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“Unknown” was the word of the San Francisco 49ers’ offseason.
Jimmy Garoppolo and Deebo Samuel were not traded despite different situations that could spell their exit from the Bay Area.
Trey Lance appears to have the inside track to be the team’s quarterback, but even if he deserves the job, he could struggle if Samuel is no longer on the list.
The unknowns surrounding the two tradable stars on the San Francisco roster are wreaking havoc on the fantasy football value of them and the rest of the roster.
A 49ers offense with Samuel in it is far more dangerous than one without her, and his presence helps the other players around him.
Samuel’s potential departure would open up more targets for Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings and George Kittle with Lance or Garoppolo at quarterback.
The only thing we know for sure about San Francisco is that its offense produces prolific running backs.
Running back is a position you can rely on the most for dynasty and draft leagues right now, knowing the 49ers will run the ball at great speed.
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No one knows exactly what Trey Lance’s fantasy value will be in Week 1.
Lance was believed to have been the starting quarterback when Jimmy Garoppolo was placed on the trading bloc after last season.
Garoppolo hasn’t been traded yet, and there are few starting spots in the NFL. One of them could be in Seattle, but it could be difficult for the 49ers to justify an intra-divisional trade.
Right now, with all of the unknowns surrounding his game, Lance is a buy-low option in all fantasy football formats.
The North Dakota State product had five touchdown passes and two interceptions in 2021. Four of those shots on goal came in three games for significant playing time.
Three point starts, one of them in Week 17 against the Houston Texans, can’t tell the story of where Lance’s career is going.
Ideally, the 49ers would find a way to keep Deebo Samuel so he can work with the young quarterback. That would be the best situation to place the signal caller.
Lance could still have fantasy football value with Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, George Kittle and a bunch of running backs around him.
Samuel’s potential exit would increase the fantasy value of the three pass catchers mentioned above, but that is unknown for now.
Lance’s stocks are unlikely to be any lower than they are right now, so it makes sense for fantasy football players to take advantage of this in anticipation of a breakout season.
However, we’re talking about a quarterback with just 71 career NFL pass attempts and one who didn’t play the 2020 college football season because North Dakota State’s FCS campaign was pushed back into the spring.
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George Kittle’s remarkably high fantasy football rating could soar if Garoppolo and Samuel’s trades happen ahead of the start of the 2022 NFL season.
Kittle had 71 receptions for 910 yards and six touchdowns on an offense primarily involving Samuel last season.
Kittle is the second best option in San Francisco’s passing game at worst. He would be the top target for the season if Samuel leaves.
The tight end’s long-term fantasy value could increase even more if Samuel is traded and the 49ers look to use him as a safety valve for Lance to grow into the pocket with.
Kittle will retain its value if Garoppolo and Samuel both return due to the relationship he’s forged with the NFC-winning quarterback.
It can be argued that Kittle is the best fantasy option to invest in on the 49ers roster as all the unknowns don’t hamper its production.
Kittle will be one of the leaders at his position in receptions, getting yards and touchdowns no matter who throws the ball to him in 2022.
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Elijah Mitchell burst onto the fantasy football scene as a top ball carrier in his rookie season.
Mitchell is expected to be the primary backtrack in a system that estimates production from the frenzy attack.
Mitchell’s fantasy football value should be high no matter what happens to the 49ers’ stars during the rest of the offseason.
The sophomore could get a boost in fantasy value if Samuel leaves because he was used in ground play throughout last season.
Samuel led the 49ers in rushing touchdowns and was second in rushing yards behind Mitchell. He had the third most carries after Mitchell and Jeff Wilson.
Mitchell’s scoring totals would be the biggest statistical beneficiary of Samuel’s potential departure. You’d think Mitchell would have a few more red-zone opportunities in this situation.
Wilson would be the next benefactor in line because you would assume he deserves more carry without Samuel.
Trey Sermon, JaMycal Hasty and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price could be considered sleeper players given their run-heavy offense, but none of them have plans to challenge Mitchell and Wilson.