Fantasy Football Projections: San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers Helmet

No bandwagon is crowding up faster than Jimmy Garoppolo’s this fantasy season. The young starter is coming off the board ahead of veteran staples like Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers and Matt Stafford and virtually all based on his late-season run in 2017. Jimmy G was shipped to San Fran in the second half last year and ripped off five straight wins – including three against playoff teams –  amassing 1542 yards, 7 TD and 5 INT in the process. It was an impressive run but the question remains whether it was a hot streak only or a sign of future greatness. The league had never seen Garoppolo play and there will now be a book out on the gunslinger which will help teams prepare for him. That said, Kyle Shanahan loves a pass-heavy offense so Jimmy G will get his chance to toss the rock around the yard. A bigger problem facing the quarterback is a lack of reliable targets with a blend of aging veterans and career underachievers in the fold at WR and TE. Garoppolo is a good flier, but I’m not taking him as my starter Week 1.

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Running back for the 49ers is probably one of the more interesting positions around the league for fantasy purposes. Jerrick McKinnon comes in as a very talented playmaker who can contribute in all phases of the offense, but his size makes him a major durability concern as a workhorse. Many are projecting heavy workloads for the young back as the starter but I think San Francisco may be slightly higher on backup Matt Breida than we think. Breida quietly carved out a 4.4 yard-per-carry average over 105 carries last year behind Carlos Hyde while also pulling in 21 catches as a rookie. He was very effective when given the looks and he has every chance to expand his role and form a solid 1-2 punch with McKinnon. San Francisco is likely to try to utilize McKinnon as much as possible while also trying to keep him fresh and work Breida in. McKinnon is a RB2/3 and Breida is a potential FLEX option.

There simply is not a lot to like in this group of receivers. Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin are your primary targets here and that pretty much says it all. 32 years old and Garcon has managed only one season over 800 receiving yards over the past four years. Goodwin had a semi-breakout in 2017 going 962 yards on 56 catches with an unsustainable 17.2 yard per catch average. Those stats more than doubled Goodwin’s career totals from his previous four seasons demonstrating his journeyman status. Trent Taylor is a mediocre slot man and rookie Dante Pettis will try to carve out a role as one of Garoppolo’s go-to guys but this is a tough group of pass catchers to trust. Goodwin is a WR3, Garcon and Taylor are stash plays in PPR leagues.

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George Kittle is an intriguing play at tight end for the 49ers. Kittle rattled off 43 catches for over 500 yards in his rookie campaign and could emerge as a solid fantasy contributor this year. He’s joined by Garrett Celek who will steal some looks but this is the type of team where the tight ends get a larger share of the looks given the mediocrity of the receiving corps. Kittle is a Top 10 fantasy TE for me.

2018 Projections:

NAME POSITION CMP ATT PASS YD PASS TD INT RU YD RU TD
Jimmy Garappolo QB 325 550 3825 24 14 30 1

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Jerrick McKinnon RB 215 950 5 55 470 4 1
Matt Breida RB 125 550 5 30 280 1 1

 

NAME POSITION CARRIES RU YD RU TD REC  REC YD REC TD FUM
Pierre Garcon WR 65 730 4
Marquise Goodwin WR 60 885 5
Trent Taylor WR 40 415 1
Dante Pettis WR 20 245
George Kittle TE 50 555 3
Garrett Celek TE 25 220 1
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Ben Stecker

Ben Stecker

Author SportsTalkLine.com at SportsTalkLine
Writer, sports connoisseur, Pacific Northwesterner. Rarely met a sport I couldn't be great friends with. Follow me on twitter @Softball_Guy
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