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Fantasy spin: Mario Manningham

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Recent posts by William Del Pilar

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By William Del Pilar

Mario Manningham has parlayed a great playoff run and Super Bowl — 13-189-3 in four postseason games — into a two-year contract with the 49ers. The team did not release financial numbers.

The Niners need WR help and, with Randy Moss signed a few weeks ago, Manningham has solidified the position. At 26, he has young legs with room to grow as a receiver whereas the team simply hopes Moss has some gas and skill left in the tank. The receiving corps now consists of Michael Crabtree, Moss and Manningham and has gone from a position of weakness over the years to a talented threesome with intriguing fantasy possibilities. However, when you add TE Vernon Davis to the mix, it's clear that there aren't enough footballs to go around. 

Manningham's role has to be determined but he lost his starting job last year to Victor Cruz, so the No. 3 role is not out of the realm of possibilities. Can Crabtree take the next step in his development? That's the biggest question despite Moss being long in the tooth. 

Manningham will enter his fifth year, and in that time he has totaled 160-2,315-18 in 49 games — an average of 3.3 catches for 47.2 yards and 0.4 TDs. Those aren't attractive fantasy numbers but in 2010, starting eight games, he caught 60-944-9 on 92 targets. What was impressive was the fact that seven of his TDs were  25 yards or longer, including three of 50-plus yards (54, 85 and 92 yards). There's no doubt he can make an impact as a starter and even as a vertical threat if Moss doesn't work out.

His upside is there but training camp and preseason games will settle his exact value as the team still needs to re-sign QB Alex Smith and settle on the roles for Crabtree and Moss. Manningham will make a quality fantasy addition as a No. 3 fantasy receiver or flex-position slot on your roster. 

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