2019 Dynasty-Fantasy Preseason Analysis Wk1 49ers 17, Cowboys 9
Everyone watched this game wanting to see if Dallas tipped their hand with their Ezekiel Elliott contingency plans at running back, and we’ll address that…but you also got a bonus positional logjam/controversy with the 49ers that’s going to be a bit jarring for some of you to hear. We’ll start with that first.
-- OK, I think there’s a problem with Dante Pettis (0-0-0/1) and we need to talk about it/deal with it.
Let’s go through a timeline, of sorts, leading up to the present:
1) I bought into Dante Pettis last summer. The more I scouted him the more I ‘got it’ what the 49ers were doing/seeing with him. He shows signs of being an Odell Beckham-ish, #1 NFL WR – and late last season he started flashing just that.
2) Everyone started to get on-board when he broke out last season, but they were unsure of his status as top guy for this season when early FF rankings came out in the spring. However, by summer people started gravitating towards Pettis as ‘the guy’.
3) Pierre Garcon being gone, Marquise Goodwin always hurt…it seemed like the door was opening nicely for Pettis in fantasy, but then some odd things happened.
Jordan Matthews was signed as a free agent and was being talked up as a starter. Odd, maybe a stretch he’d start, but he’s been running with the 1s a bunch. And JMatt is a latent…a legit NFL starter talent.
The 49ers with several solid WR prospects from the 2018 draft and through acquiring then go out and draft Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd. I thought that was VERY odd. Why add two touted WR prospects when they were already loaded at WR?
I’m starting to think and am starting to hear that there may be some issues with Pettis and the coaching staff. They are worried he has too much diva in him and is a bit frail.
We have a crossroads for fantasy. Is Pettis so good that he just takes over and is ‘the guy’ in 2019…or…are there so many good wide receiver options for SF, and a great tight end, and nice RB receivers that Pettis is not going to be able to live up to being a top fantasy receiver – not enough targets, etc., even if he is ‘the man’?
If you watched the rookie WRs in this game, you definitely walked away thinking…how are they going to distribute the ball to all these weapons?
Rookie Jalen Hurd (3-31-2/5) scored two TDs and just looks the part. His first TD catch was a wide-open him catching the ball and running the final 10 yards to pay dirt, but the thing to know about this is – he had a crowd coming at him to keep him out of the end zone and Pettis just lowered his shoulder and blasted in. The former 1,000+ yard rusher at running back in the SEC turned real WR prospect at Baylor. He’s a unique weapon that’s going to command touches right away. He’s not frail/wiry ‘big guy’ WR…he’s a Mack truck. There’s nothing in the NFL to compare him to when looking over his college career and pre-draft measurables, etc.
Rookie Deebo Samuel (2-61-0/4) is just rock-solid steady at WR. He could start for the 49ers, but there are so many talented options…he may not – but he’ll definitely rotate in for work as a backup until he seizes a starting role…if not a Week 1 starter.
I think it will be Pettis-Goodwin-Samuel to start with Hurd rotating in and out a lot. How are any of them going to shine unless the 49ers just throw 50+ times a game, which they won’t? I like them all, as talents but for fantasy…it’s getting to be a cluster.
-- Alfred Morris (DNP) did not play and they have the excuse of ‘veteran’ and ‘just got there’, so he was out.
Darius Jackson, who has been running as a starter, came into the game 3rd among the RBs. He’s all but gone/a non-factor in this.
Tony Pollard (4-16-0) started…with Dak for his one series. It was kinda telling. The news on Pollard is heating up and this ‘start’ is helping stoke the flames. We’ve been talking about Pollard for weeks now with my camp sources and subscribers knowing how we’ve been projecting him with this Elliott-situation. His ADP is starting to race now.
Also, note on Pollard/the 1st-team… Dak started with some of the 1st-team too. On their opening drive, the only drive for Dak, it was only Pollard or Michael Gallup touching the ball on their scoring drive. Randall Cobb was out there but not targeted. You would have thought they would have forced that for timing sake with the new WR. All Gallup. Telling?
Mike Weber (6-18-0) really didn’t do anything to quell the Pollard heat. He looks OK/fine, but it’s all about Pollard right now.
-- A few weeks ago, we started pushing the projections on Dre Greenlaw (6 tackles, 1 TFL) up based on what we were seeing from 49ers camp. It looks like he really has a chance to start Week 1 and be an IDP factor as an OLB based on this performance/showing. He’s got nice instincts and shows nice burst, better speed/quickness on-field than his Combine data showed.
-- Rookie UDFA RB Austin Walter (13-38-0. 5-32-0/6) took a lot of work because so many SF RBs are dinged up. He looked solid for a UDFA debut but nothing for FF to worry about at this stage.
The big news on the SF RBs is that Jerick McKinnon may go back on IR/PUP…that his knee is still not right. It may just be a flare up and they are cautious…or we might be getting into a ‘no more patience’ fantasy situation with him. Some of us may have to pull the trigger and dump him and move on, but I’d try to wait it out just a touch longer to see.
-- Dallas UDFA LB Luke Gifford (2 tackles, 1 PD) really caught my attention in this game. He looks like a future starting ILB. Our computer scouting models drew my attention to him and he looks the part in the pros. Sadly, he suffered a high ankle sprain and got carted off.
I bet Dallas tries to hide him on IR this year. Maybe just PUP. Will McClay is the best scouting exec in the NFL, and he’s done it again plucking Gifford.
-- That Blake Jarwin (4-51-0/5) has to sit behind Jason Witten this year is an abomination to Dallas fans, and me/dynasty owners. Jarwin flashed at the end of last season and then looked so confident in this game. He just jumps out at you watching this tape. He looks like a #1 TE…like a Travis Kelce-like clone. He would be a top fantasy TE sleeper of 2019 for sure if not for emotional Jerry Jones always letting personal feelings get in the way of business. If Tony Romo came out of retirement, I think Jones would cut Dak to make room.
Jerry Jones is a great businessman…til he isn’t. Unfortunately, he saves his worst decisions for his NFL team. A Super Bowl roster with a waste of space head coach that Jerry is loyal to.
-- Jon’Vea Johnson (3-30-0/8) is a solid wide receiver but just does not display that X-factor to take his game to another level. He’s a bit of a head-fake prospect, but worth kicking the tires on in case he makes a change of personality (rare, but you never know…worth a UDFA look).
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