The San Francisco 49ers just keep losing wide receiver depth. With Deebo Samuel already nursing a Jones fracture, news broke on Wednesday that veteran wideout Travis Benjamin will opt out of the 2020 NFL season.
Benjamin wasn't a presumed starter even before this news, but for a team that could be entering the season with rookie Brandon Aiyuk and unproven youngsters like Kendrick Bourne and Dante Pettis as their top WR options, his absence is still going to make an impact.
With that in mind, here are the top three remaining free-agent wide receivers that the 49ers should target.
3. Paul Richardson
Paul Richardson is coming off a down year, but that's not too worrying when you consider the state of the 2019 Washington Football Team offense. Prior to his 2019 slump, Richardson averaged at least 13.1 yards per reception in four straight seasons, establishing himself as a dangerous deep threat on the outside. That kind of field-stretching ability mirror's Benjamin's skill set.
2. Jermaine Kearse
Jermaine Kearse doesn't have the kind of speed that Richardson does, but he's still a proven big-play threat. Averaging 12.9 yards per reception for his career, Kearse only really saw a drop-off in 2018 (10.0) when catching passes from a rookie Sam Darnold. Kearse missed the entire 2019 season after suffering a preseason injury, but if he's healthy then he could step in and contribute.
1. Demaryius Thomas
It looked like Demaryius Thomas' career might have been over when he suffered a torn Achilles tendon at the end of the 2018 season, but he looked pretty good when he returned in 2019. Despite also having to deal with catching passes from Sam Darnold, Thomas racked up 36 receptions and 433 yards (12.0 per reception) across 11 games with the Jets. Playing with Jimmy Garoppolo would give him a big upgrade at QB, which could make Thomas that much more productive in 2020.
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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 his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.