2022 State (Rank)
Factors per recreation: 26.6 (sixth)
Whole yards per recreation: 365.6 (fifth)
Performs per recreation: 61 (twenty third)
Move Makes an attempt + Sacks per recreation: 31.5 (twenty sixth)
Dropback EPA per play: .171 (4th)
Rush makes an attempt per recreation: 29.7 (ninth)
Rush EPA per play: -0.021 (eleventh)
Kyle Shanahan enters one other yr on the helm of the uber-efficient Niners offense, this time with out former defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, who’s now the pinnacle coach of the Texans. In Ryans’ place can be Steve Wilks, who in 2022 served as Carolina’s interim head coach. Wilks has additionally served as defensive coordinator for the Browns and head coach for the Cardinals.
Shanahan employed Klint Kubiak, one other son of a former NFL head coach, as San Francisco’s passing recreation specialist. Kubiak was the Vikings’ offensive coordinator for 3 seasons earlier than spending 2022 with the Broncos as a passing recreation specialist.
The workforce made a spread of defensive hires this offseason, together with Nick Sorensen because the defensive passing recreation specialist and Daniel Bullocks as the brand new defensive backs coach. Bullocks and Sorensen will head a 49ers secondary graded by Professional Soccer Focus as 2022’s fourth finest protection unit.
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QB: Brock Purdy, Sam Darnold, Trey Lance
WR: Deebo Samuel, Ray Ray McCloud
WR: Brandon Aiyuk, Danny Grey
WR: Jauan Jennings, Chris Conley
TE: George Kittle, Cameron Latu, Ross Dwelley
Brock Purdy was a revelation for the Niners after he was pressured into motion in Week 13 in opposition to Miami. The 2022 final-round draft decide proved to be precisely what Shanahan appears for in a quarterback: Somebody who could make correct quick throws to go catchers on the run. Solely the Steelers and Lions had greater drop again EPAs than the 49ers over the season’s remaining six weeks. Purdy — who demonstrated a capability to scramble and improvise that Jimmy Garropolo by no means had in San Francisco — was 14th in completion fee over anticipated from Week 13-18. Notably, and fairly curiously, Sam Darnold led the NFL in completion fee over anticipated over that span as quarterback in Carolina.
Shanahan and normal supervisor John Lynch have been clear that Purdy would be the workforce’s starter when he’s totally recovered from the UCL harm he sustained in final yr’s NFC title recreation loss to the Eagles. It is sensible: Purdy is the right Shanahan QB and he gained over his teammates in brief order final December.
That doesn’t imply Purdy can be a full go for Week 1. His restoration timetable butts up in opposition to the beginning of the common season, forcing the Niners to make troublesome selections if Purdy has to sit down for per week or three earlier than taking up the offense. There’s been some buzz about Trey Lance bettering as a passer this offseason, however each indication factors to 49ers brass being utterly out on the 2021 first rounder. The workforce is 2 months faraway from desperately looking for a commerce accomplice for Lance, who has been depressing in his restricted NFL enjoying time. Lance doesn’t do what Shanny needs him to do; that’s all that issues.
Enter Darnold, a laughing inventory getting into final season with the Panthers after flaming out with the worst group in professional sports activities, the Jets. Darnold, who in March signed a one-year deal value $4.5 million, must be thought of the favourite to start out Week 1 if Purdy continues to be recovering from his elbow subject. Darnold, nonetheless solely 26, has taken snaps over Lance by means of a lot of the offseason, and ESPN’s Adam Schefter stories Darnold “has the sting” over Lance going into coaching camp. This makes Darnold an honest late-round flier in superflex codecs within the unlikely situation he will get the Week 1 nod and performs effectively sufficient for Shanahan to stay with the recent hand — one thing Shanny has finished in previous seasons.
Deebo Samuel, with questions swirling about his conditioning final season and getting into this season, had a down yr in 2022 because of pure landing regression and Christian McCaffrey’s emergence because the Niners’ major short-area go catcher. Samuel’s targets, receptions, and yardage dropped after the workforce acquired CMC in a midseason commerce with Carolina. His dashing alternative — particularly within the pink and inexperienced zones — largely dried up within the McCaffrey-centered Niners offense. It was a significant knock on Samuel’s fantasy worth — one that’s partly mirrored in his redraft ADP this summer season. He’s not a foul decide, particularly for Zero RB functions, however the upside we noticed from Samuel in 2021 is not there so long as CMC is upright and wholesome.
