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San Francisco 49ers Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Shark Bites are the latest fantasy football news & NFL updates. Draft Sharks has been in business since 1999. And when we started, redraft was the dominant form of fantasy football. Check out what we've learned about this most basic form of fantasy football along the way.

The 49ers have a “plan” for keeping RB Christian McCaffrey healthy for Week 1, per HC Kyle Shanahan. McCaffrey sat out team drills on Wednesday, and it shouldn’t alarm you if this becomes a trend. CMC, now 27, has nearly 1,500 career touches. Our RB rankings show he remains a top-end RB1.

The 49ers don't expect Edge Nick Bosa to report with the rest of the team for the start of training camp. There's no injury to worry about, though. GM John Lynch says the two sides are trying to find the "sweet spot" on a long-term extension that's a "little more complicated," according to ESPN's Nick Wagoner. Bosa has shown throughout his still-young career that he can deliver even after limited practice time. So this shouldn't alter your draft plans in your IDP league. Bosa hasn't moved in our IDP rankings.

The 49ers have cleared QB Brock Purdy (elbow) for training camp. He’s expected to be on a pitch count, throwing for two days, followed by one day of rest. HC Kyle Shanahan said they hope to have Purdy throw without restriction in about two weeks. It’s an excellent development for the 2nd-year QB, who’s avoided setbacks in his recovery. Purdy remains the favorite to start Week 1.

49ers RB Jordan Mason has flashed "noticeably better" receiving skills this offseason, per The Athletic's Matt Barrows. It was a reported area of focus for Mason, who tallied only 26 career catches (in four seasons) at Georgia Tech. The former UDFA excelled in limited rushing action as a rookie, and he could ascend to the RB2 role if Elijah Mitchell’s injury woes continue. Circle Mason as a deep sleeper on your fantasy cheat sheet.

ESPN’s Nick Wagoner writes that QB Brock Purdy’s rehab “has gone just as he and the Niners hoped.” Wagoner strongly believes Purdy will be cleared to practice at some point during training camp. San Francisco opens the regular season at Pittsburgh in roughly seven weeks, so there's time for him to reacclimate. Still, view our QB rankings, and you won't find Purdy in a draftable range.

49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk is coming off a top-25 finish among WRs in fantasy points per game and has had an impressive offseason by all accounts. But his target volume is a concern heading into 2023. Aiyuk drew a 22.0% target share last year -- 32nd among WRs. But that dipped to 20.1% in 14 games with a healthy WR Deebo Samuel. Aiyuk saw just 17.9% of 49ers targets in seven games with Samuel and RB Christian McCaffrey. Samuel, McCaffrey, and TE George Kittle are back this year. And San Francisco figures to remain a run-leaning offense regardless of who's playing QB. That has Aiyuk sitting a bit lower in the WR Rankings than his talent would dictate.

49ers WR Deebo Samuel plummeted from third among WRs in PPR points per game in 2021 to 28th last year. His volume dipped a bit with the addition of RB Christian McCaffrey. But efficiency was Samuel's bigger problem. After setting career highs in 2021 with 11.6 yards per target and 2.93 yards per route run, he registered career lows last year with 6.7 yards per target and 1.85 yards per route. Expect a bounce back there. McCaffrey's presence and Samuel's lengthy injury history remain concerns, but he's much cheaper in fantasy drafts this summer than last. See where Samuel lands in the 2023 WR Rankings.

49ers TE George Kittle finished second among TEs in PPR and non-PPR points per game last year. But there are a few reasons to be wary of drafting him in 2023. Kittle derived a huge portion of his 2022 fantasy production from his career-high 11 TDs. He scored on 18.3% of his receptions, which is more than double the league-wide average TE TD rate of 8.4% and more than triple Kittle's 6.0% TD rate over his first five seasons. He's in for regression in the TD column. On top of that, Kittle's catches per game, yards per game, yards per route, and target share last year were all his lowest marks since his 2017 rookie campaign. Turning 30 in August, Kittle is likely in decline. He faces stiff target competition this season in RB Christian McCaffrey and WRs Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. And the 49ers figure to remain a run-leaning offense. Kittle's high weekly ceiling makes him worth taking some shots on in best ball. But he looks generally overvalued at his TE4 ADP. Kittle sits significantly lower in our TE Rankings.

Christian McCaffrey led RBs in PPR points per game and ranked third in non-PPR across his nine full regular-season games with the 49ers last season. But his usage and production declined when RB Elijah Mitchell was healthy. In seven games without Mitchell (including playoffs), McCaffrey averaged 24.1 opportunities (carries + targets), 135 total yards, and 1.3 TDs. He sunk to 17.2 opportunities, 85 total yards, and 0.6 TDs in five games with Mitchell. McCaffrey’s scoring averages in those five games would have ranked seventh among RBs in PPR points per game for the season and 12th in non-PPR. It's certainly possible that McCaffrey's usage alongside Mitchell grows in 2023 after a full offseason in the offense. But the Mitchell splits are certainly worth considering as you decide whether to spend a top-5 pick on McCaffrey in fantasy drafts this summer. See our baseline, ceiling, and floor projections for McCaffrey.

"It looks like Washington's tight ends are going to be heavily involved in the passing game this season," Zach Selby of the Commanders' official site wrote after attending minicamp. The Commanders are installing a new offense under OC Eric Bieniemy, who just spent the past five seasons helping Chiefs TE Travis Kelce to huge numbers. No one will come close to that level of production in Washington, of course. But Selby notes that TE Logan Thomas has been busy in the passing game. "Thomas, who looks fully healthy for the first time in years, has been the top target for the position and looks like the threat he was back in 2020," Selby writes. "He made contested catches over defenders, looked fluid in his route running and found soft spots in coverage to be a reliable target for Howell." Thomas has struggled with injuries the past couple of seasons but finished fourth among TEs in PPR points back in 2020. We'll continue to keep a close eye on this new-look Commanders offense, but Thomas looks like a value late in best-ball drafts.

