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San Francisco 49ers

NFC West

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated that he does not believe rookie quarterback Trey Lance will outperform the incumbent Jimmy Garoppolo prior to Week 1. As such, Shanahan currently has no intention of giving Lance first-team reps. (Source: David Lombardi on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Lance, who was taken by the 49ers after they traded up to the No. 3 selection, impressed at North Dakota State but opted out of the 2020 season. He recently signed his rookie deal with San Francisco and is expected to be their franchise quarterback. However, the Niners clearly plan on taking things slow and don't expect to rush Lance into action. He ranks 26th among quarterbacks in the latest expert consensus draft rankings and 11th in the latest dynasty rankings.

Category: Rumors

The San Fransico 49ers signed TE Jordan Matthews Friday, according to Mike Garafolo. Matthews attended a tryout for the New York Jets earlier in the day, according to Tom Pelissero. (Source: Mike Garafolo on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The WR-turned-TE appeared in two games for the 49ers last season. Matthews did not record any stats. He appeared solely on special teams in his first game and appeared on just 14 plays on offense, in addition to special teams, in his second.

Category: Transactions

Deebo Samuel has been impressive to start training camp. He looks healthier and leaner than he's been and the results have been visible. (Source: Nick Wagoner on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Last season showcased some concerning trends in regards to Samuel's 2021 fantasy prospects. His average depth of target was only 2.2 yards, which is very problematic. He also had 401 yards after the catch, but only 391 receiving yards, a statistic that doesn't even seem real. That said, he averaged 2.37 yards per route run, which was 9th among qualifying receivers and tends to be a predictive statistic for fantasy success. The two-year pro was primarily used as a short-yardage target last season, as evidenced by the stats above. That drastically limited his fantasy scoring output. Samuel appears to have been leap-frogged by Brandon Aiyuk in the pecking order, which is a concerning thing of note considering the limited passing volume in San Francisco who tend to be more of a run-heavy team vs. the league average. However, at his current ADP of WR38, a lot of the risks are already accounted for. Kyle Shanahan is one of the better offensive minds in the league and routinely gets the most of his players. Last season, the running back group struggled to stay healthy and a similar trend has already begun with Jeff Wilson out for several months and Raheem Mostert wearing a knee brace. If the offense is forced to lean on the passing game, Samuel could easily provide value at his current cost. While there are some concerning trends from the last season, at his current price, Samuel is a worthwhile addition to any fantasy roster as their WR4.

Per Nick Wagoner of ESPN, RB Raheem Mostert is wearing a brace on his right knee during 49ers practice for extra protection and will likely receive a lightened workload during camp. (Source: Nick Wagoner)

Fantasy Impact: At this point anytime you hear anything that might be injury related in regards to Mostert it's worth paying attention to. Mostert, 29-years old, has been very efficient for the 49ers when available, but staying on the field has been his biggest issue. While it's believed that Mostert will be the "lead" back for the 49ers to begin the season it's worth noting they did just draft Trey Sermon in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft and have one of the deepest RB rooms in the NFL with Jeff Wilson (PUP) and Wayne Gallman. The upside for Mostert remains that the 49ers are one of the most run heavy teams in the NFL so he should get decent volume, but given the hot hand approach the 49ers have gone with before at the position and the current depth, any missed time for Mostert could spell trouble. Currently, Mostert is ranked as the RB 27 and will likely be a low end RB 2 with some consistency issues unless he runs away with the starting RB position and can stay healthy all season.

Category: Injury Updates

Jeff Wilson Jr. was placed on the PUP list on Tuesday. (Source: Matt Barrows on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: This was fully expected as Wilson is expected to be placed on the PUP list to begin the season. The earliest he can return is week eight. He remains without a clear timetable after suffering a torn meniscus back in May. Meanwhile, Raheem Mostert and Trey Sermon figure to open up the season as the lead backs with Wayne Gallman and Elijah Mitchell also playing roles behind them in the 49ers backfield.

