As we anticipate the start of the 2017 NFL season, the DFF Degenerates (@DFF_Degenerates) are tearing down every team in the NFL – #32teams32days. We’re going round-trip to tackle the entire country – AFC East to West, then NFC West to East. We didn’t have to do it, but we did.
Buckle up! It’s going to be a bumpy ride. We’re traveling to another dimension between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge… that’s the signpost up ahead – our next stop – the RED ZONE.
Continuing our series, we visit the
San Francisco ’49ers
Who are the fantasy relevant players?
@DiBari22: Barf. I hate this team for fantasy. If Kyle Shanahan wasn’t here, nobody would have even a glimmer of hope going forward. A big pile of “meh” at receiver. A grab bag of talent, injury and mystery at running back and the 2016 Chicago Bears depth chart at QB. Yeah, no thanks.
@DynastyGOAT: For the life of me, I will never understand how Brian Hoyer continues to get starting opportunities in the NFL. If the Niners were really looking to compete in 2017, they would be knocking down Tony Romo’s door instead.
@DFF_Walk: Carlos Hyde (barring an unforeseen trade) and Pierre Garcon are the only players of note from a fantasy perspective. Vance McDonald and George Kittle will likely cannibalize each other for TE targets thus rendering them both useless in fantasy.
@TravisNFL: I’ve actually been trying to acquire Brian Hoyer in all of my superflex leagues this offseason. He gets starting opportunities every year because he’s better than an NFL backup, but not nearly good enough to be a franchise QB. Last year he had 4 consecutive games of over 300 passing yards, and threw 2 touchdowns in 3 of those 4 games. I fully plan on using him in my QB2 slot in some good matchups and as a bye-week fill-in. You may even be able to flip him mid-season if he has another run similar to last year.
@DFF_Madman: The only player I care about is the starting RB. I’m not even interested in Garcon. The offense will not be good enough to worry about journeyman Hoyer or any of the older players on offense for more than streaming or short-term roster fill. There are a few rookies to target in dynasty… at RB and TE. I don’t know what to make of CJ Beathard.
@DFF_JamesH: Maybe not this year, but we are based around dynasty football so I am picking CJ Beathard. I thought it was a sensible pick late on and believe he may hold some degree of fantasy relevance in the future.
Is Hyde going to carry the load like an RB1?
@DiBari22: It might not be right out of the gate from day 1, but I’m really starting to think that the long-term guy to own here is Matt Breida. It’s unlikely Hyde is in their future plans here. Joe Williams is just a guy and Breida has gotten nothing but glowing reviews all off season. He passes the eyeball test in the limited amount of touches I’ve seen.
@DFF_Walk: I can’t recall a single fantasy relevant player that has had a rollercoaster offseason even close to what Hyde experienced. A healthy Carlos Hyde is an RB1 all day and twice on Sunday. In 2016, The 6’0”, 235 lbs. bruiser averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his first season with 200+ carries. Throw in another 27 receptions and 3 receiving touchdowns and I think Hyde is more dual threat RB then most people (I’m looking at you Kyle) think.
@TravisNFL: Carlos Hyde is the best running back on this roster, and it’s not close. However, I agree that he’s probably not in San Francisco’s long-term plans. If I owned him I’d be looking to sell as soon as he has his first big game.
Who are the starting WRs? Is anyone going to rise to WR1 status here?
@DynastyGOAT: Pierre Garcon is the only receiver worth mentioning. Whoever lines up opposite will be either a has-been, a journeyman, or a mailman. Regardless, you should stay far away from any receiver not named Garcon if you are interested in actually winning at fantasy football.
@DiBari22: In PPR leagues, Garcon will probably be solid all year but after him good luck. I was on the Bruce Ellington bandwagon, but after he got cut the only other guy who might be on your radar as a deep dynasty stash is rookie Trent Taylor.
@DFF_Walk: Nothing to add here. Garcon will be peppered with Brian Hoyer targets all season as the 49ers will no doubt spend most of their games in catch up mode.
@DFF_JamesH: Clean sweep. I’m also going with Garçon, nothing else stands out for me.
@TravisNFL: Agreed. Garcon is the only one to own. Marquise Goodwin will catch a few bombs, but won’t be useable in fantasy. I have grabbed him in the very last round of a couple of best-ball leagues though.
@DynoEconomist: Over the last three years, no receiver on a bottom five passing offense has posted a top-20 season. Low-end WR2 may be his ceiling, which is fine, just do not expect a lot more.
Is there any excitement around the use of TEs in the Shanny offense?
@DFF_Walk: As referenced in a previous response, McDonald and Kittle will likely split targets in 2017. I do like the dynasty prospects of George Kittle given Shanahan’s propensity to target the TE position but the fact that he’s attempting to wear multiple hats (HC and OC) in 2017 is concerning from a game plan perspective.
@TravisNFL: Excitement is definitely not the word I would use. Vance McDonald has the potential to be a valuable streamer in good matchups this year. As referenced above, Pierre Garcon is the only standout receiving option on this team, but he’s not getting 300 targets. There’s a chance McDonald could be useful, but I’m only rostering him as an end-of-the bench guy in TE-premium leagues.
@DFF_Madman: Kittle was a late-round target for me in rookie drafts. A bit undervalued, he should be a nice move TE for the offense Kyle Shanahan is building. Kittle will be on the field often, giving the Niners a passing game mismatch and solid run-blocking. Expect him to be more of an H-Back for San Francisco. I don’t worry about Vance McDonald in the longer term. He has done little in the NFL and even given his experience should be no more than the eventual TE2 as Kittle gains more experience. With a lack of dependable receivers on this team, Kittle should become a fantasy factor.
@DynoEconomist: McDonald and Kittle will likely split targets. Neither should be started other than an emergency situation.
That’s all the time we have for the Bay Area. Tomorrow we’re back in Los Angeles – this time with the Rams. Wow, for a city that can never keep an NFL team, they sure have a lot of NFL teams. We’ll make it out of California eventually, I promise.
Thank you for reading. We hope this helps you on your quest to find the otherworld of dynasty football.
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Previous articles in this series are available here.