Kickoff Sunday, Sep 25th 8:20pm Eastern

49ers (
23.25) at

Broncos (
21.75)

Over/Under 45.0

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Notes

Key Matchups
49ers Run D
1st DVOA/7th Yards allowed per carry
Broncos Run O
26th DVOA/13th Yards per carry
49ers Pass D
4th DVOA/6th Yards allowed per pass
Broncos Pass O
17th DVOA/19th Yards per pass
Broncos Run D
20th DVOA/15th Yards allowed per carry
49ers Run O
24th DVOA/7th Yards per carry
Broncos Pass D
6th DVOA/8th Yards allowed per pass
49ers Pass O
16th DVOA/12th Yards per pass

XANDAMERE’S SHOWDOWN SLANT

Sunday night football brings us two teams that have underachieved to start the season as the 49ers visit the Broncos in a game sporting a 44-point total with San Francisco favored by 1.5. The 49ers opened the season being embarrassed by the Bears before beating Seattle but losing their starting quarterback, while the Broncos lost to the Seahawks and then barely beat the lowly Texans (scoring 32 total offensive points across their two games). Since the Seahawks beat the Broncos and lost to the 49ers, then clearly, the 49ers will beat the Broncos here, right? If only football were that easy.

San Francisco

In the run game, the 49ers turned to Jeff Wilson as their lead back after losing Elijah Mitchell to injury in Week 1. Wilson only played 49% of the snaps but saw 20 total opportunities and played well, rushing for 4.7 yards per carry and catching both of his targets. He was vultured at the goal line by Kyle Jusczyk once, and then the 49ers tried to let him get vultured again later in the game in another goal-line series that ended with Jimmy Garoppolo running it in. Poor Wilson saw multiple red zone touches but not a single goal-line attempt out of five total plays within the five-yard line (casual count here, I could be off, but it was several!). Tyrion (A+ name) Davis-Price played 39% of the snaps and handled 14 carries, so while Wilson did see a solid workload, San Francisco also ran 70 plays. A safer projection for Wilson is probably in the 16-18 touch range. TDP is out this week and the 49ers have signed and elevated Marlon Mack from the practice squad. Oh, and Deebo Samuel is going to steal some carries, but last week’s goal-line vulture aside, the SF running back situation now doesn’t have to worry as much about a running QB stealing their work. I’m not sure how this plays out. My guess is that Jordan Mason is the RB2 since Mack is still brand new to the team, but Mason was an undrafted rookie so maybe San Francisco prefers Mack’s experience with the NFL overall over Mason’s experience with their offensive system. There’s some volatility here. If you believe Wilson is safe for 16-18 touches with upside for more (which I do), he’s underpriced at $8k for that workload even in a tough matchup. One important note: George Kittle is expected to return this week. I’m sticking this note in the running game section because Kittle is incredibly important to the 49ers rushing attack – he’s one of the best blockers in the NFL at any position and San Francisco has averaged 4.4 yards per carry with Kittle vs. 4.1 without. 

Showdown Ownership Projections!

Ownership updates automatically

In the passing game, it’s going to be primarily Deebo, Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk, giving the 49ers one of the most dynamic receiving corps in the league with tremendous YAC ability. Deebo is the highest-ceiling play in this game, of course, and his rushing work boosts his floor, and there’s really nothing I can say against him other than “he’s expensive, will be highly owned, and football is a volatile game.” He’s a great play. Of the other two, I prefer Kittle – he has games where he disappears because he’s busy blocking and not catching passes, but he also has 30+ ceilings in his range of outcomes while Aiyuk has not even sniffed that mark yet in his career. (Aiyuk’s best game was Week 14 of 2020 with 24.9 Draftkings points). At a similar price, and I expect pretty similar ownership, I want more exposure to Kittle. Past this, it’s a mess. Jauan Jennings is the primary slot receiver but has only played about half the snaps so far this season, and if anything, I expect that to go down with Kittle’s return as the 49ers should use more heavy formations to support their run game. Ray-Ray McCloud should mix in a bit as well and can be considered an MME punt option. At tight end, Tyler Kroft is out, leaving Kittle, Charlie Woerner, and Ross Dwelley. Woerner is a blocker and not fantasy relevant except in the deepest MME pools, while Dwelley is priced up for a role without Kroft and is too expensive now that Kittle is back. He’s a “pay up to be contrarian and hope he catches another 38-yard touchdown like he did last week” play. Fullback Kyle Juszczyk generally gets a couple of opportunities per game and is probably the best punt option on San Francisco (outside of Jennings, who isn’t quite in punt territory). To sum this all up, the main San Francisco offense is very condensed but the backup/punt play pool is deep. 

