What We Saw: Week 10

The QB List team recaps everything you missed from Week 10

49ers @ Jaguars

Final Score: 49ers 34, Jaguars 3

Senior Writer: Benjamin Haller (@benjaminhaller1 on Twitter)

 

Trevor Lawrence and the Jacksonville Jaguars failed to turn up on either side of the ball as four turnovers handed the San Francisco 49ers an easy win on what looked like a more enticing matchup on paper. Lawrence threw two second half interceptions and Christian Kirk fumbled inside the 49ers red zone with the 49ers scoring twice to capitalize on the turnovers. A big factor was a revitalized 49ers defense that shrugged off the struggles pre-bye and put on a show, especially on the defensive line – Chase Young joined Nick Bosa in terrorizing the Jaguars offensive line allowing Brock Purdy to go back to what he does best and just manage the game without needing to make something happen for his team. This was a one-sided affair despite a horrible first half in which both teams struggled to generate any offense.

 

Two Up

  • George Kittle – another huge day for the beating heart of this 49ers team as he took a 66-yard pass for a score at the start of the second half to provide the catalyst for a 49ers victory
  • Deebo Samuel – after a lean few weeks the hybrid superstar finally had some fantasy output to talk about – fantasy managers will hope the bye week has given time for Samuel to be healthy and a focal point of the offense

Two Down

  • Trevor Lawrence – a nightmare outing for the young quarterback in a litmus test matchup against the 49ers – he failed miserably and still sits outside the top 15 fantasy quarterbacks so far this season
  • Travis Etienne – a disappointing day out for the up and coming Etienne against a run defense that has shown vulnerability out of the backfield, he just wasn’t used correctly in the game plan

 

San Francisco 49ers

 

Quarterback

 

Brock Purdy: 19/26, 296 Yards, 3 TDs, 2 Sacks

 

Registering his second-best fantasy score of the season (23.84 fantasy points in Yahoo!), Purdy was efficient if not slightly lucky with two of his three touchdown passes. The first was just thrown up towards two 49ers receivers and two Jags defensive backs in the end zone from across his body on a broken play and somehow Brandon Aiyuk came down with it after Kittle jumped to tip it away from his defender – it was the type of play that in previous weeks easily could have fallen into the arms of the defense.

 

Purdy struggled to maintain drives in the first half and threw most of his incompletions prior to half time. Two laborious field goal drives gave his team the slender advantage, however. There was an element of fortune about the throw that broke the game open too, with Purdy hesitating in the pocket before throwing the ball up just prior to his arm being clattered under pressure deep down the sideline. But because of some poor positioning by linebacker Devin Lloyd, George Kittle was able to position himself to haul in the lob as Lloyd stumbled before streaking away for the score.

 

It was a case of feeding the run game and managing the game from that point on, something Purdy was comfortable with doing. It was a nice fantasy bounce back but this performance was far from convincing.

 

 

Sam Darnold: 1/2, 6 Yards | 3 Carries, -3 Yards

 

Running Back

 

Christian McCaffrey: 16 Carries, 95 Yards | 10 Targets, 6 Receptions, 47 Yards

 

The streak is over – Christian McCaffrey‘s touchdown streak ended on 17 games despite Kyle Shanahan somewhat embarrassingly failing to call a play to get him in the end zone on four straight attempts inside the Jags 10-yard line towards the end of the game as the rest of the starters were pulled on the sideline. Still, McCaffrey was productive mustering 142 yards from scrimmage despite a smaller than usual share of touches. He has now gone for over 100 yards in four of the last five games and remains the focal point of this offense. His six catches were just on short of a season-high.

 

Elijah Mitchell: 8 Carries, 23 Yards

Kyle Juszczyk: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 26 Yards, TD

 

The most expensive fullback in league history got on the scoresheet for the first time in 2023 thanks to being left open downfield on a broken play early in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars spirit crumbled. There is nothing to read into from a fantasy point of view as Shanahan throws these plays in every season.

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

George Kittle: 4 Targets, 3 Receptions, 116 Yards, TD

 

Back-to-back 100+ yards game for George Kittle and they could not be more different in how they came about. After a season-high 11 targets last week, Kittle saw just four looks in this game but made them count thanks to the 66-yard connection with Purdy at the start of the second half. He also made a key grab on the 49ers opening drive that resulted in a score. The bad news is that this isn’t going to stand out amongst the tight ends in the league, a position which is seeing a fantasy explosion this season. Kittle’s production is good enough for just third on the week and he sits sixth on the year to date.

 

Brandon Aiyuk: 3 Targets, 3 Receptions, 55 Yards, TD

 

This minimal target share will not help Brandon Aiyuk finally break out as a WR1 this season – the former first-round receiver has had a mixed career so far despite signs of promise. However, this season looked to be the year he would climb the fantasy charts. But he was targeted effectively for two big grabs including his touchdown on the 49ers’ first two drives but then disappeared from the game plan despite offensive struggles in the first half. This was Aiyuk’s first touchdown reception since two in Week 1.

