2023 San Francisco 49ers Outlook

An in-depth fantasy breakdown and preview ahead of the 2023 NFL and Fantasy season.

2023 San Francisco 49ers Outlook The 2023 NFL season is right around the corner and that means fantasy football drafts are underway. Before you assemble your championship dynasty, redraft, or high-stakes squad, FullTime Fantasy members will have an in-depth, player-by-player […]

2023 San Francisco 49ers Outlook

The 2023 NFL season is right around the corner and that means fantasy football drafts are underway. Before you assemble your championship dynasty, redraft, or high-stakes squad, FullTime Fantasy members will have an in-depth, player-by-player preview of all 32 teams from football legend Shawn Childs.
Also, check out Jody Smith's NFL offensive line rankings and exclusive 2023 Strength of Schedule analysis.
Up next in our extensive NFL and fantasy football preview series is Shawn's deep dive into the 2023 San Francisco 49ers Outlook.
-- Quarterback --
Brock Purdy
Over four seasons at Iowa, Purdy passed for 12,170 yards with 81 touchdowns and 33 interceptions over 48 starts. He added 365 rushes for 1,177 yards and 19 touchdowns. The 49ers drafted him in the seventh round in 2022.
Injuries at quarterback last season gave Purdy their starting job in Week 13. Over his eight games, he went 8-0 with 1,854 passing yards, 18 touchdowns, and three interceptions. Purdy completed 66.8% of his passes with elite yards per pass attempt (8.4). His impact showing came in the first game in the postseason (348 yards and four scores). When him behind center, San Fran averaged 27.5 passes.
His season ended in the Super Bowl due to an ACL injury in his right elbow that required surgery in mid-February. Baseball players need 18 months to recover fully from these types of injuries. The 49ers believe he has a shot to be ready for Week 1. 
Fantasy Outlook: His success in 2022 (172.2 fantasy points in a four-point passing touchdown league) projected over 17 games ranked Purdy as a top-10 quarterback. 
Jody Smith: Purdy has returned to the 49ers and is taking the majority of first-team reps. Also, Kyle Shanahan has praised Purdy's leadership and rehab. That puts the sophomore signal caller in-line to be the club's starter in Week One. View Purdy as an upside QB2 with a targetable discount ADP.
Trey Lance
With the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the 49ers invested in Lance. His natural comparison would be Lamar Jackson by stats, but Lance can’t match his top-end speed or arm strength. He plays with his eyes up when breaking the pocket while featuring an explosive gear when turning a run-up field. My comp was closer to Deshaun Watson in overall look.
Lance needs more experience reading defenses and will be tested as a passer at the next level. His challenge will come in defeating coverage in the deep passing game, as his reads will invite runs before a wide receiver breaks free over the long field. 
Lance came to the NFL with one starting season on his resume in college. In his sophomore year in 2019, he passed for 2,786 yards and 28 touchdowns while not throwing an interception. Also, Lance was a beast on the ground (169/1,100/14), setting up an intriguing NFL career. Back in 2020, North Dakota State canceled the football season after one game, leading to him entering the draft. His style of play fits well in the 49ers’ offense. They want to control the line of scrimmage with a dominant run game while offering an exciting combination of receivers at wide receiver and tight end.
In six games of action in his rookie season, he gained 771 combined yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions. Lance saw 2022 end after 82 snaps over two games due to a broken right ankle. He struggled in his only complete game (164/0 with 13 rushes for 54 yards).
Fantasy Outlook: The spring reports have been positive, pointing to Lance fighting for the 49ers’ starting quarterback job. Brock Purdy is trending toward being ready for Week 1. San Francisco has a challenging decision in 2023, but Lance has to prove he can win games in the NFL before regaining the starting job.
Other Options: Sam Darnold, Brandon Allen Update: Brock Purdy has returned to the lineup. Also, some reports indicate that Lance has slipped to third on the depth chart. Plus, the 49ers reportedly have received "substantial" trade inquiries for Lance. Other Opt
-- Running Backs --

