49ers' Top Players to Target in Fantasy Football Drafts
The San Francisco 49ers weren't exactly a fantasy football powerhouse during the 2020 season. While they did rank 15th in total offense, they ranked only 21st in points scored. Seven different times, they failed to score 21 points in a game.
Of course, injuries ravaged the 49ers last season, as key offensive players Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel and Raheem Mostert all missed significant time. A committee backfield further clouded the picture for fantasy managers, as no one back logged more than 600 rushing yards on the year.
The committee backfield will return in 2021 and is again clouded by Jeff Wilson Jr.'s torn meniscus. However, last year's injured players will also be back, which will provide managers with some viable fantasy options.
We'll examine the best of those options here.
Before we get into our top choices, let's examine a few sleeper options worth targeting in the middle-to-late rounds of the draft.
First up are quarterbacks Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. Lance is the rookie third overall pick who could push Garoppolo for the starting job—and/or replace the oft-injured quarterback at some point in the season. He brings dual-threat ability and could be worth a late-round look if it appears he'll get an opportunity sooner than later.
Garoppolo, who had 3,978 passing yards and 27 touchdowns back in 2019, is worth a late-round selection as a backup or streaming option. He isn't a high-level fantasy starter, but he's serviceable when healthy.
The same can be said for Raheem Mostert, who had 727 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns in only eight games last season. However, he'll be splitting time with the likes of Wayne Gallman and rookie third-round pick Trey Sermon.
Mostert can be targeted as a late flex option, though Sermon may actually have the higher upside—as unproven rookies often carry loads of boom-bust potential.
WR Brandon Aiyuk
As a rookie in 2020, wideout Brandon Aiyuk was more than serviceable. He finished his inaugural campaign with 60 receptions, 748 receiving yards, 77 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. He also appeared poised to may a second-year leap.
Garoppolo has praised the 23-year-old and the chemistry that the two are building in the offseason.
"The trust factor with me and B, it's been awesome," the quarterback said, per Jennifer Lee Chan of NBC Sports Bay Area.
If the quarterbacking situation can remain stable in 2021, Aiyuk should surpass 1,000 scrimmage yards on the year. He's worth targeting as a potential WR2 somewhere in Rounds 6-8 and can be a steal if had later than that.
WR Deebo Samuel
San Francisco's other top wideout is Deebo Samuel. While he was limited to seven games in 2020, he too had a strong rookie campaign. In 2019, the South Carolina product caught 57 receptions for 802 yards. He also added 159 rushing yards and scored six combined touchdowns.
The presence of Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle hurts Samuel's value some, as does Kyle Shanahan's tendency to utilize a run-heavy offensive attack. However, he also has 1,000-yard potential if Garoppolo can stay healthy for the full 17-game schedule.
Samuel can be targeted as a low-end WR2 or high-end flex option with upside. It's currently unclear whether he or Aiyuk will be the 49ers' top perimeter target, though I'm willing to give Aiyuk the edge based on his breakaway ability.
It's worth targeting Samuel in the middle rounds of the draft, preferably in Round 7 or later.
TE George Kittle
If you're only going to place one 49ers player on your fantasy roster, it has to be Kittle. He's one of the few truly elite tight ends in fantasy, and he's only going to come out of starting lineups if injured or during the bye week.
The 27-year-old was limited to eight games by injuries last season, but he racked up 48 receptions, 634 receiving yards and two touchdowns in that span. In each of the previous two years, he topped the 1,000-yard mark and was named to the Pro Bowl.
When Kittle played a full 16 games in 2018, he had an impressive 1,377 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
Kittle is a point-per-reception machine and arguably the top tight end to target—along with Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs. Depending on your scoring format, he's worth scooping up as early as Round 3.