Category: Injury Updates

49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa will not open camp on the PUP list. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told the media that he will be eased into action and won't participate in team drills the first week. (Source: Cam Inman on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Bosa, 23, was drafted in 2019 and made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. He forced a fumble, logged nine sacks, and amassed 47 tackles. However, in 2020, he made just two starts and logged six tackles before suffering a season-ending ACL tear.

Category: Injury Updates

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday that there is no open competition at QB. Garoppolo is No. 1 while Lance is No. 2 to start the season. (Source: Mike Garafolo on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This is big news for fantasy football. Trey Lance has been a hot fantasy asset this offseason in dynasty leagues, and there have been many hoping that he would become the Week 1 starter. However, this makes sense. Lance is a raw prospect coming from a Division II football program. Giving him time to adjust his amazing raw talent to the NFL level makes sense. Fantasy managers should expect Lance to see the field at some point this season, but it doesn't make sense to roster him in redraft leagues until we hear otherwise about him taking the starting job in San Fran.

Rookie third-round pick RB Trey Sermon signs a four-year rookie contract with the San Fransisco 49ers. (Source: Matt Maiocco on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Sermon lacked opportunity early in his career at Oklahoma, but when he transferred to Ohio State, he shined. He had 524 yards and three touchdowns in his final two games as a Buckeye on big stages. Sermon is a high-level talent and is currently being drafted as RB37. He is a great value in drafts, especially for managers using their high picks on WRs and TEs. Kyle Shanahan uses an RB by committee approach, but he has used players like Steve Slaton, Alfred Morris and Devonta Freeman in bell-cow roles.

49ers linebacker Fred Warner signs a five-year $95 million extension with $40.5 million guaranteed. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This deal makes Warner the highest-paid inside linebacker in the NFL. The 24-year-old all-pro is a dynamic and versatile linebacker that you can build your defence around. He was drafted in the third round as a developmental player, but his work ethic and football mind allowed him to excel from day one. It's an easy decision to give this deal to Warner, who looks to help the 49ers remain a top defence after the departure of DC Robert Saleh.

Free-agent CB Richard Sherman has been booked and charged in a domestic violence case in King County, Washington. (Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: This case is being investigated as a felony, and Sherman is being denied bail. There were reports that Sherman was discussing a contract with the Saints earlier this week. Obviously, all contract talks with Sherman will be on hold until more is revealed about this case.

Per Matt Barrows of The Athletic, 49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk has "showed something seldom seen with the 49ers — an ability to stretch the field." (Source: The Athletic)

Fantasy Impact: Aiyuk was the focal point of the 49ers' offense at the end of last season. Many fantasy managers are worried his production may slip this year with the return of George Kittle and Deebo Samuel from injury. This is a fair concern, but managers should note that Aiyuk's success last year was due to his strong play on the field. He's capable of turning screen passes into TD's, beating defenders deep down the field in one-on-one situations, and even managed to rush for two touchdowns last year. From Week 4 on last season, Aiyuk was WR15.

San Francisco 49ers S Tarvarius Moore (Achilles) suffered a torn Achilles during practice on Monday. (Source: Nick Wagoner on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Moore was a starter for half of the 2020 season, totaling 52 tackles, one TFL, a pass deflection, and a forced fumble. The fourth-year safety out of Southern Miss was expected to back up Jimmie Ward at FS but will now miss extensive time rehabbing a torn Achilles. Rookie fifth-rounder S Talanoa Hufanga will have an opportunity to see some reps behind Ward and Jaquiski Tartt, joining what appears to be a potent defensive unit in the Bay Area during the upcoming 2021 season.

Category: Injury Updates

San Francisco 49ers OL Justin Skule (knee) suffered a torn ACL during Monday's practice. (Source: Nick Wagoner on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: The 49ers aren't escaping their seemingly unforgiving injury woes in 2020, as Skule was projected to be a starter in 2021 after earning 12 starts across his first two seasons in the league. This likely propels rookie second-round draft pick, University of Notre Dame OG Aaron Banks, up the depth chart to become a potential starter at guard along an offensive line built to run-block.

