks like he's going to give it a go. You have to admire Smith's guts though it's unclear how effective he'll be. Smith had 66 tackles and three sacks during the regular season.
Description: San Francisco backup tight end Delanie Walker has been a better option than starter Vernon Davis over the last seven games.
Insight: With Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback since Week 11, Walker has posted 14 receptions for 255 yards and two scores to 12-144-1 for Davis. Neither is great, but Walker is the better of the two options.
Description: San Francisco 49ers' newly acquired place-kicker Billy Cundiff was seen working out at Candelstick Park, according to a San Jose Mercury report. David Akers was not there.
Insight: Cundiff and Akers could both be active on Saturday which would make it tough on fantasy owners. Coach Jim Harbaugh indicated there is a "leader in the clubhouse" but wouldn't elaborate on who that person was. Picking a 49ers kicker for Saturday will be a big gamble unless we get more information.
Description: Former Pro-Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff was signed by the San Francisco 49ers.
Insight: Cundiff will compete with David Akers over the next week to see who will be the place-kicker. Akers was just 29-of-42 this season while dealing with a hip injury. Cundiff was 7-of-12 this season. He was cut by Baltimore, signed by Washington, then cut by the Redskins in favor of Kai Forbath.
Description: The 49ers officially cut ties with running back Brandon Jacobs on Monday.
Insight: Jacobs' stint in San Francisco was pretty much a disaster from start to finish. He only saw five carries all season and was suspended for the final three games of the season after complaining about a lack of playing time. At age 30, it looks like Jacobs could be nearing the end of his career. Even if he's lost a step or two, Jacobs is still enormous (6-foor-4, 264 pounds) and that size advantage alone could be enough to get him an invite to training camp next summer.
Description: San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree emphatically went over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career Sunday against the Cardinals with eight catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.
Insight: Crabtree needed 67 yards to reach the millennium mark but he blew by it and finished with 1,105. His 85 catches and nine touchdowns were also career highs.
Description: While 49ers tight end Delanie Walker would start if Vernon Davis (concussion) cannot play on Sunday, CSN Bay Area expects Garrett Celek (younger brother of Brent) to see extended playing time as well.
Insight: Walker has 19 receptions for 294 yards and three scores this season. However, he shouldn't be started in fantasy leagues even if Davis is absent Sunday; the Niners haven't even used Davis that much over the past five games (five catches) and Celek will probably get some snaps as well.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (concussion) returned to practice for non-contact drills Thursday. He has been cleared by an independent neurologist and passed an exertion test. SOURCE: Matt Barrows, Sacramento Bee
Insight: Davis is on track to play in Week 17 against Arizona but fantasy owners should look elsewhere. The 49ers tight end has just five catches on 10 targets over his last five games.
Description: San Francisco DE Justin Smith has a partially torn left triceps. He missed Sunday's game after hurting his arm against the Patriots in Week 15. SOURCE: Sacramento Bee
Insight: Smith's injury was listed as an elbow injury because a bone spur became detached when Smith's triceps tendon partially tore, a team spokeman said. The DE isn't a stat machine but causes havoc on the defensive line and takes up blockers to get his superstar linebackers Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman and Aldon Smith free. Aldon hasn't had a sack in the last two games after picking up 19.5 in the first 13.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who suffered a concussion in the game against Seattle, is not practicing Wednesday.
Insight: Forty-Niners coach Jim Harbaugh called it minor and is optimistic that he will play on Sunday, but these days any concussion requires testing. Davis hasn't done much over the past four games catching a total of five passes for 56 yards and no scores.
Description: San Francisco receiver Randy Moss is going to have to come up big in the season finale and into the playoffs with Mario Manningham done for the season with a knee injury and Vernon Davis' status up in the air after suffering a concussion.
Insight: Moss saw a season-high six targets against Seattle, catching three for 44 yards. He could be useful in playoff fantasy leagues.
Description: San Francisco receiver Mario Manningham's season came to an end in Week 16 after suffering an ACL injury.
Insight: Manningham wasn't a reliable every-week performer with Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick under center. The 49ers will use a combination of Randy Moss and rookie A.J. Jenkins across from their No. 1 option Michael Crabtree.
Description: San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis suffered a concussion in the game against Seattle.
Insight: 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh called it minor, but any concussion these days requires testing. Davis hasn't done much over the past four games catching a total of five passes for 56 yards and no scores.
Description: San Francisco DE Justin Smith isn't expected to play Sunday at Seattle. He's dealing with an elbow injury. SOURCE: Adam Schefter, ESPN
Insight: Smith's absence should make things easier for Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch to get things done. The DE isn't a stat machine but causes havoc on the defensive line and takes up blockers to get his superstar linebackers Patrick Willis, Navorro Bowman and Aldon Smith free.