San Francisco 49ers Team Outlook
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49ers Offense Outlook
Despite a downgrade at QB, San Francisco ran the ball better than expected. They ran the ball 44.3 percent of the time with below league average passing attempts (532). This season they’ll pass the ball better leading to growth in scoring.
The mystique of Garoppolo was almost cult-like after his trade to the 49ers. Jimmy has seven career starts in the NFL, which all ended in victories. He’s completed 67.3 percent of his passes in the NFL. Over his five starts with San Francisco in 2017, Garoppolo passed for 1,560 yards with seven TDs and five Ints while gaining an incredible 8.8 yards per pass attempt. Defenses only sacked him eight times compared to the 35 sacks taken over the other 11 games. Jimmy passed for over 290 yards in four of his five starts last year with 20 completions over 20 yards with five of those passes gaining 40 yards or longer.
Garoppolo had this breakdown in catches, yards, TDs, and targets to RBs (30/294/0 on 39 targets), WRs (64/842/2 on 100 targets), and TEs (23/412/3 on 31 targets) in his first five starts. His game is built to react to defenses by using the whole field and all his receiving options.
Last year Jimmy made three starts in 2018, which led to 718 passing yards with five TDs and three Ints. A torn ACL in his left knee ended his year. In 2018, the 49ers’ QBs passed for 4,247 yards with 26 passing TDs and 20 Ints. San Francisco should be ready for the regular season while trending in the right direction in mid-June.
From 2018 to 2019, the 49ers looked improved in the receiving core. This gives Garoppolo a chance at much better year. The growth of George Kittle and Dante Pettis point to 4,500+ passing yards with a push toward 30+ passing TDs.
Other Options: C.J. Beathard, Wilton Speight
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Last year Coleman had the most touches (199) of his career, which led to a career-high in combined yards (1,076 yards) with nine TDs and 32 catches. Over the last three years for the Falcons, Tevin gained 2,944 combined yards with 28 TDs and 90 catches while averaging 4.4 yards per rush and 11.1 yards per catch. Coleman has ties to the head coach with the Falcons. This season he’ll work in a split role in a similar fashion as his previous resume. Possible 800+ combined yards with double TDs and about 25 catches while being a tough ride in the Fantasy market with the 49ers expected to rotate in three RBs.
After a relatively quiet start to his career (1,911 combined yards with seven TDs and 91 catches), McKinnon broke through with his best year in the NFL in 2017. He gained 991 combined yards with five TDs and 51 catches while working in a split role with Latavius Murray in Minnesota after the injury to Dalvin Cook. The Vikings gave him 13.7 rushes over seven games midseason, but Jerick gained only 3.8 yards per carry leading to Murray gaining momentum on early downs. McKinnon didn’t have a rushing TDs over his last eight games. He shined in two games as a receiver (6/72 and 7/114).
His season ended before the 2018 season started with torn ACL in his right knee.
Kyle Shanahan will use two RBs in his offense, and he did rotate two backs in his successful season with Falcons. I only see about eight rushes per game with a chance to catch about four balls each week. With about 150 touches, Jerick projected to gain about 800 combined yards with about five and about 50 passes. His floor will be reasonable in PPR league due to his pass catching ability, but Matt Breida may steal his opportunity.
In his second year in the NFL, Breida gained 1,075 combined yards with five TDs and 27 catches on 180 touches. He flashed explosiveness in four games (11/159/1 with three catches, 10/117 and three catches, 17/132/2 with three catches, and 14/106 with three catches). In between, Matt battled in-game injuries leading multiple early exits. He missed two games with an ankle injury that ended his year in Week 17. In May, Breida suffered a torn muscle in his chest.
Over three seasons at Georgia Southern, Breida gained 4,304 combined yards with 40 TDs and 22 catches. He’s an undersized back (5’11” and 190 lbs.), but he offers strength and speed (4.38) highlight by his 8.7 yards per rush in 2014 and 7.9 in 2015. A change in coaching staff and injuries at QB led to a disappointing senior year (168/646/3) while gaining only 3.8 yards per rush.
This season he’ll work as the change of pace back in 2019, especially in games when the 49ers play from the lead. His lack of upside in TDs and catches makes him the toughest RB to own in San Fran without an injury to increase his playing time.
Other Options: Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson
Over the first six games, Pettis only had three catches for 96 yards and a TD in eight targets while missing time with a left knee issue. Over the last six games with starting snaps, Dante went 24-371-4 on 37 targets, highlighted by his explosive game in Week 13 (5/129/2). Hs season ended in Week 17 with an MCL issue that didn’t require surgery.
Over four seasons at Washington, Pettis caught 163 passes for 2,256 yards and 24 TDs. His best season came in 2016 (53/822/15) as a junior. His quickness and open field ability point to much higher upside than Marquise Goodwin with both players lacking the frame to defeat physical corners.
