Team Needs: QB, OLB, OL
Projected Top Three Picks:
First Round- Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford
Second Round- DeShone Kizer, QB Notre Dame
Third Round- Marcus Williams, S Utah
Kyle Shanahan enters his first year as head coach for the 49ers with a total of 10 picks in the 2017 draft. With the abundance of holes around this team, they could likely fill plenty of them with smart choices during the draft. All signs are pointing towards the Niners taking Solomon Thomas with their first selection to aid an extremely weak pass rush. It would be a wise move for this team to rebuild from the interior of the lines, to the outside in skill positions. This draft sports a lot of talent at receiver and in the secondary, both areas the 49ers are very thin with talent. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Shanahan will not change the Fantasy fortunes of this squad in one year. He received a six-year contract because the front office knows that this turnaround will take some time.
With Shanahan’s knowledge of the offensive game, his first move after accepting the job was to declare that the team was moving on from the controversial Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick wasn’t terrible as a Fantasy quarterback in 2016, and he was perhaps a key pickup for teams that were streaming at the position. After an attempted trade for Kirk Cousins fell by the waist-side, Shanahan is left with Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley at QB heading into the draft, which is ugly at best. One has to believe that the staff will be looking to draft a quarterback to build around. The team likes what they have seen from Mitch Trubisky, but that selection with the second overall pick seems to be a bit of a stretch. I have them taking DeShone Kizer with the second selection, a player who could drop into the second round after a poor showing at the Combine.
Since the passing attack appears so poor on paper, the team will center around running back Carlos Hyde in 2017. Shanahan brings out the best in any running back that he coaches. Devonta Freeman and Alfred Morris are just two of the backs that have performed up to RB1 level under his coaching. Look for the Niners to feed the ball to Hyde plenty as long as he stays healthy. Hyde will be drafted as a fringe RB1 in many drafts but if he stays on the field, he could push to finish the season as a Top 5 running back.
The 49ers will use this first draft of the Shanahan regime to stock talent and begin building for the future. Quarterback is the biggest glaring need that needs to be addressed to improve the Fantasy outlook of players moving forward, and unless they find that player, Fantasy owners will be looking at another year of avoiding this passing game altogether. Hoyer will likely begin the season as the starter while they groom a rookie quarterback, which caps any potential of newly acquired WR Pierre Garcon. We will surely see check-downs aplenty to Hyde, increasing his value in PPR formats. Hyde is currently the only player on the team I would target in drafts, as the remainder of this team will offer you little return on investment. Can they find a diamond in this draft? It’s possible that they can, but unless they draft a quarterback who proves to be a starter right away, there just isn’t much to look at with this team.
Passing Offense- 181.9 YPG (32nd)
Rushing Offense- 126.2 YPG (4th)
Points Per Game- 19.3 PPG (27th)
Top Fantasy Performers:
QB- Colin Kaepernick, 191 points
RB- Carlos Hyde, 154 points
WR- Jeremy Kerley, 77 points
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