With only 3,646 total passing yards and 16 touchdown passes, Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick did not leave their wide receivers with much of a chance for Fantasy success.
Now, we still have no idea who will start at quarterback. Kaepernick is much more athletic and would seemingly fit new head coach Chip Kelly’s plans better, but Gabbert is the projected starter right now. Kaepernick is still recovering from surgery on his thumb, shoulder, and knee.
Because there isn’t a whole lot of optimism about this offense, there really isn’t much need to dissect the receivers.
If you’re going to draft any receiver on this team, it’s going to be Torrey Smith.
But, we will still offer a breakdown of the main receivers Gabbert or Kaepernick will have to target, and who may be worth keeping on your radar.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Torrey Smith
Last season, Fantasy Football players didn’t have a lot of faith in Smith. He was an 11th-round pick, according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com
While Smith was one of the best deep threats in the league during his time with the Baltimore Ravens, he was a non-factor with the San Francisco 49ers. If any receiver was going to be relevant for the 49ers, Fantasy players placed a bigger bet on Anquan Boldin in 2015.
Boldin was a 10th-round pick last season.
So then why is Smith being selected in Round 10 this year?
Part of it has to do with the fact that there is almost no one for Gabbert or Kaepernick to target. Outside of Smith and tight end Vance McDonald, the options are limited.
Smith may be relevant this season just because he has to be. He also had a few games that made him worth starting last year, and Fantasy players are hoping he can consistently provide these types of results in 2016:
Week 2: 6-120-1
Week 6: 3-96-1
Week 13: 2-76-1
For most of the season, though, Smith just disappeared. He had 13 games with two or fewer receptions, and he actually finished 2015 with five games of one or fewer receptions.
Smith may struggled with being a consistent receiver from week-to-week, but his 10th-round price tag makes him a nice pickup in MFL10 formats. Also, he may be more relevant just due to the volume of targets he receives.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Quinton Patton
A fourth-round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, Patton hasn’t had too many opportunities to contribute.
With Kelly coming into town, there could be new opportunities for the receivers. But there isn’t any reason to believe Patton is worth adding to your roster this season.
The only reason he could be relevant is if Smith goes down with an injury. But since no one is drafting Patton, just let him stay on the waiver wire until you might want to put him on your bench.
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook: Bruce Ellington
According to the Sacramento Bee, Ellington has been used as a slot receiver in practices.
That could make him valuable in Kelly’s offense, as Jordan Matthews saw 127 targets last season as the main slot receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles. But that’s also assuming that the 49ers are able to generate some type of offense.
Just like Patton, there is no reason to add Ellington to your roster. Let him sit on waivers until he earns a spot on your roster.
Bottom Line: There isn’t a whole lot to like about this offense. But because you can draft Torrey Smith so late and the lack of depth at the receiver position, Smith is worth adding after Round 10. For Quinton Patton and Bruce Ellington, let them sit on the waiver wire until we see what this offense is really about under new head coach Chip Kelly.