In this series, I will be looking at players I like and want in my fantasy teams this coming season. Some of it will be down to my own personal preference but I will throw in some stat-based reasons too to back me up.
I’ve already sliced me some Deebo pie in 7 leagues. To be fair, 5 of those league’s are best ball league’s and he always seemed to fall nicely to me. Elsewhere, I’ve drafted him in a dynasty start-up and a PPR tiered league.
Yes he’s just fractured his foot but this guy when healthy could be an absolute value pick now his ADP will drop. I still have 5 league’s (who knows there could be more) to draft before the start of this coming season and I will be looking to get him everywhere I can.
It was a slow and steady year for Samuel. The 49ers were turning to the running game more which meant passing numbers weren’t as high as people would have hoped. The numbers ticked over as the season progressed but it was from week 10 on that gets me excited for 2020.
His numbers were 81 targets with 57 catches. Samuel turned those into 802 receiving yards averaging 14.1 yards per catch. He only got 3 receiving TDs but an intriguing part of his game is his rushing ability, collecting another 3 TDs in the running game. Those 3 TDs came from 14 rushing attempts and 159 yards. That’s an average of 11.4 yards per attempt.
Week 10 on however got my attention when Samuel’s receiving production increased. In those last 8 games of the season, he averaged (yards per reception) 14, 16.8, 25, 20.5, 15.2, 29, 7.8 and finished off the season with 20.4.
That production carried on into the playoffs bagging 14 yards per reception against the Vikings and 23 yards per reception against Green Bay. Not only that but he had 6 rushing attempts for 102 yards which average out at 17 yards per attempt.
2020 Deebo and the 49ers
The 2019 TDs were an issue but I can only see an improvement in 2020. Yes, Kittle is still in the team being a beast, but Sanders had 53 targets when he joined from Denver. Sanders has now moved on to play for the Saints which leaves a good chunk of targets that no doubt Kittle and Samuel will hog.
The draft saw the 49ers pick up Aiyuk. The rookie could make a slight dent in those extra targets but with Samuels ability and progress late in the season, I can’t see Shanahan fading away from the talent he has in Samuel. With the way things are at the moment, Aiyuk won’t have the full preseason to get acquainted with Garoppolo. With Aiyuk being a rookie, it’s going to take some time to get that connection so the lack of training camps will only benefit Samuel.
Don’t forget, Samuel has a great run game too. He’s more of a gadget player and after the 49ers moved more towards the rush, Samuel can prove to be a great asset.
Before the broken foot, Samuel’s ADP in PPR format was in round 6 as the 67th overall pick and as the WR 31. A few hours after the news broke he had already fallen to 72nd and that will drop even more in the next few days and weeks.
Depending when he gets himself back healthy, his average targets per game especially with the departure of Sanders, will surely rise. With that, Samuel’s catch rate should increase and we all know what his yards per catch are like so grabbing him in the later rounds could end up being an amazing value and a draft steal.
Samuel’s yards after catch was also at a nice average of 8.3 yards. Compare that to Jarvis Landry who is also going in the 6th round who averaged 5.3 yards after the catch. On top of the receiving don’t forget, Samuel will also be part of some running schemes so will grab you some extra yardage on top.
For me, everything combined makes Samuel a great pick for 2020 and I look forward to what the season holds for him once he’s back healthy.
Pittsy – @PittsyNFL