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Deebo Samuel: Fantasy Football outlook for the 2022 NFL season with the 49ers

NFL, 2022 NFl season, 2022 fantasy football, San Francisco 49ers, Deebo Samuel

Is San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel set to flex his fantasy football muscles this coming season?

Deebo Samuel turned into a monster in his third NFL season. Over the first seven weeks of the 2021 season, he had eye-popping numbers. This included four big impact games where he had catch-yards-TD splits of 9/189/1, 8/157/2, 7/100/1, and 6/171/0.

In Week 10, the 49ers moved him into a rotating position at running back. Over the course of his last 11 starts, he had outstanding success on the ground. In fact, he recorded 80 carries, 480 total rushing yards, and 8 touchdowns.

As good as he was on the ground, though, Samuel’s receiving game suffered. He was targeted fewer times in that same time span as a result of his altered role (54 targets – 4.9 per game). As such, after Week 9, Samuel had only two notable fantasy performances (5/97/1 and 9/159).

With eight regular-season games in which he scored 20 or more fantasy points in points per reception systems, he finished the year third among wide receivers in scoring (341.2). Samuel did have remarkable averages of 6.2 yards per carry and 18.2 yards per grab. His 11 drops, however, reduced his catch rate (63.6). On 23 of his 77 catches, he gained more than 20 yards, and nine of those plays went for at least 40 yards.

Keep in mind also that it seems like significant movement has been made in negotiations for a new contract between the 49ers and Deebo Samuel. Although an extension may not happen soon, 49ers GM John Lynch feels confident they will agree on something.

That is crucial because do not forget that Samuel made a formal trade request in April after having the finest year of his career. This season, which is the last year of his rookie deal, he is entitled to a base salary of $3.986 million.

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Deebo Samuel 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook

Deebo Samuel wants to be traded, and that is his biggest flaw going into 2022.

In a huge way, Samuel passed the eye test last season, and the 49ers must keep using his explosiveness as much as possible. The QB change to Trey Lance, however, could reduce Samuel’s big-play potential.

To be clear, Samuel is still a valuable fantasy asset.

Even if he slides to 70 catches for 1,050 yards and five receiving touchdowns this coming season remember that he is also capable of gaining a ton of rushing yards. Maybe 500 yards on the ground with a minimum of five touchdowns?

Fantasy footballers should love what he brings to the table no matter who is under center for the 49ers.

Again, remember that despite all the drama last season, Samuel still earned first-team All-Pro honors. After all, he totaled 1,405 receiving yards, 365 running yards, and 14 total rushing touchdowns.

Many view his flexibility as a weakness, but we need to see it as his value. He can affect the game and by virtue, the fantasy scoreboard, in more than one way.

Of course, prospective fantasy owners are still hoping and praying for more clarity. Will the 49ers extend Deebo Samuel? And which position will he mainly play this coming season?

Versatility is great, but for a lot of people, certainty is better.