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Overview

  • Game has a total of 44.5
  • SF is favored by -1.5 after opening around -2.5
  • DEN has had 6 trips to the red zone & scored TDs on zero of them
  • SF is 3 for 8 in red zone TD %
  • SF ranks 4th in defensive dvoa, DEN ranks 5th

Jimmy Garoppolo

  • Jimmy last week in 3 quarters: 13:21:154:1 TD // 16.7 DK pts
  • He scored at least 3x salary in 6 out of 17 games 
  • Jimmy scored 20+ DK pts in 2 games & 30+ in one other
  • The only games he was cheaper than $5.5k were in the playoffs last season
  • DEN to Qbs: (Mills 19:38:177 yds) // (Smith 23:28:195:2 TDs)

SF RBs

  • It’s been two games & the 49ers have lost two RBs (both out several weeks)
  • Elijah Mitchell (MCL sprain) + Tyrion Davis-Price (3rd rd rookie) (high ankle sprain)
  • Other healthy RBs: (Jordan Mason udfa, $4k) // (Marlon Mack, activated from practice squad, $4k)
  • Last weeks rushing: Wilson 18:84 // Price 14:33 // Deebo 4:53 
  • Wilson: 4 of 10 starts with over 20 rush attempts // 3 of 10 starts with 100+ rush yds 
  • DEN D rush yds allowed: 80 // 76
  • They rank 5th in rush yds allowed (78.0/g)
  • SF ranks 4th in rush yds  (182.5/g)
  • They have the 2nd highest rush rate in the league at 60%

SF WRs

  • Tgt counts: Aiyuk 8, 3 // Deebo 6, 7 // Jennings 2, 6 
  • Deebo: 8 games without 10+ tgts // 7 games without 100+ receiving yds // 13 games without scoring 4x (DK price was $7.4k) // 5 games without scoring 3x
  • Deebo’s snaps: wide 66% // slot 17% // backfield 17%
  • He’s averaging 8.8 yds/carry this season (4th highest)

George Kittle

  • Number of games missed each season: (2018-0) // (2019-2) // (2020-8) // (2021-3) // (this season-2)
  • Kittle yds/catch 2018 to 2021: 15.6-12.4-13.2-12.8
  • In 17 games played last season (including playoffs), Kittle had three above 20 DK pts: 24.1 (4.6x) // 42.6 (7.2x) // 37.1 (5.4x)
  • DEN allowed to TEs: (Kmet 0:0 yds) // (Fant 3:16 yds)

Russell Wilson

  • Wilsons played the 49ers 20 times and has a 16-4 record
  • Averages: 19:29:209:1.8 TDs:.5 INTS // 19.0 DK pts
  • His price & DK pts: (Wk2 $7.2k, 12.0) // (Wk1 $6.9, 20.7)
  • Wilsons 42 pass attempts WK1 were higher than any game last season
  • He had 340 yds but the Seattle offense only scored 1 TD
  • SF allowed to QBs: (Fields 8:17:121 yds:2 TDs, 14.6 DK pts) // (Smith 24:30:197:1 INT, )

DEN WRs

  • Jeudy played only 10 snaps before getting injured last week, questionable this week
  • He saw 3 targets in those 10 snaps (7 last week)
  • Sutton saw 11 last week, good for a 40% tgt share 
  • He owns a 27% target share through 2 games
  • SF allowed to WRs (Metcalf 4:35-6 tgts) // (Lockett 9:107-11 tgts) // (Dante Pettis 1:51:1TD) // (Mooney 1:8) 
  • SF has allowed 143.0 pass/g (1st)

DEN RBs

  • Carries: (Williams 15, 7) // (Gordon 10, 12)
  • Targets: (Williams 4, 12) // (Gordon 1, 2) 
  • Williams has a 23% target share
  • DEN ranks 10th in rush yds (126.0/g) & 7th in yds/carry (4.9)
  • SF’s D has allowed rushing totals of 36 yds (SEA) & 99 yds (CHI) 
  • They’ve allowed only 67.5 yds/g (2nd) & 2.6 yds/carry (1st)

DEN TEs

  • After seeing 6 tgts Wk1, Albert O. saw only 2 last week
  • His snap %: (Wk2 53%) // (Wk1 67%)
  • He’s ran a route on 59 plays & pass blocked on just 5 of those
  • SF allowed to TEs: (Fant 2:11 yds) // (Kole Kmet 0:0 yds)