The 49ers got LBs Malcolm Smith and Reuben Foster back on the practice field Wednesday. Smith didn't even appear on the injury report, putting in a full workout after missing the 1st 2 games with a hamstring injury. Foster, meanwhile, completed his 2-game conduct-policy suspension and is eligible to return against the Chiefs this Sunday. HC Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday the coaches haven't decided on a plan for their LBs yet. The performance of rookie Fred Warner through 2 weeks complicates the decision. We'll watch for word from the coaches through the week. If we don't gain clarity before Sunday, though, it'll be tough to trust any Niners LB in IDP lineups.
Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (foot) is inactive for today’s game against the Bills. That opens up extra snaps for Tyrell Williams and especially Mike Williams. Both guys are upside WR4s.
Chargers WR Travis Benjamin (foot) is listed as questionable for this weekend’s game against the Bills. He was in a walking boot as of Wednesday. We’ll get Benjamin’s official status by noon ET on Sunday, but he shouldn’t be in your Week 2 fantasy plans. His absence would push a few extra targets to WRs Keenan Allen, Tyrell Williams and Mike Williams.
Chargers WR Travis Benjamin has missed the first 2 practices of the week with a right foot injury. He was in a walking boot on Wednesday. Benjamin played 57% of the offensive snaps and saw 5 targets last week, so his absence would be significant -- and a boost to WRs Tyrell and Mike Williams.
49ers TE George Kittle (shoulder) is not listed on the Week 1 injury report. He missed most of August after suffering a separated shoulder in the preseason opener. Kittle also has a tough matchup on Sunday against a Vikings defense that allowed the fewest PPR points to TEs last year. We’d try to avoid using him in Week 1 fantasy lineups.
The 49ers' fears have been realized. RB Jerick McKinnon suffered an ACL tear in Saturday's practice and will miss the season. That leaves his expected touches available for Matt Breida and Alfred Morris. The team this week released RBs Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols. We'd bet on San Francisco adding to the backfield, but Breida and Morris carry much more value in fantasy football drafts over the coming week.
ESPN reports that 49ers RB Jerick McKinnon suffered a knee injury on the final play of Saturday's practice that the team fears may be serious. We'll be watching for further updates, but hold off on drafting McKinnon at all for now. Matt Breida and Alfred Morris, meanwhile, gain intrigue in the middle to late rounds of current fantasy football drafts.
49ers RB Jerick McKinnon (calf) was "moving well" in conditioning work off to the side of Tuesday's practice, according to ESPN's Nick Wagoner. McKinnon has yet to return to practice since going down on August 12, but it sounds like he's on pace to be ready for Week 1. He's a risk/reward pick at his current mid-3rd-round ADP.
49ers TE George Kittle (shoulder) returned to what insider Joe Fann called a "very limited" practice on Tuesday. Kittle "worked through individual drills and caught some passes standing still, but he didn’t run any routes," according to Fann. Kittle is making progress in his recovery from a separated shoulder in the preseason opener, but he still seems questionable to be ready for Week 1. We'll continue to keep an eye on him.
49ers GM John Lynch said Friday that RB Jerick McKinnon (calf) will be "out of action" until Week 1. That presumably means he won't play in the final 3 preseason games or practice until September. It's more confirmation than breaking news -- and it's a smart tactic for the 'Niners to take. But it's still a less-than-ideal situation for a guy who remains completely unproven as a lead back. McKinnon retains PPR RB1 upside but has become a risky pick that we're not considering until Round 3 of fantasy drafts.
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.
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.
The Chargers believe CB Jason Verrett tore his right Achilles tendon during a Friday conditioning run, according to multiple reports. That would end his 3rd straight season early. Verrett tore his left ACL early in 2016 and then needed another surgery on the knee in September 2017 when the ligament failed to fully heal. Assuming the 27-year-old's status gets confirmed, his departure from the lineup would return the Chargers' secondary to last year's top 3 at CB: Casey Hayward, Trevor Williams and Desmond King. The 2017 Chargers defense delivered top-8 fantasy numbers and ranked 12th in overall team-D efficiency without Verrett.
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 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.
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.
The 49ers have agreed to a contract extension with QB Jimmy Garoppolo. NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reports it's worth $137.5 million, a record high for per-year salary. We'll let the Niners worry about whether the financials make sense. The extension is obviously good news for San Francisco skill players, and Garoppolo performed well for fantasy owners over 5 starts last year with shaky surrounding talent. He looks like a potential QB1 in his 1st full season as a fantasy starter ... but Garoppolo's high-profile finish to 2017 also makes him an excellent candidate to be overdrafted come summertime.
Falcons HC Dan Quinn announced on Thursday that RB Tevin Coleman has cleared the concussion protocol. Barring a setback, he'll return for this weekend's game against the Saints. Over their last 5 games together, RB Devonta Freeman has carried 71 times and caught 9 passes vs. 42 carries and 5 catches for Coleman. Expect a similar split this Sunday, making Coleman a RB3 or flex option.
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