 

Deebo Samuel: 4 Targets, 4 Receptions, 30 Yards | 3 Carries, 29 Yards, TD

 

Hallelujah! Finally, fantasy managers can stop throwing darts at Shanahan’s picutre on the dart board as the do-it-all Samuel found the end zone on a snaking run that became his signature over the past few seasons. He’ll owe the offensive line a drink after some heavy blocking downfield opened up the lane to pay dirt like the Red Sea. Samuel has been plagued by injuries and minimal involvement this season once again but reminded us he can break out big plays for fantasy production. Let’s hope this points to an increase in usage for the rest of the campaign.

 

Ronnie Bell: 1 Target, 1 Reception, 20 Yards

Jauan Jennings: 2 Targets, 1 Reception, 8 Yards

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Quarterback

 

Trevor Lawrence: 17/29, 185 Yards, 2 INTs | 2 Carries, 7 Yards, Fumble (Lost)

 

This was as close to disaster as it comes for a fantasy quarterback like Lawrence who is expected to break into the elite category at the position. Lawrence was overmatched significantly and crumbled under the 49ers’ defensive scheming and pressure behind his struggling offensive line. Lawrence also made some terrible decisions with the ball when under no duress in the pocket. Lawrence was too casual and seemed to think he had more time to deliver the ball than he did for much of the contest. He was also slow to progress through reads and switch to his secondary options, which cost his team dearly in the second quarter as he lost the first of two Jags fumbles in the game.

 

The former Clemson signal caller had problems reading the defense and his turnovers all occurred in 49ers territory. The first interception directly after the 49ers scored in the second half was disappointing as it was a panic decision under pressure that made everyone believe the Jags couldn’t come back from such a mistake.

 

He continued to make bad decisions and a final quarter desperation heave under pressure landed embarrassingly in the arms of Fred Warner without a Jags receiver anywhere near him. Yikes! This was a wake up call for Lawrence and a reality check on what has been a disappointing fantasy season.

Lawrence has only thrown for multiple touchdowns on two occasions in nine starts and his two turnovers in this game bring his to 9:6 TD: INT ratio on the season.

 

C.J. Beathard: 1/2, 5 Yards

 

Running Back

 

Travis Etienne Jr.: 9 Carries, 35 Yards | 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 9 Yards

 

Bottled up for a single digit fantasy score (6.40 fantasy points) for only the second time in 2023, running back Travis Etienne Jr. was limited to a paltry 44 scrimmage yards on just 11 touches. The dynamic playmaker was a non-factor as he saw a season-low nine carries and failed to breach a dominant 49ers defensive line. Turnovers limited the workload and a big hole to climb out of early in the third quarter meant Etienne did not see the volume he has had in previous outings.

 

D’Ernest Johnson: 3 Carries, 12 Yards | 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 28 Yards

 

Looked explosive on a couple of screen passes, one that was called back due to penalty. Should be more involved going forward.

 

Tank Bigsby: 3 Carries, 5 Yards | 1 Target

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Christian Kirk: 11 Targets, 6 Receptions, 104 Yards | 0/1

 

A costly fumble on the 49ers 6-yard line in the third quarter soured what was a productive day for the talented receiver who has really found a home in this offense as the WR1. Kirk had connected with his quarterback for a 39-yard gain to set the Jags up in the red zone in an attempt to make it a one-score game in the third quarter and was rewarded with a target to try force the ball in on second down, however Kirk failed to secure the ball when stood up by Aubrey Thomas, who ripped it out and secured the ball for the 49ers. It was a crucial moment in the game and the belief quickly evaporated from the Jags sideline.

 

Kirk should have hit Etienne downfield on a trick play when asked to throw but he couldn’t quite execute on what was a brilliant play design.

 

Calvin Ridley: 3 Targets, 2 Receptions, 20 Yards

 

After an electric start to the campaign, Calvin Ridley has slipped down the relevant list in fantasy football after each game. He seems to be at a stage now where he is third or fourth in looks for targets from his quarterback. The former Falcons wideout wasn’t targeted in the first half and saw all his looks on a single drive early in the third quarter before disappearing back to irrelevance. Odd.

 

Tim Jones: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 17 Yards

Evan Engram: 7 Targets, 4 Receptions, 12 Yards

 

A season-low 12 yards for Evan Engram on his usual target share of seven targets was hugely disappointing but it wasn’t really his fault as Lawrence struggled to get his playmakers in space through this contest. Engram has seen steady work and this continued despite the blowout loss. Fantasy managers should at least take solace in his heavy volume at the tight end position.

 

Brenton Strange: 1 Target

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