In news nobody wanted to hear, it was reported that San Francisco 49ers do-it-all wide receiver, Deebo Samuel, fractured his foot. While he’s expected to be play this season, he will reportedly miss 12-16 weeks after surgery.
As part of an outstanding 2019 rookie wide receiver class, Samuel had some epic performances last season, showing off unreal after-the-catch skills. He’s a perfect fit in the 49ers offense and a huge loss for the team and fantasy managers alike.
If he’s forced to miss a substantial amount of time, who can we turn to at wide receiver in San Francisco?
Fantasy analysts Liz Loza and Matt Harmon discuss in the video above.
Rookie Brandon Aiyuk represents an obvious option, as the 49ers spent substantial draft capital to acquire his services. Matt thinks Aiyuk has the potential to be a deep threat, but nothing in the rookie’s tape has shown he can perform against press coverage — which is a glaring negative in his game. With that said, Matt says Aiyuk has enough subtlety and deception in his route running to produce, but he will need his head coach Kyle Shanahan to scheme him into positions of success (and if anyone can scheme, it’s Shanahan.
If nothing else, Deebo’s absence would be a step up for Aiyuk, but if we’re talking about someone who could be a deep sleeper and could fill the YAC-role Deebo holds, it could be second-year receiver Jalen Hurd, whose bully-ball style of play (Hurd stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 226 pounds) mirrors Deebo’s.