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San Francisco 49ers: A Season Of Disappointment?

The 49ers entered the 2007 season with high expectations.  2nd-year QB Alex Smith showed exponential gorwth over his rookie season in 2005 going from one TD pass in nine games to 16 over that same number of games in 2006.  RB Frank Gore also exploded exponentially going from 608 yards to 1,695 while also catching 61 passes, a four-fold increase over his 2005 totals.

Assuming continued growth, albeit measured in non-exponential ways, for both Gore and Smith in combination with the acquistion of WR Darrell Jackson via trade from division rival Seattle and the selection of Mississippi LB Patrick Willis in the 1st round had all football punditry predicting a great 2007 season. To quote Doug Farrar of Pro Football Prospectus:

The NFC West is ripe for the picking, and our projections give San Francisco the best chance to win the division, by a fraction over Seattle.  In 2008, that gap will be more than just a fraction.  The franchise that was in complete chaos a couple of years ago could soon be the NFC West's dominant force.

To augment those positive views was the projection of Gore as the top performing RB in 2007.  Fantasy football leagues everywhere latched on to him making him amongst the most hyped players entering the current season.  This excess of enthusiasm bled into the other 49ers making them hot fantasy sleepers.

Now following the 49ers 4th straight loss, the team's outlook isn't so rosy.  Frank Gore has yet to cross the 100-yard mark in any game and hasn't crossed the goal line since Week Two.  QB Alex Smith has yet do do anything and that includes the first three games he played before being injured in Week Four.  As for any WR of value, none has had more than 69 yards receiving in any game so far.  

This team has been nothing but a disaster.  The question is how does it look in 2008 with the questions of 2005 (QB) and 2006 (WR) looming as unanswered once again.

Fantasy Sports:

Update [2007-10-23 11:37:26 by Eric Hz]: ESPN has the wrong links.

Fantasy Sports with Nate Ravitz at 11AM.

Fantasy Sports with Matt Berry at 3PM.

General Football:

NFL with Matt Williamson at 1PM.

NFL Draft with Steve Muench at 2PM.

General Baseball:

MLB with Rob Neyer at noon.

MLB with Buster Olney at 1PM.