49ers WR Deebo Samuel admitted that 2022 contract negotiations contributed to a down season. The 27-year-old signed an extension last July. On Tuesday, Samuel described his play last season as “awful.” He performed at a WR3 level in PPR points per game. "We talked about it. We put it behind us, and [were] just going through the tape to just look how sluggish and how bad it looked on tape," Samuel said of a conversation with HC Kyle Shanahan. "I never will put nothing like that back on tape again.” Deebo currently profiles as a top-20 fantasy WR for 2023.

SI's Albert Breer writes that 49ers QB Brock Purdy is “throwing without pain, and he’s passed every test the Niners have thrown at him.” Breer laid out the next steps for San Francisco’s likely starter. “The plan going forward is to gradually increase the velocity and distance on his throws. But at this point, I’m told he’s come through the rehab process and is now building strength back in his arm, on a track that’d have him ready to go for Week 1.” This is one of many positive updates on Purdy’s elbow this offseason, although we're still not buying him as a priority fantasy target. San Francisco kicks off their season with a Week 1 matchup at Pittsburgh.

49ers QB Brock Purdy (elbow) is expected to resume throwing sometime next week, HC Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday. Purdy continues to make steady progress in his return from UCL surgery on his throwing elbow. Barring a setback, it's looking like he'll be ready to go for training camp. GM John Lynch called Purdy "the leader in the clubhouse" for the starting job earlier this offseason. We'll see if he can hold off Trey Lance (and Sam Darnold?) this summer.

Niners HC Kyle Shanahan says the team expects to have QB Brock Purdy back from his right elbow injury by training camp, according to David Lombardi of The Athletic. Purdy has reportedly "been making throwing motions with a towel," though there's no word on his accuracy in hitting the hamper. He's expected to begin throwing footballs in June. We'll see whether Purdy's return to action pushes a Trey Lance trade.

The 49ers selected Alabama TE Cameron Latu in Round 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft. A five-year college player, Latu totaled 56 catches, 787 yards, and 12 TDs over the past two seasons. He’s not a standout athlete, and he’s modestly sized at 6’4, 242 pounds. It’s tough to see him gaining any fantasy value as long as George Kittle remains a 49er.

49ers QB Brock Purdy ultimately avoided Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, instead undergoing a UCL report with an internal brace, according to ESPN's Nick Wagoner. The procedure is expected to have Purdy back on the field quicker than initially suspected, although there's still no concrete timetable for his return. "I think like a lot of those things, timelines are just guidelines," GM John Lynch said. "Every person is different. There probably is some amount of time in talking to the docs that you want to make sure you get to that point before he's out there, but our hope is he's ready to go in training camp." The 49ers have called Purdy the "leader in the clubhouse" to be the team's 2023 starter -- and being ready for training camp would give him a good chance to hold on to that title. We'll continue to track Purdy's rehab.

Niners GM John Lynch on Monday called a healthy QB Brock Purdy "the leader in the clubhouse" for the team's starting job, according to David Lombardi of The Athletic. That stops short of anointing Purdy the starter once his repaired throwing arm is ready. But it's certainly not good for Trey Lance, just two years after the franchise traded quite a bit to move up and draft him third overall. Lynch said Purdy, Lance, and Sam Darnold will compete for the job. And perhaps 49ers leadership is trying to motivate Lance, ahead of his third NFL season. Even if that's the case, though, it wouldn't be a great sign if they think the 23-year-old (this May) needs such motivation. Lance remains a high-ceiling best ball pick in case he does win the job. And we'll see about Purdy's health this summer. But there's also high risk to rostering Lance in formats where you can't replace him once the season starts. Of course, Darnold arriving to Week 1 as the starter would be bad news for everyone.

The 49ers have agreed to a four-year deal with DT Javon Hargrave. ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that it's worth $84 million overall, with $40 million of that guaranteed at signing. Hargrave delivered a career-high 11 sacks in 2022, his third season with the Eagles after arriving as a free agent. He racked up 34 QB hits over the past two years after topping out at 8 over his first five seasons. Hargrave's arrival could challenge the role of fourth-year DT Javon Kinlaw. The former first-round pick played in just 10 total games over the past two seasons because of injuries. Arik Armstead remains as well. Hargrave played 64.4% and 68.4% of the snaps over the past two years, so there's room for a three-man rotation. Hargrave should be the first (and maybe only in most cases) among the three to go in 2023 IDP drafts.

49ers QB Brock Purdy's elbow surgery was originally scheduled for February 22 but has been delayed due to swelling in the joint. “Some of the delay and the swelling and all that — it’s not like a typical baseball injury,” GM John Lynch said Tuesday at the Combine. “This was a football injury where there was a lot of force there. So, it just all had to quiet down.” Purdy is now expected to go under the knife "early next week," according to The Athletic's Matt Barrows. The 49ers are still hoping to have Purdy back on the field 6 months after surgery, but Lynch admitted that there are “a variety of time frames.” Either way, this delay makes it unlikely that Purdy is available for training camp -- and more likely that QB Trey Lance opens the 2023 season as San Francisco's starter.

49ers QB Brock Purdy is expected to undergo surgery to repair his torn UCL on February 22, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. Purdy is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for training camp, per Rapoport. Still, this is a serious procedure that will cost Purdy the entire offseason program. It's a considerable speed bump after an impressive 8-game run as a rookie. Purdy and QB Trey Lance are expected to duke it out for the starting job this summer, barring a significant addition to the QB room.

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