The Giant Steve Smith VS. The Niner Michael Crabtree

On the blogs that I read daily an interesting debate has cropped up. In a PPR league I feel that Steve Smith has an advantage over Michael Crabtree. In a TD only league there is a slight shift over to Crabtree. Steve Smith is a PPR machine. In 2009 he had 107 catches, 1220 yards, and 7 TDs. The key stat here is the 107 receptions. This number is going to stay the same if not grow do to the recent season ending injury of Hixon. The leaves only 3 viable NYG receivers – Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, and Mario Manningham. Steve Smith is the clear cut #1 WR in this bunch. With the decline of Ahmad Bradshaw (playing on a broken foot) and Brandon Jacobs the Giants have become a pass first team. With Tom Coughlin on the hot seat (http://espn.go.com/blog/nfceast/post/_/id/14859/tom-coughlin-faces-season-of-uncertainty) the NYG are going to stay a pass first team with an improved defense. The only way Coughlin survives is if Eli throws the cover off the ball. Steve Smith will be the primary recipient of Eli’s passing love.

Michael Crabtree is a WR with tons of upside. He has one major concern in my book. He is a #1 WR on a smash mouth run first team. Lets not forget that Kenny Britt (42 receptions, 701 yards, 3 TDs) and Mike Sims-Walker (63 receptions, 869 yards, and 7 TDs) are #1 WRs on a run first team.  Compare those receivers to Desean Jackson (63 receptions, 1167 yards, 9TDs) and Greg Jennings (68 receptions, 1113 yards, 4 TDs). #1 WR on pass first teams ALWAYS have more yards. However, they don’t always have more TDs.  So in a PPR league Michael Crabtree is limited in value. In a TD only league Crabtree has value. Other then Vernon Davis there is no one else to throw to at the goal line. This is beneficial for Crabtree. Josh Morgan has NO VALUE in fantasy play. Crabtree is it in San Fran. The passing game will be limited to Crabtree and Davis. Crabtree had good numbers considering he missed the first 5 games. He finished with 48 receptions, 625 yards, and 2 TDs.

Walterfootball has projected Crabtree to produce 72 receptions, 990 yards and 6 TDs. They have also projected Steve Smith to produce 98 catches, 1100 yards, ad 6 TDs. As you can see the predicted numbers are very close. When it is projected as close as this I lean to my trusted tie break. Always go for the receiver who is the #1 on a pass first team for PPR leagues. The TD only league is more of a crap shoot. I lean towards Crabtree on his big play ability and red zone looks.


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