Green's Insider piece ties both players' expectations to their quarterbacks. Crabtree should benefit as Alex Smith improves. Wells should get more chances now that the offense will not go through Kurt Warner.
Wells was a player I expected to contend for rookie of the year last season. He needed some seasoning, sure, but mostly he needed more chances. He should get those chances this season. Tim Hightower has played well enough to maintain a role in the offense. How those backs play off one another will also affect Wells' production.
Crabtree was remarkably consistent under the circumstances last season. He walked into the lineup as the 49ers were changing quarterbacks and remaking their offensive identity. I expect him to catch about 80 passes if he plays 16 games this season. That sounds high for a second-year player, but Crabtree caught between three and six passes every game he played last season. He caught at least four passes in nine of 11 games despite never participating in minicamps or training camp. He looked more like a seasoned pro than wide-eyed rookie.