Contributions from Joshua Hudson, Joe Zollo, Tim Murphy, & Chris Tyler
After spending their 1st round pick on a defensive lineman in each draft from 2015-2017, the 49ers felt that wasn’t enough. So they did it again. Nick Bosa is arguably the most talented player in this draft, so it made perfect sense. Following him up with two intriguing talents at wide receiver give San Francisco a ton of promise on offense. But taking a punter in the 4th round? John Lynch– bro — you’re better than that. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
I don’t think there’s a team in the league with the kind of depth at running back that the 49ers have. Seriously. Will anyone feel overly comfortable drafting any of them? What I do know is that whoever gets the lion’s share of the carries, they’ll be a fantasy stud. My money is on Coleman, for now. The jury is still out on Jimmy G, and that was before he tore his ACL last season. While Dante Pettis showed flashes last season — and those rookie receivers display serious potential — the receiver corps is also a question mark. The surest of players on the roster? TE George Kittle. Draft him. Early. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
Overall, this 49ers team has a tremendous amount of upside and a lot of it lies in their backfield. Jerick McKinnon will be back from the injury that kept him out all of 2018, and Matt Breida returns off of his solid campaign last season. One guy who was not on the team last year who will be making a reunion with his former OC in 2019 is Tevin Coleman. He has shown flashes of being a legit fantasy RB (RB19 finish last year) and some of his best games were under Kyle Shanahan, the former Atlanta Falcons OC and current 49ers HC. Being a threat in both the running and passing game, Coleman has the ability to steal all the action in a somewhat crowded backfield. Having his former coach in San Francisco with him doesn’t hurt either. – Joe Zollo
Jimmy Garoppolo is a popular bounce-back candidate after his ACL heals and he returns to an upgraded offense. He looked solid upon San Francisco’s acquisition of him in 2017, and the complete opposite to start 2018. Jimmy G is, as Chris Molina likes to say, “Jimmy Average.” With the presence of stud TE George Kittle, second-year WR Dante Pettis, the returning RB Jerick McKinnon, rookie WR Deebo Samuel, and newly-signed RB Tevin Coleman, we are all about to find out what Jimmy G is really made of.
Let’s take a quick peek at his last two seasons in San Francisco, both being small sample sizes. When the 49ers acquired Jimmy G in 2017, he appeared in the last six games and started the final five. If you extrapolate his numbers from those five starts, Jimmy G was on pace for 4,934 passing yards and only 19 touchdowns. Because of those yards, many pundits pegged Jimmy G as the next big thing. He started the first three games of 2018 before tearing his ACL, and he was hardly on pace for 4,934 yards — knock off about 1,100 or so yards, and you’re there. That’s right. Jimmy G was on pace for 3,829 passing yards and 27 touchdowns. Not counting INTs and fumbles (which take away fantasy points), Jimmy G was on pace to be QB15 in 2017 and QB16 in 2018.
So I ask — where’s the upside? He’s a backup fantasy QB who hasn’t played a full season as a starter in the league. The additional weapons around him only add to the facade that Jimmy G and pundits everywhere have helped implant into your brains. – The Hudsonian, Joshua Hudson
This is easy. Write George Kittle into your will. Give him power of attorney. Let him babysit your kids. Trust this man with your fantasy team. My guy went for 88-1,377-5 last year with Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard throwing to him the majority of the season. This wasn’t safety valve production from Kittle either. Hhe is a deep threat and a stellar route runner. We’re talking about the 3rd best TE and the 44th best OVERALL fantasy player last year in Club Fantasy leagues. He has officially taken Gronk’s place (and moved in with Ertz and Kelce) as the TE that could easily be taken before round 3 is over. Maybe 88 receptions is generous to repeat this season, but I also expect an increase in TDs to balance that out. Kittle averaged 8.5 targets per game last year, and there’s no reason to believe Kyle Shanahan wouldn’t want to increase that for a player who has proven to be a stellar pass catcher and an unexpected downfield threat. Kittle caught three 40+ yard TD receptions last year, including two for 80+ yards. The 49ers will continue to press him downfield to take advantage of bad matchups with slower LBs and smaller CBs, similar to the Patriots with Gronk over the last few years. Also, he rushed once for 10 yards last year, so make sure to include that 1 point when making your decision to draft him next year. – Tim Murphy
With how the offseason went for the 49ers, drafting stud wide receiver Deebo Samuel was steller. Jimmy Garoppolo has two receivers — Dante Pettis and Trent Taylor — who are great guys, but neither one stands out currently as a true number one. That’s where Samuel comes in. Samuel is very competitive and highly aggressive when he has a man lined up in front of him, and he possesses strong hands with the will to win contested catches. Pairing him deep with Kittle will have defenses worrying about which guy is the priority, causing deadly mismatches this fall. The work ethic Deebo Samuel has will propel him toward becoming a household name. – Chris Tyler
Jimmy Garoppolo will presumably be back and be healthy this season, so every receiver’s draft stock on the roster goes up. They just drafted Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, signed Jordan Matthews in free agency, and still have Marquise Goodwin from last year. There is one guy from last year, who just two years ago was catching balls from 2019 UDFA, Jake Browning. The cousin of Austin, Dante Pettis is poised to become a great receiver this season.
He missed some of last season due to injury, but in the 12 games he did play, he managed 467 yards on 27 receptions with 5 touchdowns. Not mind-boggling numbers I know, BUT that was his first year and that was with a 2nd and 3rd string QB. He has downfield speed with great hands, and since his cousin didn’t get enough NFL talent, that means it all lies within Dante. By season’s end, it would not shock me if Pettis was a low-end WR2 if he stays healthy, and his current ADP on Sleeper is WR37 (in the 10th round!). – Joe Zollo
So let’s get this straight. I hate Dee Ford. What does that have to do with anything? Not much, I just don’t feel he is worthy of an NFL roster spot or a spot on your fantasy team. Strictly one-dimensional guys, such as Ford, do not deserve to be drafted on your team. Now, the guy who will be calling the defense, Kwon Alexander, does deserve a spot on your team. He is coming off a torn ACL, which does raise red flags, but when he is on the field his production in tackles is unbelievable. In 2016 when he played all 16 games, he had 145 tackles. That is the thing with Alexander — will he stay healthy? I would happily take him as a backup due to his injury history. If you want him as your LB1, I won’t oppose, but you better have a healthy LB2 behind him.
Moving to the down lineman, DeForest Buckner was a Top 5 DL last season, and I don’t see why he doesn’t do that again this year. He has Nick Bosa opposite him to take some attention away, which will open up more lanes and more ways to wreak havoc. I am not sold on Nick Bosa right now because he is primarily a pass rushing DE and I am not sure how he will do at this level. Outside of those two guys, I do not see anybody I would draft.
In the secondary, the only guy I would even bat an eye at is Jaquiski Tartt, and that’s a stretch. He has been consistently injured and just has not produced a great amount since his rookie season. – Joe Zollo