• Matt Woolsey

Fantasy Football Primer: Which 49ers Should You Consider Drafting?

Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann

The question is not so much whether you trust drafting any 49ers because I believe there will be 49ers players who will bring good fantasy points. The question is: can you draft them at their current ADP (average draft position). Are you going to be willing to spend the cost it will take for some of these players? These will change slightly during training camp and preseason but here are the current ADPs in a half-point PPR (Points Per Reception) league.

George Kittle – Mid Third Round Pick

Will George Kittle repeat last year’s yardage total? More than likely he will not. But will Kittle still bring you amazing fantasy points? He absolutely will. Even though I do not believe Kittle will repeat his yards total from his record setting year, he is still a monster with yards after the catch. And if Jimmy Garoppolo and the rest of the team can stay healthy I believe his touchdown total will go up from the five he had last season which will help offset some of the yards he will not gain this season.

But that draft cost is too much for me personally to pull the trigger. I am not one to draft an early tight end. I would rather load up on running back and wide receivers and draft a tight end in the later rounds. But I can say there is probably a huge drop off from the top the three tight ends, Travis Kelce, Zach Ertz, and then Kittle. If you like drafting your tight end early then Kittle will be a great one to have, but as for me he will not be on any of my teams this season.

Tevin Coleman – Late Sixth Round Pick

Last season Tevin Coleman had his shot at being the guy after Devonta Freeman went out with an injury and he disappointed fantasy players, which is probably one of the reasons why he was so cheap for the 49ers to sign. Now Coleman is reunited with his former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan. During his sophomore season in 2016, when Shanahan was with the Falcons, Coleman had almost 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was the 21st best running back that season.

I want to see how training camp and preseason start to shake out but if Shanahan is going to utilize Coleman in San Francisco the same way he did in Atlanta, and especially if Coleman keeps his sixth round ADP, then I am buying into Coleman in 2019. As a sixth-round pick you are drafting him as a flex and if Shanahan can get that top-24 type production out of him then this would be a steal in your draft. We saw last season how productive the 49ers’ running backs were, but they couldn’t stay healthy. I will own some shares of Coleman this season at that price.

Dante Pettis – Late Seventh/Early Eighth Round Pick

I love me some Dante Pettis this season. I have a couple dynasty startup leagues this season and I drafted him in both. Pettis is the future of the 49ers. Yes, it was a small sample size, but we saw Dante Pettis as a top-10 wide receiver in the last five weeks of the fantasy season last year. He was the second-best wide receiver in Week 13. Like the rest of his comrades last season Pettis dealt with some injuries but we saw his potential last season and he was only a rookie. Now he is entering his sophomore season and another year acclimated to the Shanahan system. Pettis is an amazing route runner with some nasty hands and at this price you are drafting him for your bench, but he has, in my opinion, top-20 upside. I want Pettis in every league I can get him in.

Jerick McKinnon – Early Ninth Round Pick

It was just last season we saw McKinnon as a second- or third-round pick and now after missing the entire 2018 season with an ACL injury he fell almost into the double-digit rounds. I don’t expect him to stay at this price when preseason starts but depending on exactly how high he jumps I will take a chance on the starting running back for the 49ers. Yes, I still believe McKinnon is the starting running back. There is some risk coming off his ACL injury, but this is swing-for-the-fences territory. This is where you are taking chances on some players because you have your starting lineup already set. I still believe he can have over 1,000 yards and close to double-digit touchdowns this season. We saw Shanahan make Freeman and Coleman viable starters in 2016; why couldn’t he do that with McKinnon and Coleman?

Jimmy Garoppolo – Late Eleventh/Early Twelfth Round Pick

Just like the tight end position, I never draft quarterbacks early. I would rather draft a quarterback late, never draft a backup, and play the waiver wire. Garoppolo’s first three games this season are against the Buccaneers, the Bengals, and the Steelers; all three defenses ranked in the bottom half against the quarterback last year. Things may change this season but as for now all we can go on is what they did last season. Just like McKinnon, there is risk as Garoppolo suffered the ACL injury last year. But I believe he is out to prove this season he was worth the contract the 49ers gave him, plus they could cut him next season with less than five million in dead cap space, so he may very well be playing for his job in 2019.

The 49ers have an early round bye in Week 4 but maybe, just maybe, Garoppolo can get off to an early start before you have to head to the waiver wire for a different quarterback. At this price with that type of start to the season, Garoppolo is definitely worth the pickup to start your year.

Other Considerations

Deebo Samuel and Marquise Goodwin are both in the 13th- and 14th-round area of the draft. Both are with some upside, Goodwin more so than Samuel because I think he will be the early starter and it’s difficult for rookie wide receivers to make a splash in fantasy. But I would not be surprised if Goodwin gets replaced by Samuel sometime this season.

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