A really bad break for QB Trey Lance might be a good break for fantasy managers holding other 49ers assets.
While the sophomore was touted as a player with a solid floor and league-winning upside this season, the players around him were limited by his ability to throw the ball.
Lance’s rushing ability is what had fantasy managers drooling and the team’s game plan was quite clear as to how it wanted to use him. Lance had 16 rushes (many of them designed runs) and 31 pass attempts before he suffered his season-ending injury.
With Jimmy Garoppolo back at the helm, the team should go back to a more traditional game plan – which isn’t a bad thing if Kyle Shanahan is drawing it up.
The Niners running game is among the league’s best and WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk have been proven fantasy commodities. Also, key TE George Kittle is set to return from injury after missing the first two games of the season with a groin injury.
As for the RB situation in San Fran, rookie Tyrion Davis-Price is now on the shelf for a few weeks after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Seahawks. The third-round pick was still behind Jeff Wilson Jr. in the pecking order, but still had his fair share of snaps and touches.
Davis-Price’s injury should elevate undrafted rookie Jordan Mason into the backup role while recent free-agent addition Marlon Mack was also added to the roster as insurance.
WALKING THE PLANK
The Buccaneers are sailing through some very rough waters these days.
Tom Brady is an all-time great QB, but his targets this week are quite worse for wear.
Chris Godwin remains out with a hamstring injury suffered in Week 1 – his first game back after suffering a torn ACL last year – while Julio Jones has missed practice this week and will be a true game-time decision. To make matters worse, top WR Mike Evans is suspended for this week’s tilt with the Packers – an already-tough matchup – for his role in last week’s scrum with the Saints.
That leaves the Bucs with Russell Gage – who has also been limited in practice this week – Scotty Miller, Breshad Perriman and Cole Beasley, who signed with the team earlier this week.
Considering Brady’s penchant for targeting slithery slot receivers, Beasley isn’t actually a terrible option despite just joining the Bucs.
IT’S THE PITTS
One of the most frustrating players so far this early season has been Kyle Pitts. The Falcons sophomore was drafted as the third tight end off the board, but has just 5.8 fantasy points through two games, ranking him as TE37. But, the underlying numbers seem fine and it’s just a matter of Marcus Mariota not looking his way.
Pitts has played 120 of the Falcons 136 offensive snaps (88%) and has lined up in the slot or out wide on 76 of them. In Week 2 against the Rams, he ran routes on 57 of Mariota’s dropbacks, but saw just six targets for a weak 10% share.
Pitts time will come and after two rough outings, he could be a good buy-low candidate.
Amon-Ra St. Brown has target shares of 32.4% and 35.3% this season and hasn’t had a share below 31% since Week 12 of last season. He’s also the third player in NFL history with eight or more receptions in eight games and the first player to ever have 8+ receptions and a TD in six straight games.
RUNNING THE NUMBERS
Despite being in a split backfield timeshare with Travis Etienne, James Robinson was sixth in the league in carries heading into Week 3 despite playing just 55% of snaps for the Jags. So much for that torn Achilles… In the first two weeks of the season, Ezekiel Elliott finished as RB47 and RB45 in half PPR scoring. He has turned 27 touches into 98 yards, including -7 receiving yards… Through the first two weeks of the season, it looks like you were better off taking a WR over a RB in the first round of your draft. The six pack of Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Najee Harris, Austin Ekeler and Joe Mixon have averaged a respectable 16 points per game while top-five WRs Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Davante Adams and Stefon Diggs are averaging 26.4 PPG.
Start Kirk Cousins, QB, MIN vs. DET
He’s out of prime-time and faces a defense that was lit up by Carson Wentz last week for 337 yards.
Put Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB at TB
The Bucs have allowed the second-fewest points to QBs this season and Rodgers is averaging just 10.5 points.
Put Cam Akers, RB, LAR at ARI
Even though he out-touched Darrell Henderson Jr. last week, Akers was far less efficient with just 2.9 YPC.
Put Chase Edmonds, RB, MIA vs. BUF
He’s in a backfield split with Raheem Mostert and had the short end of the stick in Week 2.
Start Drake London, WR, ATL at SEA
The first WR drafted this year has already hit his stride with 13 catches for 160 yards over two games.
Put Darnell Mooney, WR, CHI vs. KEEP
With just two receptions, four receiving yards on five targets, the Bears WR needs to be avoided.
Start Gerald Everett, TE, LAC vs. JAC
He’s leading the Chargers in receiving yards (125) and is tied for the team lead in targets (14).
During the Miami’s fourth-quarter against Baltimore, Tua Tagovailoa threw for 199 passing yards and four TDs. That’s 23.96 fantasy points and 43% of his fantasy output this season in just one quarter.
ADD OF THE WEEK
Garrett Wilson, WR, NYJ
The 10th overall pick in this year’s draft had a breakout performance against the Browns, racking up 102 yards on eight catches with two TDs. He’s a must-add as long as the Jets keep airing it out.
DROP OF THE WEEK
Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, DEN
A sleeper candidate at draft time, Albert O. has been a dud in the first two games of the season, including getting shutout on his two targets in Week 2.
WAIVER WIRE DEFENSE
Philadelphia Eagles DEF
The Eagles allowed just seven points against the high-powered Vikings last week and have produced four INTs in two games. With the Commanders coming to town, except more of the same.
To get the latest fantasy updates throughout the season, be sure to sign up for our newsletter at https://torontosun.com/newsletters. You’ll even get a bonus ’10 Commandments of Fantasy Football’ as a bonus!