Deebo Samuel Fantasy Value Could Be Climbing With Another Strong Preseason Performance

Jason Schandl
Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers clearly felt the need to upgrade their wide receiver corps this offseason, spending their early second- and third-round picks on WRs – selecting South Carolina's Deebo Samuel and Baylor's Jalen Hurd.

Samuel was the third wide receiver selected, going behind only Marquise Brown (Ravens) and N'Keal Harry (Patriots). Fantasy football owners aren't expressing much confidence in Samuel's rookie-year outlook, and he has an average draft position (ADP) of only WR60, right next to Brown's WR61 and well behind Harry's WR46.

Samuel has a low floor while fighting for snaps with Dante Pettis, Marquise Goodwin and Jordan Matthews in an offense with a largely unproven quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, but the rookie is showing this preseason that he could have an interesting ceiling as a fantasy football sleeper at WR.

The sample is still small, but he's made an impact with splash plays in both of his preseason games so far. He scored on a 45-yard run in his second game last night after also pulling in a 45-yard reception in his first. He's only touched the ball four times, but he's already got 120 yards to his name.

This big-play ability is nothing new for Samuel either. He averaged 14.7 yards per reception in his final two college seasons (15 games) and also scored three touchdowns in just 24 kick returns.

But an impact isn't guaranteed as he'll be fighting an uphill battle for playing time, as he's currently buried on the 49ers' depth chart.

It's early in the year, when teams are quick to defer to veterans, and Samuel's low ADP seemingly factors in these concerns. Goodwin has struggled in San Fran, with only a 53.4 percent catch rate over his first two seasons, and Matthews has only caught 45 passes in the last two seasons. But, again, the pecking order is far from set in stone.

Samuel's game-changing playmaking ability could be enough to earn him some early-season touches, and if he continues to break off big plays he'll likely force himself into the 49ers' game plan on a regular basis.

He's all but free as a sleeper in deeper leagues, and in standard leagues may even be going undrafted. Samuel could be a player to consider with a last-round flier or even look out for on the waiver wire if he continues to make an impact in the San Fransisco offense.

Join FanDuel Sportsbook Today. New users get a risk-free bet up to $500. Join Now.

Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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.