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2018 Preseason Week 4, Dynasty-Fantasy Analysis: Chargers v. 49ers

September 2, 2018 6:20 PM
September 2, 2018 10:20 PM

*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)

I was making it through the 2018 preseason without any serious injury complaints, which was a nice respite from last year’s non-stop I.R. festival. I mean the Week 4 games were over…I’m in the clear, right? And then the news hit on Jerick McKinnon…for about the 10th time in his career…one inch from the bass ring and then he gets hurt.

I’m going to now shift my love/hope and attention from McKinnon, forever (at least until next year). I’m taking my love away. No longer will I assume ‘if he gets the chance’, I’m now replacing that with ‘I assume he’ll get hurt again’. 2018 WAS his window. Because of the 49ers ridiculous backfield depth chart, it was a wide open road for McKinnon to scarf down all the key touches. It had the makings of a huge fantasy year. Now, it’s flushed down the drain.

The 49ers are now forced to acquire or draft a ‘partner’ RB in 2019 because they cannot fully trust JMK either. There are too many good RBs out there as it is, and then the draft will yield more…one of them is bound to stumble onto the 49ers roster and force a ‘duo’ in 2019 where this was going to be a great ‘solo act’ in 2018.

As soon as a guy gets hurt, everyone runs to the next option in front of their face for the immediate pickup/FF-opportunity. Yesterday saw a million people asking me, “Morris or Breida?”

I’m pretty sure the answer is ‘none’…even if the 49ers flounder in their efforts to locate another RB.

Alfred Morris (2-5-0/3) is solid but is a ‘zero’ in PPR. How many 14-52-0 lines are you looking for on your fantasy team each week?

Matt Breida may have a moment but he’s not a three-down RB in the NFL. He can fill the Tevin Coleman-like role (a la Shanahan’s Falcons days), maybe. He can break a long play off a screen pass here and there.

I think the answer to Morris or Breida is ‘neither’. The correct answer is not on the roster yet.

What if they sign Josh Adams off the Philly practice squad?

What if they trade nothing for Samaje Perine?

What if the nab a Bo Scarbrough…who just makes you pause on Morris-Breida?

The 49ers are adding somebody, let’s see who it is. I think that person has an inside track at the Jerick McKinnon role. Maybe they trade for Le’Veon Bell? Why are you laughing? Did you think the Raiders would trade Khalil Mack?

I think this JMK injury gives Jimmy Garoppolo an FF boost. Weak running game leads to more golden-arm passing.

As far as this game goes…a lot ‘good luck in future endeavors’ players played. There’s a few we should talk about…

Fantasy Player Notes…

-- I thought for sure Jeremy McNichols (8-27-1) would be in play on a Jerick McKinnon injury. Not only was he not in play…the 49ers straight up cut him. He looked so much better this preseason. Apparently, not good enough.

Had McNichols made the team I would have been making him the sleeper play here. More likely, McNichols career is near an end.

-- The Chargers have RB questions of their own – like, who is the proper Melvin Gordon handcuff?

Rookie Justin Jackson (7-18-0) made his NFL debut here but didn’t see enough time to stand out one way or the other. He did make the 53-man roster.

Rookie UDFA RB Detrez Newsome (7-35-0, 1-0-0/1) was the big question mark. He’s been so solid in the preseason but it’s asking a lot for a rookie UDFA to suddenly be your Plan B. Newsome played solid enough again here and made the team. For how long, who knows? But he’s clinging to life as a possible handcuff.

-- I wasn’t sure if rookie Richie James (7-80-0/7) would make this team or not, considering all the WR talent SF has. There are six WRs ahead of him in my book…would the 49ers really keep seven WRs? No, they wouldn’t…they kept eight WRs. Why they kept Aaron Burbridge is a mystery, considering the RB peril they are in.

James remains a 49er but has a long road to climb to playing time. He had another good game here. A nice after the catch guy but he almost no hope of mattering for FF on this roster.

-- Rookie safety-turned-LB Kyzir White (3 tackles) once again started ahead of Jatavis Brown (2 tackles), officially putting the dagger in Brown’s Chargers career. Brown made the team, but I wished he hadn’t. Why Brown isn’t starting in 2018, or why the role was ripped from him last year a few games into the season is a mystery. Whatever it is…it’s real.

Until Jatavis is moved on, I can’t hold out much IDP hope for him. I wish some savvy (Patriots or Saints) team would swoop in and rescue him but that’s only a pipe dream now.

That being said, I always hear how much the team love Kyzir White. I’ve watched him close in NFL work twice as the ‘starter’ (last two weeks) and I don’t see what they are even talking about. I don’t understand what Brown is being blamed for and what White is supposedly doing that’s the answer.

-- The Chargers signed Antonio Gates today. I’m not moved for fantasy…he’s 38+ years old and hasn’t really mattered much for fantasy in a few years. Hall of Famer for sure, but fantasy relevant in 2018…no.

-- I watched this game and wondered ‘who is Jack Heneghan’ (8-9 for 58 yards, 0 TD/0 INT)? UDFA rookie QB out of Dartmouth for SF…and I don’t think there’s anything here to discuss.

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About R.C. Fischer

R.C. Fischer is a fantasy football player analyst for Fantasy Football Metrics and College Football Metrics. 

Email rc4metrics@gmail.com

Learn more about RC and the Fantasy Football Metrics system >>