Garcon, Hoyer make 49ers slightly more fantasy relevant
The San Francisco 49ers made waves to start the 2017 free agency period by revamping their offense by agreeing to terms with quarterback Brian Hoyer and wide receiver Pierre Garcon Wednesday. The team is also adding speedy wideout Marquise Goodwin to the roster.
The moves immediately make San Francisco more intriguing from a fantasy perspective, but if we’re being honest, virtually any offensive addition would have helped the 49ers. After all, they were one of the most offensively starved teams in the league in 2016.
Hoyer flashed starter-like abilities in his five games under center for the Bears in 2016. From Weeks 2 to 6, he was fourth in the NFL in passing yards (1,396) and he threw no interceptions. However, in those five games, he threw just six touchdowns, so he didn’t exactly have a high ceiling. He finished as the No. 14 fantasy quarterback while serving as Chicago’s starter. That’s probably as good as it could be for Hoyer in San Francisco, too.
Additionally, Hoyer, a career backup, will not be handed the job in San Francisco. While his signing makes San Francisco’s rumored trade for Kirk Cousins less likely, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility. Nor does Hoyer’s presence eliminate the possibility of the 49ers spending a high draft pick on a quarterback or pursuing another free agent.
However, if Hoyer does play a full 16 games, don’t be surprised if he flirts with the 4,000-yard barrier — after all, the 49ers will still likely be playing a lot of catchup. But Hoyer’s touchdown potential will be significantly lower than other quarterback options. Similar to how it was while he started in Chicago, Hoyer will have streaming and DFS appeal in San Francisco, but he’s not a season-long target.
Hoyer was arguably Chicago’s best bet for 2017, and his departure opens up the door for a rookie quarterback, a free agent (Mike Glennon, perhaps?) or a big trade (Jimmy Garoppolo, anyone?). For fantasy purposes, we should all be praying that Alshon Jeffery leaves Chicago.
Prior to the additions of Garcon and Goodwin, the 49ers were virtually wide receiver-less outside of slot man Jeremy Kerley. Garcon, who will be 31 when the season begins, has always been more of a complementary receiver, albeit a very good one.
As a member of Washington three-headed receiving corps, Garcon nabbed 79 passes for 1,041 yards and three scores last year. Garcon should be able to put up similar numbers in San Francisco as the team’s primary weapon. Garcon will be a fringe WR2 in fantasy leagues and a solid flex option. In PPR leagues, Garcon should be in the WR2 discussion. As for Washington, Garcon’s departure assures we’ll see a lot more of Josh Doctson, Washington’s first-round pick in the 2016 draft.
With Kyle Shanahan now in San Francisco, Goodwin figures to assume a role similar to the one Taylor Gabriel held in Atlanta under Shanahan. This volatile role will keep Goodwin on the map in DFS circles, but he’s unlikely to be a factor in season-long leagues.