by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
You could argue that the St. Louis Rams had a difficult matchup, but the performances of their key players (like Daryl Richardson and Tavon Austin) were simply unacceptable. How about the 49ers? How did Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and Anquan Boldin respond to criticism? Let’s take a look at all the performances from yesterday’s game:
Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers
15-23 for 167 yards, 2 TD and 0 INT (3 carries for 11 yards)
Grade – C
After two pathetic performances, was this really the type of outing fantasy owners wanted to see? Yes, he threw a touchdown for the first time since Week 1. Yes, he didn’t throw an interception for the first time since Week 1 (though he did lose a fumble).
Part of it was that the 49ers simply didn’t need him to throw the ball, as Frank Gore ran roughshod over the Rams. Still, he’s now thrown for 167 yards or fewer for three straight games while rushing for 22 yards or fewer in three of four weeks. He also has failed to rush for a TD, further limiting his production.
There is obviously still upside, despite his disappointments. As for last night, his performance is somewhat incomplete, due to the limited opportunities. He did make plays, when needed, but he just wasn’t needed. Maybe next week? Time will tell, but we’ll give him a middle of the road grade thanks to the 2 TD. That said, it’s hard to get excited for this type of performance.
Sam Bradford – St. Louis Rams
19-41 for 202 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT
Grade – D
It was a tough matchup, but when you throw the ball 41 times and only manage 202 yards you have to be considered a major disappointment. It’s the second straight week where he’s thrown the ball at least 40 teams, yet hasn’t topped 240 yards. With at least 38 attempts in all four games he clearly is going to continue getting opportunities to produce. While last night’s performance was not what owners would’ve hoped for, he should continue to be viewed as a viable QB2. When you throw the ball this many times, the chance for big numbers is to ogreat to ignore.
Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers
153 yards and 1 TD on 20 carries
Grade – A+
We asked why Gore got so few opportunities a week ago, and 49ers corrected it this time around. Even with a debacle in Week 2 (9 carries for 16 yards), he’s averaging 4.6 yards per carry on the season and has 235 yards on 31 carries the past two weeks. He’s quickly proven that anyone who thought he was washed up was sorely mistaken. In a blowout he ultimately ceded carries, but it’s clear that he’s one of the better RB in the league.
Kendall Hunter – San Francisco 49ers
49 yards and 1 TD on 11 carries
Grade – B+
He hasn’t done much this season, but he’s the clear handcuff for Frank Gore at this point. He doubled his carries last night, presented himself well and has now scored a TD in back-to-back games.
Daryl Richardson – St. Louis Rams
16 yards on 12 carries
Grade – F
Tough matchup or not, this was an unacceptable performance from Richardson. With Isaiah Pead inactive, Richardson had a clear opportunity and he failed to impress. On the season he’s now rushed the ball 42 times for just 114 yards (2.7 yards per carry) and 0 TD. In fact, he has yet to break a run of more than 10 yards. It’s hard to imagine him remaining the lead back at this point, though who knows where they are going to go. It’s probably headed to a true timeshare, though we’ll have to closely monitor the news.
Anquan Boldin – San Francisco 49ers
5 receptions for 90 yards and 1 TD (7 targets)
Grade – B+
Boldin had a monster Week 1, disappeared in Week 2 and has now been solid the past few games. This is probably the type of numbers we should be expecting on a weekly basis, especially from a team that could easily try to ride their running game and defense to success. It’s solid, and we should have come to realize that Week 1 is the aberration not the rule.
Jonathan Baldwin – San Francisco 49ers
2 receptions for 19 yards and 1 TD (2 targets)
Grade – C+
Acquired from the Chiefs prior to the season, Baldwin hadn’t registered a reception over the first three weeks. While he didn’t show much, yet, the 49ers have gotten little from their second WR spot this season and Baldwin has the potential to rise quickly. In deeper formats he’s a player to stash if you have a need at WR. That said, until Kaepernick starts to produce bigger numbers no receiver outside of Boldin is going to have real value.
Quinton Patton – San Francisco 49ers
1 receptions for 0 yards (1 target)
Grade – F
Speaking of the 49ers alternatives across from Boldin, this was also Patton’s first reception of the season. Maybe he gets a few more, but it’s hard to consider him worthy of owning at the moment.
Austin Pettis – St. Louis Rams
5 receptions for 59 yards (9 targets)
Grade – C+
It’s a bit of a surprise that he tied for the team lead in targets, though everyone was relatively close. While he has scored 2 TD this season, he hasn’t had more than 78 yards in a game and it’s hard to imagine him developing into the go to receiver.
Chris Givens – St. Louis Rams
4 receptions for 49 yards (8 targets)
Grade – D
He’s only managed 13 receptions and 0 TD on the season… Yes he’s been targeted 8 times in each of the past three games, but is he doing anything with the opportunities? In the past two games he has 6 receptions and 103 yards (on 16 targets). At this point you can say he has the most upside, but his failure to make things happen drags down his grade.
Tavon Austin – St. Louis Rams
2 receptions for 6 yards (8 targets)
Grade – F
We all know how electric Austin can be and the Rams tried to get him the ball, but he simply failed to make things happen. He has 20 receptions for 124 yards and 2 TD on the season, but his longest reception of the season is 14 yards. He’s going to break some plays, eventually, but right now he’s too unpredictable to trust. Just because it will happen, you don’t want to be saddled with this many poor performances while you wait.
Vernon Davis – San Francisco 49ers
2 receptions for 18 yards and 1 TD (4 targets)
Grade – C
There had been no guarantee that he was going to play, so the fact that he was not only out there, but found the end zone, saved his grade for the day. That said, he’s had 5 receptions for 38 yards in his last two games so his overall value has to be coming down a bit. Hopefully, with 10 days to prepare, he can come back fully healthy in Week 5.
Jared Cook – St. Louis Rams
4 receptions for 45 yards (9 targets)
Grade – C-
Since a monster Week 1 he’s totaled 10 receptions for 99 yards and 0 TD in the subsequent three games. It’s suddenly feeling like Tennessee again… Scratch that, because in St. Louis he has gotten chances (21 targets over the past three games), he just hasn’t produced. He’s a borderline TE1, at best, and more of a depth option at this point until he proves he can produce on a weekly basis.