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49ers Vs. Falcons: Michael Crabtree Might Light Up Atlanta's Secondary

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I’m still reasonably confident in an Atlanta victory, but we might want to be prepared for a much, much more explosive San Fran offense than we (or anyone) saw last year.

As I wrote at SB Nation Fantasy, Michael Crabtree could be the fourth straight wideout to have a big day against the Falcons:

Though he hasn’t accomplished much so far, think about starting Michael Crabtree as a no. 3 against the Falcons.

San Fran’s mid-week offensive coordinator switch promises to open the offense up, with many more targets coming Crabtree’s way. As Niners Nation mentions, new OC Mike Johnson is expected to test the Falcons’ deep coverage.

The Falcons defense hasn’t given up very many points, but they’ve shown a big play weakness, allowing an 80-yard scoring strike to Lance Moore last week, part of Moore’s 149-yard day. In fact, they’ve made way for a touchdown of 50 yards or more in all three games. Hines Ward and Larry Fitzgerald also had decent outputs against the Falcons. With starting cornerback Brent Grimes missing a practice this week, the trend may continue.

With Crabtree’s lack of production so far, he may be available in your league for a song. Last year, he averaged more than twice the yardage per game he’s produced so far this season, and he’s certainly capable of a career day this Sunday.

It’s worth nothing that, in Johnson’s previous two-game stint as an emergency offensive coordinator at the end of 2003, his offenses produced 30 and 21 points, both well above the team’s season average.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.