Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Jimmy Garoppolo (JAN ADP: 132.00, QB 13)
Expectations were sky-high for Garoppolo entering his first full NFL season as a starter this year. He closed the 2017 season with five straight victories but could not recapture the same magic to start 2018. After a rough opening game against a tough Minnesota defense who intercepted him three times, Garoppolo played better in his next two, throwing two touchdowns and zero interceptions in each. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ACL in his third game against Kansas City and missed the rest of the year.
Next season will be very important for him, not only needing to prove he is healthy again but also that he is a top ten fantasy quarterback he was being drafted as to start last season. He currently sits as the 11th-ranked quarterback in our composite rankings, near Baker Mayfield, Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Lamar Jackson.
He also came in as the 13th-ranked quarterback in DLF’s January 2019 ADP data. While this is much more palatable than when he was being selected as the sixth quarterback off the board back in March 2018 ADP, I believe it is still closer to his ceiling than his floor. His NFL sample size is still very small, with just ten starts in his five-year NFL career.
According to DFL January 2019 ADP, here are a few quarterbacks being selected after Garoppolo who I would take over the 49er: Matt Ryan, Josh Allen, Kirk Cousins, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford, and Jameis Winston. As you can see, the quarterback position is the deepest it has been in a while. As a result, I would much rather acquire the quarterbacks listed above for less than what Garoppolo would likely cost.
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Nick Mullens (JAN ADP: N/A, QB N/A)
Mullens was one of the most surprising quarterback stories of the year. C.J. Beathard played five games in place of Garoppolo but ended up hurting his wrist in week eight against the Cardinals. His injury opened the door for third-stringer Nick Mullens to make his NFL debut on a Thursday night game against the Oakland Raiders. Perhaps no better defense to make your first start against than the struggling Raiders, Mullens impressed even his biggest supporters with 262 yards passing and three touchdowns.
While he did not have any more performances like that the rest of the season, he did play well enough to help his team win a couple of games and possibly earn him a good chunk of money when his current contract expires. He is not a bad flier to hold onto in hopes a team offers him a “Mike Glennon-like” contract to try him out as their starter.
C.J. Beathard (JAN ADP: N/A, QB N/A)
Like Mullens, Beathard did a decent job filling in for the injured Garoppolo. He threw eight touchdowns to seven interceptions on the year. Although he did not win any games this season, the 49ers lost a few close games with him under center. He is likely a depth piece at best in Superflex leagues and probably not worth a roster spot in single quarterback leagues.
Jerick McKinnon (JAN ADP: 84.50, RB 32)
McKinnon was one of the most disappointing fantasy players this year, but not for his play on the field. He suffered a torn ACL in a preseason practice and left many fantasy owners wondering what could have been. He was one of the most polarizing players heading into the season, so next season will be huge for his career moving forward.
I could see him excelling in a Shanahan offensive scheme he seems like a great fit for. I could also see him struggling as a lead back because he has never really excelled as one throughout his career. Maybe he and Matt Breida become the next Devonta Freeman–Tevin Coleman combination for Kyle Shanahan. Or maybe the 49ers sign a big-name free agent and use the out in McKinnon’s contract to get out from under his cap hit. There is just too much uncertainty surrounding McKinnon at this point.
While there are questions, his January 2019 ADP is a much better spot to take a few risks than where he was being selected last summer (30.83 ADP last July). If he regains the lead back role next year his value will almost certainly rise. If he is productive with it, it could approach where it was last summer.
Matt Breida (JAN ADP: 94.50, RB 34)
Much like there is with McKinnon’s role, there is ambiguity surrounding Breida’s role moving forward as well. Breida played well when he was on the field, totaling 1,075 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns. He seemed to be on the injury report almost every week but still managed to play in 14 games this season.
His dynasty value rose as the season went on but would likely take a hit if McKinnon comes back healthy or the 49ers sign a big-name free agent running back. If either of those happens, I would then look to buy Breida at a depressed cost.
Jeff Wilson Jr (JAN ADP: 239.67, RB 95)
With the 49ers suffering multiple injuries at running back, many players earned a chance to produce. Undrafted rookie Wilson earned a couple starts to close the year and had a couple productive games. Still under contract for the 2019 season, Wilson will likely be relegated to a bench role with a chance to contribute if injuries crop up again. I am all for using bench spots for running backs, but it will probably need to be a deep league to roster Wilson heading into next season.
Raheem Mostert (JAN ADP: 237.00, RB 90)
Mostert saw some carries during the middle portion of the season and produce solid numbers with them. He had two games with over 85 yards rushing but suffered a nasty broken arm in a Thursday night game against in the Raiders in week nine. He is an unrestricted free agent this off-season and might find himself on a new team with how many running backs the 49ers are currently rostering. Like Wilson, Mostert will likely jump back into the dynasty free agent pool outside the deepest rosters.
Alfred Morris (JAN ADP: N/A, RB N/A)
After McKinnon tore his ACL, Shanahan elected to bring in Alfred Morris likely because of Morris’s familiarity with the offensive system. After seeing 12 or more carries in four of his first five games, Morris did not see double-digit carries again until week 17. An unrestricted free agent this off-season, it is unclear if the 49ers will bring him back again. He is not a bad depth piece but does not offer much upside either.
