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Frank Gore or Andre Johnson?

Before I dive into my analysis, it’s always imperative to know your scoring system. Points per reception (PPR) leagues are completely different than standard ‘non-PPR’ format. Steve Smith, who grabbed an NFC-high 107 passes in 2009, would be considered a third-round pick in PPR leagues. Smith only scored seven touchdowns, making him a fifth-round pick in standard leagues. The PPR vs. non-PPR format definitely plays a role in the Gore vs. Johnson decision …

Candidate No. 1: Frank Gore

2009 numbers: 229 carries, 1,120 rushing yards, 10 rushing scores; 52 catches, 406 receiving yards, and three receiving scores.

Blessed with great talent, Gore hasn’t always been a model of health. During his five pro seasons with the 49ers, Gore has only played a full season once. During that same time span, Gore has topped 265+ carries once (2006-2007). Coupled with yearly health issues, Gore finally reached double-digit touchdown figures last season (13 total). But it’s not all gray skies for the man from ‘The U’ (


Even though Gore has only played one full season, he has played in at least 14 games in each of those five seasons. Since becoming a full-time starter in 2006, Gore has hauled in at least 43 passes per season, giving owners extra value in PPR leagues.

San Francisco
head coach Mike Singletary is an old-school coach who loves to run the football. Singletary further emphasized this point when he selected tackle Anthony Davis and guard Mike Iupati in the NFL Draft. These two figure to pave the way for Gore in 2010.

The 49ers skill position players, led by Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, will help keep defenses from loading the box.

2010 Fantasy Sharks projection: 1,300 rushing yards, 12 rushing scores; 55 catches, 450 receiving yards, three receiving scores.

Candidate No. 2: Andre Johnson

2009 numbers: 101 catches, 1,569 yards, nine scores

Entering his eighth season as a Texan, Johnson has become the cream of the receiver crop. Blessed with great size and speed, Johnson has averaged 108 catches, 1,572 yards and nine scores over his last two seasons.

Johnson benefited from the emergence of quarterback Matt Schaub last season. Schaub completed 396 passes for 4,770 yards and 29 scores. Astonishing enough, Johnson caught 26 percent of Schaub’s passes. In addition to Schaub’s efficiency, Johnson also benefits from the return of dynamic tight end Owen Daniels, who tore his ACL during Week 8 last season. With no real emergence within the

running game, expect the ball to be flying all over Reliant Stadium this season.

2010 Fantasy Sharks projection:
110 catches, 1,650 receiving yards, 10 receiving scores

Let’s get on with it …

With the fifth pick in the 2010 Fantasy Football draft, Matt selects….

Ok, stop! What was the first thing I told you?

Analyze your scoring system! Whew that was close

If this was a PPR league, I’d pick Johnson. With the uncertain status of Wes Welker, expect Johnson to be the receptions leader in the AFC. Also, there are so many questions surrounding other receivers that nabbing Johnson at No. 5 in PPR makes perfect sense …

Will Larry Fitzgerald still produce without Kurt Warner?

Will Miles Austin’s production take a hit with Dez Bryant onboard?

How will Randy Moss respond to extra coverage without Welker expanding the middle of the field?

Johnson does not have any of these questions and is in line for another big season. After grabbing Johnson, draft upside at running back in the coming rounds.

Gore’s pass-catching ability is very attractive, but I want someone who can catch the ball more than 100 times and is the largest beneficiary of this scoring system.

If this was a standard league, I’d pick Gore. Gore did score 13 times and logged more than 1,500 total yards last year. He only totted the rock 229 times, so he is somewhat fresh heading into this season. The 49ers are committed to running the ball and Gore will be wearing his hard hat all year in 2010.

Johnson’s lack of touchdowns hurt him a little in standard leagues. He and Gore had virtually the same yardage totals, but Gore’s touchdowns push him over the edge.

Who would you pick at No. 5 in your draft? Before answering, always remember to consider your league’s draft settings!

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