San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel wasted no time making a name for himself at the NFL level. The-then rookie tallied 961 yards from scrimmage and 6 touchdowns in 2019, turning heads with his explosive ability after the catch. Things really took off in the NFL Playoffs, when Samuel amassed 229 yards from scrimmage across three postseason appearances.
But a preseason injury derailed his much-hyped 2020 campaign, and the South Carolina product never really got healthy. He only appeared in seven games for the injury-riddled 49ers.
Now entering year three, Deebo is a tough player to trust in fantasy football this season.
Deebo Samuel Fantasy Outlook
The third-year wideout currently carries an average draft position (ADP) of WR38, per FantasyPros. He's a solid option at that ADP, but fantasy managers expecting him to return to his 2019 form may be sorely disappointed.
It's impossible to ignore the injury concerns. He missed a combined nine games in 2020 because of a foot fracture, a groin strain and a hamstring strain. There's no real way to predict future injuries, of course, but players who have been hurt in the past tend to be more likely to get hurt again.
Plus, Samuel was lined up for WR1 duties entering the 2020 season, but it's very possible (if not likely) that he has been surpassed by teammate Brandon Aiyuk. The rookie tore it up in 2020, and his ascendance could push Deebo down to being the No. 3 option (behind George Kittle) in the passing game.
That's a problem on a run-heavy offense like San Francisco's. When we last saw this team healthy (2019), the 49ers attempted the fourth-fewest passes in the league (478) and had the league's second-most rushing attempts (498). Mix in the uncertainty around Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, and it's tough to see how San Francisco could sustain three fantasy-relevant pass-catchers.
Deebo Samuel ADP
Deebo does have some real season-long upside. But the limited passing attempts and crowded receiving corps could make him a very volatile producer on a week-to-week basis.
He's best viewed as a boom-or-bust WR3 or WR4, checking in at WR33 in our 2021 fantasy football rankings.
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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.