2019 Fantasy Football Team Previews: With Jimmy Garoppolo back, the 49ers need to step forward

More young talent enters the wide receiver mix for San Francisco, but it's tight end George Kittle who has established himself as the team's top pass-catching target in advance of Jimmy Garoppolo's return to the field. The backfield is heavy on talent but light on clarity, with Tevin Coleman joining Matt Breida and Jerick McKinnon, who like Garoppolo, returns after losing 2018 to an ACL injury. 

2018 Review

Record: 4 - 12 (29th in NFL)
PPG: 21.4 (21)
YPG: 360.6 (16)
Pass YPG: 241.7 (15)
Rush YPG: 118.9 (13)
PAPG: 33.3 (20)
RAPG: 26.4 (11)

2018 Fantasy finishes

QB: Nick Mullens - QB33; C.J. Beathard - QB36; Jimmy Garoppolo - QB39
RB: Matt Breida - RB26; Alfred Morris* - RB68; Kyle Juszczyk - RB70; Jeff Wilson - RB82; Raheem Mostert - RB85
WR: Kendrick Bourne - WR64; Dante Pettis - WR71; Marquise Goodwin - WR83
TE: George Kittle - TE3
*No longer with team

Number to know: (-25)

The 49ers led the NFL in one of the worst categories for any team -- turnover margin. They only had seven takeaways (two interceptions and five fumble recoveries) compared to 32 giveaways (20 interceptions and 12 fumbles lost). The additions of Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander will hopefully help the defense, and the healthy return of Jimmy Garoppolo (ACL) should improve the offense.

2019 Offseason

"Everything is about reps. And even if you knew the offense inside and out, there's rust for everybody. You have to throw. You've got to do it all the time. There's a rhythm to playing football, especially at the quarterback position. And if you're not out there, you lose that rhythm. And there's rust. And that's why guys come back from injury, and it does take guys some time. Not because they're not healed, but because it takes you a while to get your rhythm back for whatever sport you're playing." - Kyle Shanahan, on Jimmy Garoppolo

Head Coach: Kyle Shanahan (3rd year)
Offensive Coordinator: None
Pass Game Coordinator: Mike LaFleur (3rd year)
Run Game Coordinator: Mike McDaniel (3rd year)

Draft Picks 

1. (2) Nick Bosa, DE
2. (36) Deebo Samuel, WR
3. (67) Jalen Hurd, WR
4. (110) Mitch Wishnowsky, P
5. (148) Dre Greenlaw, LB
6. (176) Kaden Smith, TE
6. (183) Justin Skule, T
6. (198) Tim Harris, CB

Additions

RB Tevin Coleman, WR Jordan Matthews, TE Levin Toilolo, DL Dee Ford, LB Kwon Alexander, LB David Mayo, DB Jason Verrett

Key Departures

RB Alfred Morris, WR Pierre Garcon, LB Cassius Marsh, P Bradley Pinion

Rankings and Projections

Player
Jimmy GaroppoloQB15 QB15 QB21
Tevin ColemanRB29 RB27 RB29
Jerick McKinnonRB47RB45 RB36
Matt BreidaRB54RB57N/A
Dante PettisWR29 WR23 WR34
Deebo SamuelWR53WR54 WR59
George KittleTE3 TE2TE3
Robbie GouldK8 K7 K14
49ers DST DST24 DST16 DST26
 
Heath Cummings' projected offensive stats
QBJimmy Garoppolo4,220 YD, 27 TD, 12 INT
RBTevin Coleman192 ATT, 844 YD, 6 TD; 31 REC, 276 YD, 1 TD
RBJerick McKinnon141 ATT, 563 YD, 4 TD; 41 REC, 308 YD, 2 TD
WRDante Pettis93 TAR, 56 REC, 895 YD, 7 TD
WRDeebo Samuel82 TAR, 53 REC, 645 YD, 5 TD
WRMarquise Goodwin66 TAR, 34 REC, 578 YD, 3 TD
TEGeorge Kittle132 TAR, 86 REC, 1,146 YD, 5 TD

Biggest Question

Which running back will stand out?  

"The one who is most likely to survive 16 games and get goal-line carries is the one to chase. It doesn't hurt that he got paid to come to the Niners this offseason, either. Tevin Coleman is familiar with Kyle Shanahan's offense and has finished inside the top 24 among rushers in any format for three years running. He'll make it four straight this fall." - Dave Richard

One sleeper, one breakout, and one bust

Sleeper: Deebo Samuel

The range of possibilities for Samuel this season are he could be the No. 1 receiver for the 49ers or No. 4 behind Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin and Jordan Matthews. I'm guessing he'll end up second behind Pettis, but I love the outlook for Samuel in this offense. He had 62 catches for 882 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2018 at South Carolina, and Garoppolo should love leaning on Samuel this year. He's worth a late-round pick in all leagues.

Breakout: Jimmy Garoppolo

Garoppolo is expected to be fine for training camp, and he's a great quarterback to wait for on Draft Day in all leagues. He scored at least 20 Fantasy points in two of the three games he appeared in last season before getting hurt, and the combination of Garoppolo, C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens had nine games with at least 20 Fantasy points last season. With Samuel on the roster and hopefully 16 quality games out of Goodwin to go with Pettis, George Kittle, and good pass-catching running backs, Garoppolo has plenty of weapons at his disposal. If he stays healthy, this should be a big year for him in 2019.

Bust: Tevin Coleman

Coleman is getting plenty of work this offseason with Jerick McKinnon still slow in his recovery from last year's torn ACL and Matt Breida (pectoral) also out. But McKinnon and Breida should be fine for Week 1, which should make this a three-headed backfield. Coleman should still lead the 49ers in touches, but he's not going to dominate production if everyone is healthy. He should only be drafted in Round 6 or later as a No. 3 running back in all leagues.

So which sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which RB2 can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Andrew Luck's huge season, and find out.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Jamey Eisenberg has been a Senior Fantasy Writer for CBS Sports since 2006 with a focus on Fantasy Football. A University of Florida grad (class of '98), Jamey got his start in the newspaper business and... Full Bio

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