49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Breida Fantasy Outlook After Preseason Week 3

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IAugust 25, 2019

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) fakes a handoff to running back Matt Breida (22) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

In the San Francisco 49ers' 27-17 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night, Jimmy Garoppolo put on his best display since suffering a torn ACL in Week 3 last season.

The 27-year-old quarterback played the first half—the most game action he's had since the injury ended his 2018-19 campaign—and finished with 188 yards and one touchdown on 14-of-20 passing. The touchdown came on a 20-yard toss to running back Matt Breida:

San Francisco 49ers @49ers

20-yard TD for #22! @JimmyG_10 finds @MattBreida in the back of the end zone to tie it up. #SFvsKC https://t.co/t38ik5e98v

That's an encouraging sight for both the Niners and fantasy owners.

Prior to tearing his ACL, Garoppolo scored at least 20 fantasy points in two of his three starts, per CBSSports.com.

"One of the biggest reasons to like Garoppolo as a Fantasy quarterback is coach Kyle Shanahan, who got nine games of at least 20 fantasy points from his trio of passers, including C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens," the CBS Sports staff added.

According to ESPN, Garoppolo finished his abbreviated 2018 with 48 fantasy points on 718 yards and five touchdowns. Presuming he's able to stay healthy for all 16 games in 2019, ESPN projected him to rack up 241.8 fantasy points—good for 23rd at the position—and categorized him as "a back-end QB2 and post-hype sleeper."

Meanwhile, Breida is entering this season on the opposite end of the spectrum, as last year was the best of his two-year NFL career. The 24-year-old rushed for 814 yards and three touchdowns to go with 261 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns across 14 games (13 starts).

However, Breida's breakout 2018 happened because he was thrust into a larger role after Jerick McKinnon tore his ACL and missed the entire season.

Breida's fantasy value in 2019 will again hinge on McKinnon's health, and McKinnon's availability to start the regular season is all but certain:

Matt Maiocco @MaioccoNBCS

RB Jerick McKinnon (knee) is having a platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatment. He’ll have two weeks to recover, then 18 days after that before Week 1 of the regular season. “If he’s ready, that would be great,” #49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “If not, we’ll be patient with him.”

On top of McKinnon's pending return, the Niners added Tevin Coleman in March. If Breida's ceiling is the 135.5 fantasy points he scored as San Francisco's top back last season, and the Niners backfield is more crowded this season, the safest place to look at him moving forward will be as a flex option with upside potential at RB2.