Category: Injury Updates

Former San Francisco 49ers QB Josh Johnson has reportedly been released by the team, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. (Source: Tom Pelissero on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Johnson signed with the 49ers practice squad in November and was picked up as a free agent in January. However, with San Francisco using its No. 3 overall pick on North Dakota State rookie QB Trey Lance to join an already crowded quarterback room, the 49ers opted to release Johnson to waivers. The 35-year old quarterback last started three games for Washington in 2018, going 1-2 while completing 52 passes for 590 yards and three touchdowns during this three-game span.

Category: Transactions

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been raving about wide receiver Jalen Hurd, who missed all of 2019 and 2020 with separate injuries. "He’s come a long way, he really has, in his route-running, just developing his body and becoming a pro," Garoppolo explained to NBC Sports. "I mean, the guy, he does it the right way. I’m dying to get him out there right now. I really am." (Source: NBC Sports)

Fantasy Impact: Hurd, who checks in at 6-foot-5 and 25 years old, ranks 135th among receivers in the latest rest-of-season expert consensus rankings, making him an intriguing stash in deeper leagues. "He’s such a physical freak with the things he can do in his route running," added Garoppolo. "Hopefully he’ll get to put those on display [and] we’ll get him out there as soon as possible.”

Category: Rumors

The 49ers waived WR Marqise Lee on Friday. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Lee signed with San Francisco to a one-year deal four days ago. His time as a 49er is short-lived and he was waived after less than a week. The 29-year-old WR will look to latch onto another team. Lee hasn’t played since Week 8 of 2019 and finished that season with three receptions on four targets for 18 yards across six games for the Jaguars.

Category: Transactions

Free-agent wide receiver Trent Taylor agreed to a contract with the Bengals on Monday. (Source: Mike Garafolo on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: Taylor will look to maintain a slot role and handle punt return duties for the Bengals in 2021. He hauled in 10 of 21 targets for 86 yards over 12 games with the 49ers in 2020. The 27-year-old underwent surgery on his foot in 2019 and spent time on the COVID list last season. Taylor will most likely have a role on special teams and provide WR depth for Cincinnati.

Category: Transactions

Free agent RB Jerick McKinnon and the Chiefs have reached agreement on a contract. (Source: Pete Schrager on Twitter )

Fantasy Impact: The details of McKinnon’s contract with the Chiefs are unknown at this time, but it's most likely a one-year deal. He missed back-to-back seasons with knee issues before suiting up for the 49ers in 2020. The 29-year-old RB rushed for 319 yards on 81 attempts and five touchdowns while hauling in 33 catches on 46 targets for 253 receiving yards and one touchdown across 16 games. McKinnon will compete for a roster spot and the RB2 role behind starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire in 2021.

Category: Transactions

Per sources, the San Francisco 49ers have narrowed their options down to Alabama QB Mac Jones and North Dakota State QB Trey Lance with the Number 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. (Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter)

Fantasy Impact: There’s been a ton of chatter on who the 49ers would take after trading up to get the 3rd overall pick in the Draft, but now it seems like the choice is between Jones and Lance, and not Ohio State QB Justin Fields. Jones has always been the betting favorite, but it sounds like there’s at least some chance they decide to go with Lance at Number 3. Of course the sources could be off base and this could be a smoke screen, but it sounds like the 49ers have narrowed it down to just two quarterbacks at this juncture.

Category: Rumors

San Francisco 49ers TE Jordan Reed has reportedly announced his retirement from the league after seven years, per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Fantasy Impact: Reed spent the final year of his career in the Bay Area, racking up 26 receptions for 231 yards and four touchdowns across 10 games for the 49ers in 2020. The 2013 third-round draft pick by Washington was often hampered by concussions and other injuries but earned a Pro-Bowl nod in 2016 after stringing together 17 touchdowns across the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Reed's retirement will leave an increased target share for 49ers' All-Pro TE George Kittle and Ross Dwelley in a potentially revamped offense under Kyle Shanahan in 2021.

Category: Transactions, Rumors