Dynasty League Football


2023 Dynasty Riser, Faller and Longshot Predictions: San Francisco 49ers

We examine three players in San Francisco with potentially changing dynasty values this season.

Christian McCaffrey

Summer is the best time to evaluate dynasty assets and their place in the dynasty market. In this brand-new series, we will bring you a riser, faller, and longshot from each NFL team. We’ll cover dynasty values, potential trades, and overall team outlooks.

Let’s jump into the San Francisco 49ers!

RISER: Brock Purdy, QB

I have to get my homerism out of the way first. I’m a huge 49er fan, and I’ve watched every game religiously since the 1989 Super Bowl. I’ve seen every quarterback from Joe Montana to Steve Young, Jeff Garcia, Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, and Jimmy Garoppolo.

I am here to tell you, definitively, that Brock Purdy is the best quarterback I’ve seen in a 49er uniform since Steve Young was under center. That doesn’t mean I think he’s as good as Young, just that I think he’s already surpassed everyone else since that time. If you’re not a believer, please keep reading before you make up your mind.


Purdy fell to an ADP of 230 after his elbow injury in January of this year, where his value has slowly climbed to a total of 52 spots in half a year. It’s hard to fathom there are many players who’ve had such a meteoric rise in that short of a time span.

Even with that rise in value, that still only gives him an ADP of 178, which puts him in the same company as players such as Zay Jones, Kenny Pickett, and Pierre Strong. It’s only my opinion, but Purdy should be valued far higher than any player currently in his range, and there’s still time to buy before it’s too late.


Purdy remains poised under pressure, he’s quick with his decisions, he knows the proper amount of touch to put on his passes, and he seems to have eyes in the back of his head to help avoid defenders. He’s quick to run when needed, and is a tremendous leader on and off the field.

A lot of people want to say that this offense is QB-proof and Shanahan makes it easy for his quarterbacks to succeed. I think that’s somewhat true but not entirely. Prior to this past season, Shanahan was 35-15 with Garoppolo and 8-28 without him. It’s a complex offense that requires quick decision-making, and Purdy has what it takes to run it and do it better than Garoppolo ever could.

Another thing to consider is that Purdy is surrounded by talent. First-team All-Pro Deebo Samuel is out wide with emerging star Brandon Aiyuk on the other side. Future Hall of Famer George Kittle is still a stud at tight end, and the backfield is stocked with seven-time pro-bowler Kyle Jusczcyk, and one of the most dynamic players in the history of the NFL in Christian McCaffrey. I won’t forget to mention one of the greatest players ever in Trent Williams, who protects Purdy’s blindside and anchors one of the top offensive lines.

The next thing to consider is that Purdy had hardly worked with the offense prior to his success last season. He was thrown into the fire against the Miami Dolphins with nary a practice rep with the rest of his offense, and he managed to carry that team to a victory while facing an exotic blitz package the Dolphins installed when he entered the game.

The last thing to consider is that Purdy suffered a complete tear of his ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow in the playoff game versus Philadelphia. This was worrisome in the early going, but it should be noted that Purdy is ahead of schedule in his recovery, and is on track to start week one in Pittsburgh.


Here are some recent transactions that I rather like involving Purdy that I think highlight how inexpensive he can be. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better player using only a third-round pick.

If you’re in any single-QB league, I think it’s possible to trade your second QB for Purdy on the cheap. If you already have a second quarterback with a current value that’s higher than Purdy’s, you could very well trade your quarterback for Purdy plus a little extra on the back end. It’s something to consider, and I think your dynasty team will be better off if you can make it happen.

FALLER: Christian McCaffrey, RB

This pick is sort of by default. Aiyuk will rise as he enters his fourth season, Kittle is already where he should be, Samuel is in the final year of his prime age. This basically leaves McCaffrey as the odd man out, but it’s not without its merits.

Throughout much of his career, McCaffrey has hovered in or around the top ten in ADP. He’s been a consistent performer when healthy, and he’s one of a handful of players who can take your fantasy team and propel it to victory single-handedly.

He’s solidly rated near the top among the best players in the NFL and rightfully so. If you’ve had him in your starting lineups over the past few years, you’ve felt fortunate and blessed. He’s had the ability to drag your team single-handedly through an entire season.


This season looks fantastic for McCaffrey. He’s going to be able to practice with the whole team in the off-season for the first time, study the playbook in its entirety, and there should be enough time for the coaches to scheme for him specifically each and every week.

There are a few downsides, such as his age. McCaffrey is 27 years old, which is at the top of the steep slope going downward for most running backs. He joins Saquon Barkley and Austin Ekeler as the only running backs over 25 years old who are ranked inside the top ten running backs, so it’s a concern going forward.

Another reason for pessimism is durability. Last year was McCaffrey’s first 16-game season since 2019. He’s had an injury-plagued career, and Shanahan’s style of offense promotes players to run through and break tackles.


I assume the 2023 season will be McCaffrey’s last big hurrah before he slips into a shallow decline at best, and that’s if he can stay healthy. If you are competing for a championship, you definitely want him on your roster. If you are a middling team or in the middle of a rebuild, you may want to consider researching your trade options.

Below are some trades that have happened recently that show his possible current value around dynasty leagues. If you want to acquire or sell him, you’re looking at a first-round pick or a young stud with a little extra being on the other side.

LONGSHOT: Danny Gray, WR


Do you want to play a gambling game? Well, here it is. Gray is a speedster out of SMU in just his second season in the league. He had several plays designed to highlight his athleticism last year, but injuries prevented any opportunities he could have had to shine in any game.

Gray will sit firmly behind both Samuel and Aiyuk, but should see the field in certain three-receiver sets, and will definitely make a larger impact overall due to experience alone. If Samuel or Aiyuk were to miss time for any reason, Gray should be the next man up to fill the void.


Gray wasn’t a polished route runner last year and needed lots of work to perfect his skill. His best asset is speed, and any defensive coach worth his weight can game plan against any speedy wide receiver who seldom sees the field.

Another issue is size. Gray is 5’11” and only 186 pounds. Many diminutive wide receivers have had successful careers in the NFL and several have been good dynasty assets, but the odds are against them. There’s also a decent receiver on the roster in Jauan Jennings, who is a better route runner and trusted more by the coaching staff, who could steal away opportunities from Gray.


I had to pick, and I prefer players with a high ceiling versus a high floor, so this was my pick. He has a Will Fuller upside, and we all know how Fuller was capable of single-handedly winning games when he was healthy and on the field. If Gray were to get this chance in this Shanahan offense, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him turn some heads.

2023 Dynasty Riser, Faller and Longshot Predictions: San Francisco 49ers
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