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San Francisco 49ers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2022

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Observing OTAs, 49ers beat writer Cam Inman writes that WR Danny Gray’s 4.33 speed is “obvious.” This is clear on Gray’s tape — and it also backs up what GM John Lynch had said post-draft. Target competition remains an issue for 2022, but the front office certainly has high hopes for Gray, a 3rd round selection last month.

49ers 3rd-round rookie RB Ty Davis-Price said he plans to play this season between 220 and 222 pounds. He cut down to 211 to run a 4.48 forty at the Combine. According to David Lombardi of The Athletic, a heavier TDP “signals that the 49ers are indeed trying to add more thump to a backfield that might be asked to execute more inside-zone runs with Trey Lance.” The LSU product enters the summer looking to carve out a role alongside Elijah Mitchell.

Beat writer Eric Branch believes the 49ers could "hand off even more this season while easing in Trey Lance.” Last year, San Francisco ranked 6th in rush attempts (29.3 per game). Under HC Kyle Shanahan, the team’s ranked top-14 in rushes in 4 straight seasons. The 49ers were reportedly sold on Tyrion Davis-Price’s “size, physicality and aggressiveness,” per Branch. The rookie will need to earn a role this summer. But Elijah Mitchell’s durability concerns and a lost 2021 from Trey Sermon shows there’s a path to year 1 snaps for TDP.

49ers GM John Lynch praised rookie WR Danny Gray after the draft. “He’s got legit speed,” Lynch said. “Sometimes with track guys, that doesn’t translate over to the football field. His does. But in addition to that, he does a lot of the things that we covet: In-breaking routes, screen game, he’s very good with yards after the catch.” Gray looks like a great fit for Trey Lance’s power arm. When it comes to targets, though, it’ll be tough for the 3rd-rounder to emerge in the short-term -- as long as this offense remains healthy.

Matt Barrows of The Athletic describes the “blockers in front of [Trey] Lance” as “question marks.” The real issue is along the interior, where nobody’s locked into a starting spot. Of note: C Alex Mack, 36, is questionable to return for another season. And reliable RG Laken Tomlinson signed with the Jets in free agency. The 49ers used a mid-round pick on UTSA OT/OG Spencer Burford, but he’s unlikely to make a year 1 impact. Lance remains a fringe QB1 with a wide range of outcomes.

11:32pm EDT 4/29/22

The 49ers added SMU WR Danny Gray in the 3rd round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Gray spent 2 years at Blinn Community College before making the jump to SMU. He posted a 33-448-4 line in 8 games in 2020 and led the Mustangs with 803 receiving yards and 9 receiving scores this past season. Gray is a tad undersized at 6’0, 186 pounds, is considered raw in the route-running department and is already 23 years old. But he’s explosive on tape and backed that up with a 4.33-second 40 time at the Combine. He’ll compete for snaps behind Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk in San Francisco.

The 49ers selected LSU RB Tyrion Davis-Price in Round 3 of the NFL Draft. The 6'0, 219-pounder ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash at the Combine, giving him an 89th-percentile speed score among NFL RBs. He turned that into just 4.6 yards per rush across 3 seasons with the Tigers, though. Davis-Price took over the backfield in 2021, carrying 211 times for 1,003 yards and 6 TDs. He added just 10 catches, though that number did lead LSU RBs. San Francisco selected him in the same round it chose RB Trey Sermon a year ago. We'll see about the planned role for Davis-Price in his rookie season.

The 49ers selected EDGE Drake Jackson late in Round 2 of the NFL Draft. Jackson brings decent size, at 6'3 and 273 pounds. He didn't run during pre-draft testing after a late-season injury, but Jackson doesn't look particularly speedy on tape. He enjoyed his best statistical season as a freshman, tallying 46 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks and 3 pass deflections. He didn't reach 10 TFLs either of the ensuring 2 campaigns, though. Jackson doesn't look like a high-upside IDP prospect from here.

49ers RB Elijah Mitchell had what he called a "clean-up" procedure on his knee this offseason. He added that he expects to be ready for the start of training camp. Mitchell missed 3 games in December with what was described as knee swelling -- although it's unclear if this surgery was related. We'll keep an eye on Mitchell this summer. He escaped free agency without the 'Niners adding backfield competition. We'll see what the draft brings.

Referencing a conversation with 49er Deebo Samuel, NFL insider Jeff Darlington said the star WR has requested a trade. Samuel didn’t reveal any specific reason, but we get the message. If he does in fact leave San Francisco, the 49ers would be left with guys like Jauan Jennings, KeeSean Johnson and Ray-Ray McCloud behind Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. Currently, the 49ers don't pick until 61st overall in this month's draft, although they do have a pair of 3rd-rounders. As for Deebo, any suitor will need to pay him top dollar, as the 26-year-old is entering a contract year. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Deebo is frustrated over his RB usage. Rapoport added that Deebo hasn't "engaged" with the 49ers, despite the team's attempts to make him a lucrative long-term deal.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler hears that the 49ers are still planning to start QB Trey Lance this season. QB Jimmy Garoppolo remains of the roster as of now, at least in part because he's still recovering from shoulder surgery. "I'm told that [Lance has] gotten indications, at least informal indications from the team, that he'll be the guy next year. He's set to be that," Fowler said. "Now, whether that means that they would still keep Garoppolo and that could change the dynamic, possibly. But right now, Lance is going to be the starter." We're comfortable drafting as if Lance will be under center for San Francisco this year. And his ADP has actually sunk to QB13 recently, making him a nice value.