Kyle Juszczyk (JAN ADP: N/A, RB N/A)
Actually a fullback, I included Juszczyk on here because his name is so fun to spell (kidding) and because of his involvement in the passing game (not kidding). He has a solid role in the 49er offense but is unlikely to be worth a roster spot in most dynasty leagues.
Matt Dayes (JAN ADP: N/A, RB N/A)
Merely a depth piece the 49ers brought in with the slew of injuries to the position, Dayes is probably not worthy of a roster spot in most dynasty leagues.
Marquise Goodwin (JAN ADP: 122.33, WR 53)
When Garoppolo went out for the year, it was predictable Goodwin would struggle with the new quarterbacks. He developed great chemistry with Garoppolo over the back-half of last season but was likely not going to be able to replicate it with Beathard and Mullens under center. Goodwin battled through some hamstring issues of his own and did not live up to the high expectations many had for him to start the season.
With a DLF ADP of 69.83 to start the season, Goodwin now sits at 122.33. While this value dip might be seen by some as a great time to buy low, I would not advocate for it. I view his success in 2017 as more of a product of there not being many other great options for Garoppolo to throw the ball to. The 49ers drafted promising rookie Dante Pettis, who showed well in his rookie season. In addition, tight end George Kittle broke out this year and was the main target in the passing game for most of this season. I also think it is likely the team adds another talented receiver via the draft, free agency, or a trade. Goodwin is unlikely to ever again be Garoppolo’s main target like he was in 2017.
Pierre Garcon (JAN ADP: 240.50, WR 126)
The end of Pierre Garcon’s NFL career seems near. His fantasy relevance is likely already gone. His 46 targets, 24 receptions, and 286 receiving yards were all career-lows since his rookie season back in 2008. Of course, missing nearly all of the second half of the season accounts for part of it, but he was not having a productive season anyway.
Taking a look at his contract, it is highly likely the 49ers move on from him this off-season. I just do not see any way they take on his yearly cap hit of eight, 11, and 12 million dollars over the next three seasons.
It is unlikely you can get anything of value for him in a trade, so it might be time to cut him for a player with higher upside.
Dante Pettis (JAN ADP: 82.33, WR 36)
As expected from a rookie, Pettis started off slowly. He started seeing meaningful targets in week ten and produced quite well with them. He averaged just over six targets, four receptions, 48 yards receiving, and .67 touchdowns per game over a six-game stretch to close the year. In addition, he exited one of those games with a knee injury that sidelined him for the last week of the season. He also ended the season with the 12th-most receiving yards among all rookies.
He currently sits as the 36th wide receiver in the latest ADP data. Looking at some of the names around him (Doug Baldwin, Mike Williams, and Anthony Miller before and Robby Anderson, Tre’Quan Smith, and Marvin Jones after), I think he is actually priced appropriately. I would not be rushing out to buy him for these prices, but he is someone who I think will have a very productive NFL career. I certainly would not be shopping the young receiver at this time.
Trent Taylor (JAN ADP: N/A, WR N/A)
Taylor battled a couple of injuries during the season. This, along with added competition from Dante Pettis and Richie James, likely contributed to his production taking a dip this season. He was less efficient and did less with his targets this year, although some of that might be attributed to the quarterbacks throwing him the ball. While likely valued as merely a throw-in now, I would rather invest in running back depth on the back end of my bench.
Kendrick Bourne (JAN ADP: 224.33, WR 97)
Bourne was another player who developed some chemistry with Garoppolo to close last season. Even with Garoppolo hurt for most of the year, Bourne built upon his rookie season and ended the year with 42 receptions, 487 yards receiving, and four touchdowns on just 66 targets.
If the 49ers select a wide receiver in the first few rounds of the NFL draft or trade for a player like Antonio Brown or Odell Beckham, this will obviously hurt Bourne’s playing time and dynasty value. However, he is still an intriguing stash heading into his third season.
Richie James (JAN ADP: 230.50, WR 102)
Being a devy player has probably caused me to envision Richie James’s potential higher than I should. He was a huge producer in college and an explosive playmaker. However, he is still an undersized player in a crowded wide receiver group. He only caught nine passes this year and was used mostly on special teams. While his special teams usage helps his job security, it does not help his fantasy outlook much. He is likely to remain a home-run swing sitting on the back-end of rosters heading into next season.
George Kittle (JAN ADP: 30.33, TE 3)
Kittle truly broke out in just his second NFL season. He turned 136 targets into 88 receptions, 1,377 yards, and five touchdowns. The 1,377 yards were an all-time NFL-record for a tight end. While regression can be expected for next season, Kittle has placed himself among the best tight ends in today’s game.
Difference-makers at the tight end position are a great advantage in fantasy football. While many owners struggle to field a starting-caliber tight end, Kittle can be one of those difference-makers when healthy. He currently sits as the third-ranked tight end in ADP and the second-ranked tight end in our composite rankings. While he is likely a pricey buy, I am not trading him away unless I receive an offer I cannot refuse.
Garrett Celek (JAN ADP: N/A, TE N/A)
Already 30 years old, Celek does not figure to change his stripes now. He only managed five catches this past year but is a solid handcuff in case Kittle were to miss any time going forward.