Fantasy Football 2017: Pierre Garcon’s Impact on the 49ers

March 9, 2017
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Wide receiver Pierre Garcon is expected to sign with the San Francisco 49ers and reunite with Kyle Shanahan. How does this impact him in fantasy football?

Many people may not have realized it, but Pierre Garcon had a solid season last year with the Washington Redskins. In 2016, Garcon finished with over 1,000 receiving yards and his 79 receptions was tied for 17th-most among all wide receivers. He ended the season with 78 receiving yards and/or a touchdown in seven of the final eight games.

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It was the first time since 2013 Garcon finished a season with 79+ receptions and 1,000+ receiving yards. The last time he accomplished those feats was in 2013 when his offensive coordinator was Kyle Shanahan. Yes, the same Kyle Shanahan who is now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

Shanahan has a tremendous track record as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. As a result, players in his system have flourished in fantasy football. That includes the team’s No. 1 wide receiver. Here’s a look at what the No. 1 WR in Shanahan’s system has produced over the last nine years:

  • In 2016 with the Falcons, Julio Jones finished with 83 receptions, 1,409 receiving yards, six touchdowns. Those were his numbers despite missing two games.
  • In 2015 with the Falcons, Julio Jones tied for first in the NFL in receptions with 136 and finished with 1,871 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
  • In 2014 with the Browns, their No. 1 WR, Josh Gordon, missed 11 games due to two separate suspensions. He did manage to get a career year out of Andrew Hawkins who had 63 receptions, 824 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Over the last two seasons since Shanahan left, Hawkins has combined for just 60 receptions, 600 yards and three touchdowns.
  • In 2013 with the Redskins, Pierre Garcon was first in the NFL in receptions with 113 and finished with 1,346 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
  • In 2012 with the Redskins, Pierre Garcon finished with 44 receptions, 633 receiving yards and four touchdowns. However, he missed six games with a foot injury. His 16-game pace was 70 receptions, 1,013 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
  • In 2011 with the Redskins, Santana Moss finished with 46 receptions, 584 yards and four touchdowns. However, he missed four games with a broken hand. His 16-game pace was 61 receptions, 779 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
  • In 2010 with the Redskins, Santana Moss finished with 93 receptions (fourth-most in the NFL), 1,115 receiving yards and six touchdowns.
  • In 2009 with the Texans, Andre Johnson finished with 101 receptions (third-most in the NFL), 1,569 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.
  • In 2008 with the Texans, Andre Johnson was first in the NFL in receptions with 115 and finished with 1,575 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

As we can see, the No .1 WR in a Kyle Shanahan offense has put up big numbers more often than not. In fantasy football, his No. 1 WR gets a boost in PPR leagues because he is constantly seeing a high-volume of targets. As it stands right now, Garcon is the No. 1 wide receiver on the 49ers. One big question at the moment is: Who is going to get him the ball?

NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported yesterday the 49ers signed quarterback Brian Hoyer. Although that might sound cringe-worthy at first, don’t forget Hoyer was productive last year.

In six games with the Chicago Bears last year, Hoyer completed 67 percent of his passes, threw for 1,445 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions and finished with a QB rating of 98.0. In Weeks 3-6, he threw 300+ yards in each one of those four games. He was easily the best quarterback on the Bears last season.

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The veteran has an advantage over any rookie quarterback the 49ers draft this year because he has eight years of NFL experience, and he spent one of those years playing in Shanahan’s offense (2014). If he is faced with the task of getting Pierre Garcon the ball this season, he should be capable of doing that.

Right now, with how the 49ers offense is constructed, Garcon is a WR2/3 in fantasy football. If the 49ers are able to land a better quarterback—like that Kirk Cousins fellow—he would become a high-volume WR2.

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