Shark Bites

The 49ers have signed RB Alfred Morris. He'll provide some insurance after recent injuries to RBs Jerick McKinnon (calf) and Matt Breida (shoulder). Morris has experience in HC Kyle Shanahan's offense after spending his first 2 NFL seasons in it with the Redskins.

49ers RB Jerick McKinnon underwent an MRI on his right knee after going down in practice on Sunday. Good news, though: A source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter that McKinnon's only dealing with a muscle strain. He's likely to miss practice time -- and perhaps some preseason action -- but the former Viking should be ready for Week 1.

Update: ESPN's Nick Wagoner reports that it's a calf strain.

We previously passed along multiple 49ers beat guys saying that WR Marquise Goodwin looked like the team's top wideout. Well, ESPN's Dan Graziano takes it a step further, saying, "The 49ers view him as their clear No. 1 wide receiver." We had already moved Goodwin up our WR rankings and Pierre Garcon down, and the gap in upside between them is likely even larger in Goodwin's favor. He should be the 1st 49ers wideout off the board in any fantasy format.

Niners RB Matt Breida is expected to miss the rest of the preseason because of the shoulder injury he suffered Thursday night, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Breida did, however, avoid structural damage to the joint. The team hopes to have him back for Week 1. In the meantime, RBs Joe Williams, Raheem Mostert and Jeremy McNichols will enjoy extra opportunities to earn offensive roles. Breida's current ADP is late enough (around RB50) that you can still take him there, barring some negative development with his shoulder. Williams is the biggest talent behind him on the depth chart and still has plenty to prove after a lost rookie year.

49ers TE George Kittle separated his shoulder in Thursday night's preseason game. The good news is that an MRI revealed no tears or structural damage," according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. "Not serious," Rapoport added. Kittle still figures to miss practice time, though, and we can't consider him a lock to be ready for the start of the season. We'll keep an eye on his rehab. It's worth noting that, despite missing just 1 game last year, Kittle appeared on the injury report with hamstring, calf, hip, chest, back, elbow and ankle issues.

Niners TE George Kittle suffered a shoulder injury in the 1st quarter of Thursday night's preseason opener against the Cowboys. There's no word yet on the severity. We'll keep an eye out for updates over the next few days.

Niners RB Matt Breida hurt a shoulder in the 1st quarter of Thursday night's preseason opener against the Cowboys. Matt Barrows of The Athletic reports that the issue "does not appear to be serious." We'll check in for a follow-up over the next few days.

Niners LB Malcolm Smith left Thursday night's preseason opener early in the 1st quarter with a hamstring injury. Smith began training camp on the non-football injury list because of a lower-leg injury. He also missed all of last season with a torn pectoral muscle. At this point, you should let Smith go undrafted in IDP leagues and make him prove that he can be a factor.

Few players have drawn more positive press than 49ers WR Marquise Goodwin early in training camp. Joe Fann of the team's official website tweeted this on Thursday: "I'm amazed by the development of Marquise Goodwin over the past year. His route running & hands are vastly improved. He's far more than raw athleticism. He looks like a bona fide No. 1 WR, and he's carrying himself as such." The San Francisco Chronicle's Eric Branch and the Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Grant Cohn have also said recently that Goodwin looks like the team's #1 WR. He's been consistently making big plays, while Pierre Garcon has gotten off to a slow start. Maybe that shouldn't come as a major surprise considering Garcon was on IR by the time QB Jimmy Garoppolo arrived last year. Goodwin, meanwhile, averaged 5.8 catches and 76.8 yards per game in Garoppolo’s 5 starts. We'll see if Garcon can gain some ground back over the next few weeks, but we've adjusted our projections for the 49ers' WRs.

ESPN's Nick Wagoner believes 49ers RB Matt Breida will play a bigger role than most are expecting this season. "Breida looked bigger and stronger during the offseason program while maintaining his speed and now that he has a year in the system under his belt, he should be even more comfortable," Wagoner writes. The 'Niners, of course, paid big bucks to land RB Jerick McKinnon in free agency. The former Viking remains the heavy favorite to serve as San Francisco's lead back -- but he never projected as a 300-carry workhorse. There could certainly be enough for Breida to handle 8-12 touches per game. And that could make him a spot-start option for fantasy teams -- on top of his value as a McKinnon handcuff.

Niners RB Joe Williams spent his rookie season on IR after a disappointing summer. But NBC Sports' Matt Maiocco says the 4th-round pick "looks like a different player" this year. “I think Joe has a lot of ability,” HC Kyle Shanahan said. “And it’s very apparent he’s had a different mindset this year than he did last year. Sometimes, that just takes time. Everybody handles it differently. It took Joe a little bit, mentality-wise.” The 49ers moved up to select Williams in Round 4 of the 2017 draft, and then fantasy nation fell in love after Peter King relayed the story of Shanahan advocating for him in the war room. A backfield with Jerick McKinnon as the new starter and Matt Breida as the only meaningful incumbent leaves room for Williams to carve out a role. We'll be curious to see where Williams resides on the depth chart once preseason arrives. He's at least a dynasty hold.

