Fantasy Soccer Primer: 2022 Season Preview

September 8, 2022

Beginning one of many youngest quarterbacks in NFL historical past with an in any other case loaded roster, the San Francisco 49ers enter 2022 with arguably the widest vary of outcomes within the NFL. The identical may very well be stated in regards to the 49ers in fantasy leagues, as the brand new quarterback has distinctive operating means that offers him huge time instant upside. With a Kyle Shanahan backfield, one other vast receiver being drafted within the second spherical and the all the time sought-after George Kittle, the 49ers present loads of fantasy potential.

Trey Lance is the seventh-youngest beginning quarterback in NFL historical past, however he enters 2022 with a ton of priceless time behind the scenes and far more healthy (a damaged finger quietly compromised his throwing most of his rookie season). Lance is likely one of the quickest gamers within the league (and ran for 1,100 yards throughout his final full yr in school) and averaged essentially the most scrambles per dropback within the NFL as a rookie, so he is an instantaneous top-10 fantasy quarterback with the upside to complete first general instantly. He’ll be taking on San Francisco’s offense/system that led the NFC in yards per play final season, routinely leads the NFL in yards after the catch and helped Nick Mullens report the second-most passing yards over his first 16 begins in league historical past.

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Elijah Mitchell’s fantasy considerations contain his well being, an absence of targets and Lance stealing goal-line scores, however he enters 2022 as San Francisco’s clear starter (albeit after lacking many of the preseason with a hamstring harm). Mitchell totaled 1,100 yards over simply 11 video games whereas taking part in via a number of painful accidents as a rookie final season, and the one operating again competitors in SF has been for the workforce’s backup position (seize Jeff Wilson Jr. subsequent, with Jordan Mason additionally a deep fantasy sleeper). Extra targets could be good, however Mitchell will profit from taking part in for a run-heavy workforce and a cellular quarterback in Lance who helped all 49ers backs common 5.2 YPC when he was on the sector final season. Given his harm historical past and the very fact Shanahan has had a special dashing chief every of the final 5 years, Mitchell’s ADP has been modest and within the center rounds all through summer season. He is one of many few operating backs going within the dreaded “RB lifeless zone” who could repay huge for fantasy managers.

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Deebo Samuel did not rank top-50 in routes run or top-25 in targets final season, when he additionally unsustainably turned 59 carries into eight dashing scores. He now has a brand new quarterback who throws to utterly totally different areas of the sector, so he is been a dangerous second spherical fantasy choose. Samuel is a YAC beast and will stay integral to the 49ers offense, however there’s an actual likelihood Brandon Aiyuk sees extra targets in 2022. Aiyuk seems primed to breakout in 12 months 3, because the workforce’s already most well-liked goal-line choice. Aiyuk additionally practiced with Lance all through the summer season, producing spotlight after spotlight in camp. Aiyuk’s ADP seems so much higher than Samuel’s, and there is a actual likelihood they’re flipped in 2023.

Kittle is arguably the perfect present NFL tight finish, however his blocking does not assist fantasy managers, and his lack of purple zone work and propensity to endure nagging accidents put him in tier two (together with Dalton Schultz and Darren Waller) amongst fantasy tight ends (behind Mark Andrews, Kyle Pitts and Travis Kelce). There’s some hope for fantasy managers that newcomer Tyler Kroft’s blocking means helps unlock extra route operating for Kittle. Whereas Jauan Jennings is the favourite to open because the 49ers WR3, it is Danny Grey with extra long-term fantasy upside, because the quick rookie is properly value your consideration in dynasty leagues.

With a re-tooled (and loaded) line of defense, anticipate the 49ers to report extra interceptions in 2022, and a weakened NFC West and favorable schedule will assist (San Francisco will get 9 dwelling video games and one other on a impartial web site, which means the 49ers play 23% fewer highway video games than half the league this season). The 49ers ought to be drafted as a top-three protection, because the workforce additionally will get to face Seattle and Washington in the course of the first two weeks of the fantasy playoffs.