Dante will upgrade the punt return game while showing the ability to set up defenders while getting them flat-footed. He won’t beat a CB with his deep speed alone. His route running and quickness will create significant separation on double moves. Pettis has a DeSean Jackson feel while lacking the explosives on the outside. His hands grade well, but he won’t make a significant impact until he adds more bulk and strength.
This offseason, he worked on getting stronger to win a starting job. His success over the second half of the year points to 65+ catches for 900+ yards and five to seven TDs.
Over four seasons at South Carolina, Samuel caught 148 passes for 2,076 yards and 16 TDs with some success as a runner in 2016 (15/98/6). His game is built on more power than finesse. In the open field, Deebo can make big plays with respectable speed (4.48 40 yards dash in the NFL combine) for his size (5’11” and 214 lbs.). He plays with an edge to his game, which made me think of a Hines Ward.
In his best year in college in 2018, Samuel only caught 62 passes for 882 yards and 11 TDs. His playing time was cut short in 2015 and 2017 due to hamstring injuries. More of a hard worker than a dynamic player. Deebo needs work on his route running while needing to prove he can beat press coverage. I expect him to piss off defenses at times, which will come from being at the right place at the right time after working on getting open or making the tough catch in traffic. His hands grade well.
His skill set points to him winning a WR3 role in the 49ers’ offense at a minimum. In the early OTAs, Samuel missed time with a groin issue that should be cleared up by training game. Possible 50+ catches for 600+ yards and a handful of TDs.
After a solid start to his career with Eagles over three seasons (225 catches for 2,673 and 19 TDs on 346 targets), Matthews battled injuries over the last two years. He floundered in 2017 with the Bills (25/282/1 on 36 targets).
As bench player with the Eagles last season, Jordan did flash at times. He caught 20 of his 28 targets (71.4 percent) for 300 yards and two TDs. Matthews only had one game with over four targets (4/93 on five targets). His experience comes out of the slot, which may lead to him winning a starting job for the 49ers over the summer until their young WRs develop. Possible flier if his summer reports are positive.
Goodwin entered 2017 with ten career starts over four seasons with the Bills. In his 39 games played, he had 49 catches for 780 yards and six TDs on 111 targets. His catch rate (44.1) was a huge problem.
For the first time in his career, Marquise stayed healthy for all 16 games last year leading to 56 catches for 962 yards and two TDs on 105 targets. He had three games with over 100 yards receiving (5/116, 6/106, and 10/114) with two of those game coming with Jimmy Garoppolo starting at QB. Over the last five games of the year, Goodwin caught 29 passes for 384 yards and one TD on 43 targets.
In 2018, Marquise suffered a thigh bruise in Week 1, which led no catches or targets. He missed two of the next four games with a short opportunity in his two starts (3/30/1 and 2/24). Goodwin flashed in Week 6 (4/126/2), but he failed to make an impact in his other seven games played (2/24, 1/55/1, 1/11, 4/69, 2/20, 1/7, and 3/29) while missing three other contests due to multiple injuries.
This season he may rebound with Jimmy Garoppolo back behind center, but Dante Pettis is the better player. More of an insurance play than a worthwhile speculative add. I don’t trust his career path or his one year of success.
A beast arose at TE in 2018. After a respectable rookie season (43/515/2 on 63 targets), Kittle saw his opportunity more than double last year. He caught 88 of his 136 targets for 1,377 yards and five TDs. George gained 15.6 yards per catch thanks to 20 catches over 20 yards with six of those gaining 40+ yards. Kittle posted four great games (6/125/1, 4/108/1, 7/210/1, and 9/149/1) while catching five passes or more in eight other games. In mid-June, he missed time in the early OTAs due to a hip injury.
This season the 49ers should have more depth and talent at WR, which may cost Kittle some chances. In 2018, San Fran’s TEs caught 95 passes for 1,481 yards and seven TDs on 146 targets. I can’t count on as many big plays in 2019, so I’ll lower his bar slightly to 80+ catches for 1,100+ yards and growth TDs.
Other Options: Garrett Celek, Levine Toilolo, Kaden Smith, Ross Dwelley, Tyree Mayfield
With Robbie Gould failing to sign his franchise tag, the 49ers may be ready to change gears at kicker. They signed Jonathan Brown to a two-year deal in March for insurance. Jonathan is a former soccer player who failed to win the field goal job for the Bengals in multiple seasons.
In 2018, Gould made 33 of 34 field goals for San Fran with success as well in 2017 (39-for-41). Robbie has been exceptional from 50 yards or more in his career (29-for-37) with only two misses over his last 15 attempts from long range. In his career, Gould made 87.7 percent of his field goals with nine missed extra points in 140 chances over the previous five seasons.
The 49ers will score this year and create plenty of field goal chances. I’m interested in Gould as a top ten kicker, but I have trust issue if San Fran decides to roll with Jonathan Brown.
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