Brandon Aiyuk got here on final season as a boundary-dominating wideout after serving prolonged sentences in Shanahan’s doghouse over the earlier two seasons. He had his first 1,000-yard season and completed twenty first in yards per route run amongst huge receivers, simply behind Tee Higgins. Enjoying a couple of quarter of his snaps from the slot, Aiyuk was a critical mismatch for opposing secondaries and must be thought of the workforce’s No. 1 receiver going into 2023. He posted the league’s 14th finest yards per route run in opposition to man protection. Offseason stories on Aiyuk’s growth have been nothing in need of tantalizing. Drafting Aiyuk as your WR2 or WR3 must be thought of a luxurious this summer season. The run-heavy and ultra-conservative nature of the workforce’s offense will naturally result in some duds for Aiyuk and the remainder of the Niners go catchers.
I take no pleasure in reporting George Kittle stays a superb blocker and can proceed to be deployed as a highway paver for Shanny’s run-first offense. Kittle in 2022 had the tenth most tight finish targets and ran the eighth most tight finish go routes, although his pass-game utilization stays woefully in need of the place most fantasy managers would need it to be. Fortunately, his redraft ADP displays that Kittle is a extra boom-bust choice than different elite fantasy tight ends. He’s actually somebody to focus on in redraft if his ADP slips. He was fifth in tight finish yards per route run final season, a yr after main all tight ends in that class. We’re begging Shanahan to let Kittle cook dinner.
RB: Christian McCaffrey, Elijah Mitchell, Jordan Mason, Tyron Davis-Worth
OL (L-R): Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Spencer Burford, Colton McKivitz
Shanahan’s maddeningly environment friendly run recreation received even higher after the Niners acquired McCaffrey from the Panthers in October 2022. Although the 49ers had the league’s eleventh highest rush EPA on the season, they have been third in rush EPA throughout CMC’s 11 video games with the workforce. Solely six groups had the next dashing success fee throughout that stretch. McCaffrey was the general RB1 in fantasy throughout his 11 video games with San Francisco, thanks largely to a gradual food plan of targets that helped counter a shared dashing load with Elijah Mitchell. McCaffrey noticed a minimum of seven targets in six of his 11 video games in Shanahan’s system, persevering with his PPR domination as the sport’s premiere pass-catching working again. He hogged 82 p.c of the San Francisco backfield’s excessive worth touches (catches and touches contained in the ten). After main all backs in yards per route run in 2021, McCaffrey completed third in YPRR in 2022. He must be a top-three decide in each format this summer season.
Mitchell has large contingency worth with a smattering of every-week attraction for fantasy drafters who go heavy on receivers early on and search RB values within the center and late rounds. Mitchell had a minimum of eight rushes — and as many as 18 carries — in three video games with McCaffrey sharing the backfield earlier than an harm sidelined him for the rest of the common season. Dependably environment friendly and match for the Shanahan dashing assault, Mitchell would immediately develop into a top-12 fantasy again if McCaffrey have been to overlook time this season. He’ll be a candidate for double digit carries when the 49ers have recreation script on their aspect.
Jordan Mason would doubtless be the Niners’ high again if each Mitchell and CMC have been to go right down to harm in 2023. As a rookie in 2022, Mason averaged six yards per keep on 43 rushes. Niners coaches talked up Mason as a superb match for the workforce’s dashing scheme final offseason. That issues fairly a bit on a Shanahan-coached workforce.
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Win Over/Beneath: 11.5
If Purdy have been assured to be one hundred pc able to roll for Week 1, I might take the over on the workforce’s wins. I’m going to hedge towards the below, if simply barely, due to the varied QB questions swirling across the 49ers. The workforce’s tough-as-nails protection, even with out DeMeco Ryans, ought to clean over no matter struggles the workforce has on offense with or with out Purdy below middle. This might all look foolish come December and January, because the 49ers have the league’s fifth best power of schedule, per Sharp Soccer Evaluation.