In this series, I use an internal version of the Projection Machine to explore likely outcomes for offensive players on all 32 NFL teams.
The Projection Machine employs a top-down approach that builds on team-wide assumptions to develop expectations of offensive output. I will use staff averages to help guide the inputs underlying the projections. Check out this article for further information on the process used by the RotoViz team. All 2017 San Francisco 49ers projections are based on PPR scoring.
The 49ers won two games in 2016 but Pythagorean win percentage and Vegas forecast the team with four and a half wins in the coming season. Kyle Shannahan was named San Francisco’s head coach in February and is expected to increase the team’s pace and passing tendencies. With a minor improvement in scoring margin, the Projection Machine forecasts 541 passing and 430 rushing attempts.
|Scoring Margin||Pass Tendency||Pace Tendency|
|League 75th percentile||1.00||0.02||0.85|
|League 50th percentile||-1.25||-0.01||-0.85|
|League 25th percentile||-3.75||-0.04||-2.70|
|49ers 2017 (Projection)||-4.90||-0.02||0.25|
It’s Decidedly Hyde
Shannahan pounded the table for Joe Williams on draft day; claiming that he’d be physically ill if the 49ers didn’t draft him. Needless to say, there was a lot of hype for the rookie back throughout the summer. However, Hyde is the clear cut starter heading into the season and should be drafted as such. Williams has done little to justify being drafted in fantasy leagues and may have been surpassed by UDFA Matt Breida on the San Francisco depth chart.
Hyde has missed 14 games in his three-year career but has been productive when on the field. He was an RB2 in 2016 and according to PlayerProfiler, he excels at breaking tackles and gaining yardage after contact. If Shannahan is able to use him effectively, Hyde could be in for a great season.
The staff average projects Hyde with 52 percent of team rushing attempts, a target share of seven percent and average efficiency. Williams is slated with modest efficiency, 22 percent of rushes and five percent of targets.
The staff average projects Hyde with 191 points which put him in RB2 territory. According to the RotoViz Draft Lab, his projections have a standard deviation of 22. Williams is projected with 87 points and a standard deviation of 23. This production could easily be absorbed by Tim Hightower who is currently going undrafted.
Garcon is the Receiving Game
Pierre Garcon is no stranger to volume. In 2013, he saw 182 targets with the Redskins. He’ll be the 49ers main receiving threat in 2017 and is the only WR on the depth chart to have recorded a finish of higher than WR50. As a result, he’s expected to shoulder the majority passing targets and could be a fantasy WR2. Garcon is projected with a target share of 27 percent and low efficiency. He’s be being drafted in the seventh and eighth rounds of casual leagues, so he still looks like a value.
Marquise Goodwin projects as the 49ers’ WR2. His projection assumes average efficiency and a target share of 14 percent. Aldrick Robinson will see 13 percent of targets as the third look in the passing game.
With an average projection of 213 points and standard deviation of 21, Garcon is expected to score between 192 and 234 fantasy points. He projects as a top-30 wide receiver in 2017.
Goodwin is pegged for 120 points and a standard deviation of 25. Kerley is expected to accrue 110 points with a standard deviation of 21.
Vance McDonald will compete with rookie George Kittle for San Francisco’s tight end work. The staff expects McDonald to win the starting role and see 11 percent of targets. This volume, absent of insane efficiency, will not be enough to make him a relevant fantasy asset.
The staff average projects McDonald with 92 fantasy points and a standard deviation of 28. Outside of best ball leagues, he’s not worth drafting.
Maybe in 2QB Leagues
Brian Hoyer projects as a fringe QB2. His staff average is weighed down by a low touchdown total and lack of yards. Hoyer may be worth drafting as a third option in multiple quarterback leagues but doesn’t project as being relevant outside of streamer consideration.
The presented projection aligns with the staff average 234 fantasy points and standard deviation of 15.