The 49ers’ running backs scored 73 touchdowns over the past three seasons. The addition of Christian McCaffrey led to new tops in all categories except for rushing touchdowns (18) last year. They gained 3,050 combined yards with 24 scores and 87 catches (31.53 FPPG in PPR formats). Their backs have had more than 500 touches each season from 2020 and 2022.
Christian McCaffrey
McCaffrey led fantasy leagues in running back scoring in PPR leagues in 2018 (387.0) and 2019 (471.2). In 2019, he finished with 403 touches while only being the third player in NFL history to gain over 1,000 yards rushing (1,387) and receiving (1,005). McCaffrey gained over 100 yards rushing in six of his first nine games but none over the final seven weeks. Carolina featured him more in the passing games (68/609/1) over his downturn in rushing yards, highlighted by three outings (11/121, 11/82, and 15/119). McCaffrey had 10 catches or more in five games.
He averaged 28.7 touches per game (30.13 FPPG) in 2020 while missing 13 weeks with ankle, thigh, and shoulder injuries. In 2021, McCaffrey played well over his seven starts (785 combined yards with two touchdowns and 37 catches). His regression in scoring led to 18.21 FPPG with a step down in touches (19.4 per week) due to his injuries (hamstring and ankle). 
After missing 24 games in 2020 and 2021, McCaffrey played the entire season last year, leading to 1,880 combined yards with 13 touchdowns and 85 catches. In his 13 full games with the 49ers, he averaged 22.34 FPPG while averaging 19.5 touches. His best two showings in fantasy points came in Week 8 (40.60) and Week 17 (31.30).
Fantasy Outlook: With the risk factor a little further in the background and another stellar season on his resume, McCaffrey has a bright shade of green next to his name on the draft sheet. San Francisco features their running back position in their offense, and they have the best option in the league in the starting lineup. McCaffrey is a top-three player drafted in 2023. His floor, with 17 games played, should be 350 touches for 1,900 yards with 17 touchdowns and 90 catches.

Elijah Mitchell

Over his four seasons at Louisiana, Mitchell had success on the ground (527/3,267/41 – 6.2 yards per rush) with some chances in the passing game (49/597/5). He brings plus speed and explosiveness to the 49ers’ offense.
For those fantasy drafters preaching to Trey Sermon or Raheem Mostert in the 49ers’ backfield in 2021, Mitchell emerged as their Week 1 starter and an excellent waiver wire pick. When on the field for his 11 matchups during the regular season, he delivered five games with over 100 yards rushing (19/104/1, 18/107/1, 18/137/1, 27/133/1, and 21/119) and a limited role in the passing game (19/137/1). San Francisco gave him at least 18 touches in 11 of his 14 starts (including the playoffs). Unfortunately, he missed six games with rib, finger, concussion, and knee issues. 
Last year, Mitchell missed 12 games with knee and groin injuries. The 49ers gave him 67 touches over his six matchups with Christian McCaffrey on the field, leading to 333 combined yards with three touchdowns and five catches.
Fantasy Outlook: San Francisco would love Mitchell to stay healthy, and...



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About Shawn Childs 970 Articles
Shawn Childs has been a high stakes Fantasy baseball and football player since 2004 where he had success in his first season (three titles and $25,000 in winnings). In early years of the high stakes market in Fantasy baseball, he was ahead of the curve in player evaluation, draft value, and free agent bidding setting up four top-five finishes in the National Fantasy Baseball Championship. He has four AL-only Auction titles, one NL-only title, and five Main Event titles plus an overall title in 2012 at RTFBC (netted $10,000). This success led to an induction into the NFBC Baseball Hall of Fame. His success in the high stakes market led to a career in providing Fantasy Baseball and Fantasy Football content. On the football side, he’s competed and won in all different formats – auctions, draft championship, main events, and high-dollar leagues. He won 2nd place overall in the 2014 Most Accurate Salary Cap Expert contest at FantasyPros. As a dual-sport player, it was natural to transition to the daily games where he is a “swing for the fences type of guy.” Childs has appeared in one FanDuel NFL Live Final and one DraftKings NFL Live Final, a season-ending tournament which led to a couple of chances to win over $1,000,000.