It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We’ve run through 20 quarterbacks and 40 running backs; that means it’s time to get to the deepest and most varied position! That’s right, we’re on to the wide receivers! 2020 was the worst possible outcome for Deebo Samuel, but can 2021 Deebo Samuel shake the injury bug and bounce back?
Deebo Samuel ADP & AAV:
Average Draft Position (HPPR): WR33, Pick 84
Average Auction Value: $2.8 (WR33)
Deebo Samuel Statistics:
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tgt||HPPR Pts/Tgt||PPR Pts/Tgt|
|Year||Air Yards||aDOT||YAC||YAC/Tgt||YAC/Rec||AYMS||Tgt MS|
2021 Deebo Samuel Fantasy Football Overview:
One rush for nine yards, one snap played, out for the year. Deebo Samuel’s Week 14 in 2020 perfectly encapsulated not only his season but the Niners’ 2020 campaign. The Niners were coming off of a Super Bowl appearance and were ready to defend their title. That was, right up until injuries blew the whole thing up. Deebo finished his rookie year with 961 total yards, which ranked behind just A.J. Brown in the extremely loaded 2019 wide receiver class. This started to get wobbly when an offseason foot injury led to Deebo starting the season on IR. Then, he missed three games again in the middle. Finally, he missed three more games with the injury above at the end of the year.
If you just take Deebo Samuel’s per-game figures and pro-rate them out to 16 games, he would have ended up around 953 yards, dangerously close to just redoing his dynamic 2019 campaign. Unfortunately, that’s… not good. Samuel broke out in the second half, and many hoped he would break out in 2020. Luckily, there are still some exciting things to like about Deebo Samuel, if you can get past his injuries.
Deebo Samuel played five games over 35% snap share. In those five games, he scored a touchdown or totaled over 70 total yards in four of them. This includes two straight breakout games right before he injured himself on the first play of the game. In those games, he totaled 22 targets for 17 catches (and one run) for 209 total yards. He was vintage Deeebo. Then, he pulled his hamstring and was out for the year.
2021 Deebo Samuel Draft Strategy:
In a traditional snake draft, Deebo Samuel’s draft price is too rich for my blood. I concede that he is a high-upside play there, but there’s a lot against that WR33 price tag. First, the injury bug that I outlined above. That goes back to college and is something he needs to shake before I trust him. Second… we don’t know what this offense looks like with a healthy Deebo, a healthy George Kittle, and a healthy Brandon Aiyuk all on the field for a prolonged stretch. The three of them played just four games last year, and things didn’t go well for Deebo. He averaged just 5.5 targets per game, catching four balls for 46.2 yards. His rushing, which is such a huge part of his game, wasn’t present in those games, either: Deebo ran the ball 6 times for 14 yards in those four games.
The Trey Lance Factor might also muck up the works since he’s unlike any other QB the 49ers have had with Kyle Shanahan. But he could also unlock Deebo Samuel.
But, Deebo Samuel in a salary cap draft? Sure. I’ll kick a few bucks at him, and if we get to him in the right part of the draft, I could end up getting Samuel for a small amount of cash. His upside is tremendous, I can’t quibble with that. His likely upside, however? It’s probably around WR20. There’s just so much working against Deebo this year that I’m fine sitting out 2021 before I buy back in on Samuel.
Best Case Scenario:
Deebo Samuel breaks free of the injury bug but is still relatively hemmed in by the 49ers run game, and he is suddenly third in line for targets. He finishes around WR20 as the 49ers crush the league with Trey Lance.
Worst Case Scenario:
Jimmy Garoppolo remains under center and the 49ers methodically run-and-Kittle teams to death. Deebo has a couple of fun highlights but finds very little sustained success.
Check out all our 2021 player profiles, here.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]
[Image Source: Jeff Krisko]