Kickoff: Sunday, September 19th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Betting Odds: PHI +3.5, 50 Total on Vegas Insider
San Francisco 49ers
Jimmy Garoppolo (Sit)
Last week, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 314 yards, led a win in which his team scored 41 points, and still managed to finish with just 16.8 fantasy points. Do not start him! In a run-heavy offense that also is utilizing Trey Lance in the red zone, there’s a very thin pathway for him to even be fantasy viable, let alone be the top-15 fantasy quarterback worthy of starting. With more performances like he had (12.5 yards/attempt) this past Sunday, he’ll continue to keep Lance on the bench sadly.
Elijah Mitchell (Start, RB2), Trey Sermon (Sit), JaMychal Hasty (Sit)
What happened to Trey Sermon? Expected to split time at the top of the backfield with Raheem Mostert, Sermon wasn’t even active for Week 1, with Shanahan citing him as not “one of the top three backs on the roster.” Now, Mostert is out for the year due to a knee injury, leaving us to wonder what the backfield will look like in Week 2. Alas, it may be time for the Elijah Mitchell show. A small-school sleeper who went in the sixth round, Mitchell’s elite athleticism and college production were enough for me to boldly claim that he could lead this backfield in fantasy points. Everything could be in flux for a week, yet for now, there’s no way I wouldn’t be rushing to the waiver wire to add a talented player in an exceptional rushing scheme for fantasy production. I wouldn’t discount Sermon working his way back in over time, though, so I wouldn’t be dropping him off my team.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
Deebo Samuel (Start, Flex), Brandon Aiyuk (Sit), Trent Sherfield (Sit), George Kittle (Start)
What secret ops agency are the 49ers running? First, their #3 overall pick that practically everyone assumed would be Mac Jones. Then, Sermon is inactive in Week 1. To top it off, Brandon Aiyuk is limited to being a part-time player. There is certainly an injury component here, but considering they felt comfortable with him returning a punt, there’s more to it than that. On the bright side, Deebo Samuel is in a position to feast. In addition to his 12 targets, he also saw his usage shift back to where it was in 2019, with an actually threatening average depth of target (8.3) and more time in the slot (40%). Expecting 189 receiving yards again would be silly, yet a low-end “WR2” finish can be expected. Also, don’t worry about George Kittle. He should be in position to see much more than five targets against an Eagles defense with deficiencies with their middle-of-the-field coverage; less of Samuel, and more of Kittle should be ultimate outcome.
Jalen Hurts (Start)
I will continue to say it: Jalen Hurts is a fantasy cheat code. I was surprised to see him run the ball only seven times on Sunday, which could cap him at closer to 18-19 expected fantasy points a week, which is still quite the floor. Against a far superior defense and without such a favorable game script, he’ll have to push the ball more down the field (3.6 average depth of target), which could hurt his overall efficiency. That being said, he ranks 9th or 10th in most Week 2 quarterbacking rankings as opposed to finishing in the top five again.
Mile Sanders (Start, RB2), Kenneth Gainwell (Sit)
There is good news and bad news regarding Miles Sanders. The good news is that he was quite efficient with 4.9 yards/carry and 39 receiving yards on four targets. The bad news is that, despite a run-heavy game script, he didn’t eclipse 20 total touches. I attribute some of this to Kenneth Gainwell getting more chances with a big lead, yet head coach Nick Sirianni has a history of a multi-running back committee from his time in Indianapolis. Benefitting from a dual-threat quarterback, he’ll continue to run for a lot of efficiency and should outpace Gainwell by more this week, but you’d hope for more usage moving forward. Speaking of Gainwell, he may offer FLEX appeal in the future in a similar mold to Nyheim Hines and other pass-catching backs. However, considering they felt comfortable with Sanders in the passing game, this probably isn’t the game for that.
WIDE RECEIVERS/TIGHT ENDS
DeVonta Smith (Start, Flex), Jalen Reagor (Sit), Quez Watkins (Sit), Dallas Goedert (Sit), Zach Ertz (Sit)
To my surprise, the Eagles were aggressive passing the football in neutral situations, and they’ll need to be again this week against an offense that will certainly score more than six points; the 50-point total says it all. With that in mind, this offers more appeal for their pass catchers, though DeVonta Smith is the only one who truly stands out. Not surprisingly, he led the team in targets in his NFL debut, and the 49ers’ secondary is in a tough spot with the loss of cornerback Jason Verrett. Despite a strong week, Jalen Reagor still isn’t usable with his 1.2 aDOT not super encouraging, while Dallas Goedert and Zach Ertz continue to be co-tight ends in a two-tight end offense. For now, consider Smith, and be wary anywhere else.
All Stats via Pro Football Focus