ESPN's Adam Schefter suggested that WR Deebo Samuel wants out of San Francisco. We reported on Tuesday that Samuel was skipping the team's offseason program as he seeks a new contract. But Schefter believes that Samuel isn't interested in getting that new deal from the 49ers. “San Francisco would pay Deebo Samuel today, tomorrow, the next day. It’s not hard to figure out what the contract would look like,” Schefter said on ESPN's NFL Live. “We’ve seen some of the top numbers in the league. This, I think right now, is Deebo Samuel not wanting to get a deal done. It’s not San Francisco not willing to do the deal, the 49ers are ready. Deebo Samuel is the one who has put a halt to everything for right now.” It's unclear what's caused this rift -- especially since Samuel is coming off a career-best season. We'll see where the situation goes from here. Samuel is overvalued in early best-ball drafts, although a move out of run-heavy San Francisco might actually help his fantasy stock.

ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that WRs Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown and Terry McLaurin are not expected to participate in on-field work in their teams' offseason programs as they look for new contracts. McLaurin at least plans to report for the start of the workouts, per Schefter. All 3 guys have 1 year remaining on their rookie contracts and are looking to get paid after seeing Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs get big deals this offseason. We'll certainly keep a close eye on these situations -- but we're not moving Samuel, Brown or McLaurin in our 2022 WR rankings right now.

The 49ers re-signed RB Jeff Wilson. The 26-year-old had surgery last May to repair a torn meniscus in his knee and slogged his way to just 3.7 yards per carry after returning in November. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry over his first 3 NFL seasons. Wilson figures to compete for backup duties behind Elijah Mitchell this summer.

The 49ers are signing WR/returner Ray-Ray McCloud to a 2-year deal worth up to $10.4 million, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. That contract appears to put McCloud in between what fellow slot WRs Isaiah Mckenzie got from the Bills and Braxton Berrios from the Jets. McCloud is a more accomplished return man than either of them, though. He led the league in punt returns and punt-return yardage last year and as averaged more than 22 yards per kick return on 28+ returns each of the past 2 years. Expect him to assume those roles with his new team. We'll see about McCloud's role on offense. For now, we're not giving him much attention in best-ball drafts.

The 49ers have agreed to a 3-year, $40.5 million deal with CB Charvarius Ward. He spent the past 3 seasons starting for the Chiefs but totaled just 4 INTs over that span. He has been a solid tackle collector for IDP squads and will remain worth consideration for CB-required formats.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo will have surgery in the coming days to repair a torn capsule in his right (throwing) shoulder. Garoppolo then won’t be able to throw for 16 weeks, “but should be ready for the season if all goes well.” That nearly 4-month window would make it late June or early July before Garoppolo can even resume throwing. It’s tough to imagine another team trading for him ahead of that, given the QB’s big contract and no guarantee that “all goes well.” Don’t bother with Garoppolo in early best-ball drafting. We’ll see how his situation develops

49ers QB Trey Lance "was probably further behind than people realized," according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. "Trey Lance is greener than people realize, Trey Lance is going to need more work than people realize." Schefter added that QB Jimmy Garoppolo is not a lock to get traded this offseason. "Garoppolo unquestionably is one of the most popular and respected players in your locker room. Players love playing with him. You have him under contract this year at a very friendly $25 million cap number. And if you play with him this year and you lose him after this year, you're going to get a third-round compensatory pick back in return. So are you better playing this season with Jimmy while getting Trey the training he still needs, or are you better trading Garoppolo for a two, a four and a six? What's the better alternative?" We're still expecting Garoppolo to be dealt this offseason and for Lance to be San Francisco's 2022 starter. But this is a reminder that that's not guaranteed -- and that there will likely be ups and downs for Lance if he does take over.

49ers HC Kyle Shanahan expects WR Deebo Samuel’s hybrid role to remain in place next season. “This way you can make sure he gets touches,” Shanahan said via The Athletic. “You can do that at receiver, but not when you can just hand the ball to a guy. So we’ve always got to keep that threat. That’s what separates him. Deebo knows that, too.” 2022 is a contract year for Deebo, but GM John Lynch is already talking extension with the 26-year-old’s reps. “Yes, there are some interesting dynamics with Deebo playing multiple positions, but the bottom line is he’s an excellent football player,” Lynch said. “I’m sure that we’ll find a way to get that [deal] done.” Samuel finished 3rd in PPR scoring behind only Cooper Kupp and Davante Adams.

NFL insider Albert Breer writes that the 49ers “feel good about where they are with [Trey] Lance and are poised to hand him the reins.” Lance proved to be predictably raw in his limited 2021 action. But the 49ers' staff felt like he was “ascending” late in the season, per Breer. If Lance can even assemble a league-average passing performance, he'll carry top-10 fantasy upside into year 2. Note that he rushed 24 times for 120 yards in 2 starts. While Jimmy Garoppolo is currently under contract for 2022, San Francisco can cut or trade him with minimal cap repercussions.

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