The San Fransisco 49ers are in total makeover mode. This offseason they hired a new General Manager John Lynch and hired a new head coach Kyle Shanahan. The moves were made ultimately to get this team back to Super Bowl caliber. Let’s not forget that the 49ers were in the Super Bowl only five years ago. So why not go grab a coach who was just in the Super Bowl in Shanahan?
All that being said we, the Fantasy Football community, don’t care about building a dynasty unless it’s our own. The 49ers have made two major additions to their roster. They added quarterback Brian Hoyer and wide receiver Pierre Garcon. But will those players be able to turn the 49ers into a fantasy gold mine?
Fantasy Reaction: Pierre Garcon
It’s hard to believe Garcon has been in the NFL for nine years and is 30 years old. For me, it seems like just the other day he was a sleeper out of Division III Mount Union. Garcon has had a solid career so him going to the 49ers makes plenty of sense since they are in desperate need of wide receivers. Want to know something else that makes a ton of sense? Garcon going to a team coached by Kyle Shanahan. The last time Garcon had Shanahan as a coach he had a career year with 113 receptions on a league-leading 184 targets for 1,346 yards and five touchdowns. So obviously he will repeat those numbers this season, right? Well not quite.
Garcon throughout his career has been consistently average and reliable. The fact that he hasn’t missed a game since 2012 is very impressive as well as 750 receiving yards in seven of his last eight seasons. Garcon’s upside is limited, though. He has never had a season with more than six touchdowns and he has only had more than 80 receptions one time. Yes, that one time was with Shanahan but Garcon isn’t in his prime anymore and the 49ers offense is not one to brag about.
Even though he will be the WR1 for the offense, there are too many questions marks surrounding him to make him anything more than a WR3. The major question mark being who will be throwing him the football?
Fantasy Reaction: Brian Hoyer
Maybe five times is the charm for Hoyer who is now on his fifth NFL team. Would you believe me if I said Brian Hoyer was actually really good last season? What if I told you in the four games he started he had 1,318 yards, six touchdowns, and zero interceptions? Those are actually impressive numbers. The issue with those numbers is it’s a small sample size due to the fact that he got injured. Injuries happen to Hoyer often, in fact in his eight-year career he has never played a full 16 game season.
Even though it is Brian Hoyer, I have heard some optimism surrounding Shanahan and how he is an offensive guru and will turn any offense into a productive one. Yes, Kyle Shanahan is a great offensive coach and was the mind behind the Falcons incredible offense in 2016. But then I remembered how bad the Falcons offense was in the first year of Shanahan’s offense because of how difficult it is to pick up in the first year. This made me wonder what the numbers of the quarterbacks were who played in Shanahan’s offense in the first year. The results were shockingly similar.
|Player Year||Completion %||Yards||TDs/INTs||Rank in PAs|
|Houston Texans 2008||66||4,267||21/20||7th|
|Washington Redskins 2010||58||3,931||21/19||4th|
|Cleveland Browns 2014||54.6||3,465||12/16||26th|
|Matt Ryan 2015||66.3||4,591||21/15||8th|
From those numbers quarterbacks in their first season with Shanahan average a 61.2 completion percentage, 4,064 yards, 19 TDs 18 INTs. Those numbers do not make me want to draft Brian Hoyer.
Even though the 49ers are taking the right steps to becoming a successful franchise with hiring a head coach like Kyle Shanahan, not even he will be able to turn the 49ers into reliable fantasy football offense because of the lack of talent surrounding the team. So limit your expectations for Garcon and stay away from Hoyer or any quarterback who plays for the 49ers this season.