The league has suspended 49ers LB Reuben Foster for the 1st 2 games of the season for violating the conduct and substances of abuse policies. Foster was arrested for marijuana possession in January and then domestic violence in February. He got cleared of the latter charge after the accuser admitted to lying. The wording of the NFL's announcement seems to indicate he's being punished for both incidents, however. We'll see if he appeals -- and where that might go -- but IDP owners should expect to miss the 2nd-year LB for 2 weeks. Rookie Fred Warner figures to fill in while Foster sits. The 3rd-rounder worked as the 2nd-team MLB in spring workouts.

49ers WR Trent Taylor underwent what HC Kyle Shanahan called a "minor" back surgery earlier this offseason. Taylor has been sidelined since but is expected to be ready "at or near the beginning of training camp," per Shanny. Taylor hauled in 43 of 60 targets (71.7%) for 430 yards and 2 TDs as a rookie last year. He faces stiff competition for playing time this season, though, with 2nd-round rookie Dante Pettis joining veterans Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin. We'll see how soon Taylor is able to get back on the field, but he's not worth a pick in fantasy drafts right now.

The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) district attorney’s office has dismissed the misdemeanor marijuana charge against 49ers LB Reuben Foster after he finished a diversion course. That clears Foster of any further legal discipline, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the league won’t take action. We’ll see if anything comes on that front

A judge Wednesday dismissed the domestic violence charges against 49ers LB Reuben Foster. That clears him of the offseason’s most serious issue, after his ex-girlfriend recanted her story and admitted to lying about an assault. Foster also got arrested in January for marijuana possession. We’ll see if that case brings about league discipline. If it does, Foster would likely only be looking at a game or 2

The 49ers finished their 2018 NFL Draft by taking Middle Tennessee State WR Richie James in the 7th round. James lost 8 games to injury in 2017 but posted big numbers and market shares over his 1st 2 seasons. James totaled 212 receptions over that span, surpassed 1,300 receiving yards each year and tallied 20 TD catches. He added 5 TDs and 554 yards rushing on 61 career carries. James' Combine numbers were solid but not flashy. In San Francisco, he has a chance to compete with 2017 draftee Trent Taylor in the slot.

The 49ers selected Washington WR Dante Pettis with the 44th overall pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He never reached 1,000 yards in 4 college seasons and didn’t jump off the tape to us. But Kyle Shanahan obviously likes him. Pettis was a stud return man at Washington and is considered 1 of the better route runners in this class. He’ll join Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin atop San Francisco’s depth chart.

Santa Clara police have charged 49ers LB Reuben Foster with felony domestic violence stemming from a February arrest. According to a press release from the district attorney's office, Foster "physically attacked" his live-in girlfriend, "leaving her bruised and with a ruptured ear drum." Beyond the fact that he's (allegedly) an a-hole, this is the kind of charge that could jeopardize Foster's standing with the Niners and the league. A conviction, meanwhile, could mean 11+ years in jail, according to the press release. We'll see where this case goes, but dynasty owners should go ahead and plan on not having Foster available for at least the near future in IDP leagues.

The 49ers have reached a 4-year deal with RB Jerick McKinnon, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The former Viking was looking to land a bigger role and will certainly find opportunity in San Francisco. After losing Carlos Hyde, the 'Niners backfield now features McKinnon and 2nd-year RBs Matt Breida, Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols. McKinnon underwhelmed as a runner in Minnesota, averaging just 3.6 yards per carry over the past 2 seasons. But he did rank a decent 18th among 51 qualifying RBs in Pro Football Focus' 2017 rushing grades. And he tied for 7th in PFF's receiving grades on the strength of a career-high 51 catches for 421 yards and 2 scores. That followed a 43-255-2 receiving line in 2016. We'll see exactly how this backfield shakes out this summer, but McKinnon has plenty of fantasy potential in an ascending offense. He turns just 26 in May.

Update: McKinnon got a whopping 4-year, $30 million deal. The $7.5 million annual salary makes him the league's 4th highest-paid RB.

49ers WR Marquise Goodwin has signed a 3-year, $20.3 million extension. It tacks on to the 1 year remaining on his old deal, locking him up in San Francisco through the 2021 season. It's a well-deserved reward for a guy coming off a career-best 56-962-2 line. Goodwin was particularly good with QB Jimmy Garoppolo, racking up 29 catches for 384 yards and a score in Garoppolo's 5 starts. The contract extension should lock Goodwin into a significant 2018 role, even with the 'Niners likely to add to the WR position this offseason.

 
 
 

Dominate Your Fantasy Football Draft

Turn your phone into a draft weapon with our FREE APP

Download on the App Store Download on Google Play