Which 49ers should you start this week and which ones should be left on the bench.
It’s here ladies and gentleman, week 1 of the 2017 NFL season is officially underway. As a result, months of research and preparation will come to fruition on football fields all over the country.
There will also be months of the same paying off in living rooms and on laptops all over the United States this weekend in the form of fantasy football leagues.
Here we will look at which of the San Francisco 49ers 46-active players should be viewed as starts this Sunday against the Carolina Panthers and which ones should be sits.
RB Carlos Hyde - Truth be told, I am not merely listing Hyde as a start for the purposes of this information, I am starting him opposite Leonard Fournette in one of my fantasy leagues.
Hyde has stated that it is his goal to be the league’s leading rusher in 2017. I’m not saying that is feasible but the incumbent is in the best shape of his professional career. He is also in an offense that will give him the greatest ability to thrive than any we’ve seen so far.
Carolina finished last season with the sixth rushing defense so some might see Hyde as a reach this week. But he is a must start as he won’t be used solely out of the backfield. Watch for HC Kyle Shanahan to move his star back around quite a bit, maximizing his potential in this matchup.
WR Pierre Garcon - Garcon is the most productive receiver the 49ers have employed since the days of Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. He is listed at the top of the depth chart for this Sunday’s contest and should be considered a WR2 or WR3 in PPR leagues.
Garcon was the highest targeted receiver last season with the Washington Redskins where he saw 116 passes, resulting in 79 catches for 1,041 yards and three touchdowns. 2016 also saw his fourth straight season with at least 100 targets.
Not to mention that last time that Garcon and Shanahan were together was in 2013. That season Garcon saw 184 targets catching 113 of them for 1,346-yards five touchdowns. Look for them to recreate the magic fromt hat campaign.
FB (OW) Kyle Juszczyk - While Hyde should see the bulk of action running the ball, the 49ers did not make Juszczyk the highest paid fullback in history to have him only leading the way on rushing downs. In PPR formats I can see him finishing the season as a top 30 running back. He went undrafted in the majority of fantasy leagues but should provide some upside off waivers. Look for Shanahan to use him much in the same way that former HC Jim Harbaugh and OC Greg Roman used TE Delanie Walker when he was in San Francisco. He will also be a safety net for QB Brian Hoyer if he gets in trouble.
WR Marquise Goodwin - As this season progresses I see Goodwin as being a viable WR3 or Flex option. He is available in most leagues and there is a reason why for now. He has yet to prove that he can stay healthy. When he has been, he has performed below the expectations that the Buffalo Bills had for him when they drafted him with the 78th overall pick in 2013.
He has accumulated 49-catches for 780-yards and six-touchdowns in his four-years as a pro. He is going to have to prove that he can be the #2 threat that many think he can before we start calling for him to be active on fantasy rosters.
TE George Kittle - Kittle has tremendous upside, evidenced by the fact that the 49ers traded away veteran TE Vance McDonald to the Pittsburgh Steelers this preseason. He has however been dealing with a hamstring issue since early August, which he reaggravated this week.
He is currently listed as the #1 TE on the depth chart but most likely will be a gametime decision. If he is active it’s not likely that he’ll be able to produce at a high level if he is favoring that hamstring to any degree.
RB Matt Breida - For all the talk this week about Breida and Hyde sharing the rushing duties for the 49ers I’m not sold on the former being a viable fantasy option this week. I can see Shanahan employing the same style he did in Atlanta, molding his top two RB’s into a Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman 2.0, I just believe it’s going to take time.
This week notwithstanding, I do recommend stashing Breida as his touches and production will increase over the season. Not to mention Hyde has a history of injuries and if he misses extended time this year, Breida would move into the top spot at RB.
Stay tuned to 49ersHUB for more Fantasy content and let us know who you'll be starting!