How bad were the San Francisco 49ers this year?
Lets just say that the Niners were so terrible that you’d probably never intend on playing any player on their team in your starting fantasy lineup. And lets face the facts. The Niners were the only NFL team in 2015 to score less than 15 points per game. They averaged scoring almost 3 points less than the next terrible team. They were also the 31st ranked offense in total yards with the worst passing game in the league. The Niners offense was so terrible that two teams (Panthers and Cardinals) scored over twice as many points as their total of 238 points.
What went wrong? Well just about everything.
Lets start with the management decisions. After allowing a well respected, offensive-minded coach to walk out the door, the Niners replaced perennial Coach of the Year candidate Jim Harbaugh with porn star Ron Jeremy. Wait…I meant Jim Tomsula. Tomsula was obviously under-qualified for the position as not only a former porn star, but also a mere positions coach on defense for the Niners the previous year. Basically SanFran replaced an A Lister with a stunt cock when they hired Tomsula. With an offense filled with budding young stars, the Niners should have focused on a coach that could utilize his impressionable young athletes. Instead they hired a locker room guy as a maneuver hoping to appease some allegedly disgruntled players under Harbaugh’s regime. However, this was just the tipping point to a terrible season.
The biggest issue with San Francisco was that they were not only a bad team to start the season as far as their roster, but a much worse one once they suffered several critical injuries to their most important players on offense. For starters, the 49ers only perceived valuable asset in fantasy in 2015 was running back Carlos Hyde who was projected around the 2nd to 3rd round depending on your league size. Hyde of course missed the entire second half of the season (either with injuries or because it wasn’t worth returning). Their supposed franchise quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, who was nothing more than a late round flyer in fantasy, was benched due to erratic play and then missed the rest of the season as well with injury. I believe he had an elective swag-reduction surgery. Lastly, their only big free agent addition on offense, wideout Torrey Smith, was pretty much a non-factor for their team considering he was always inconsistent in Baltimore and joined a much more inconsistent passing attack. Pretty much the only player that met their expectation was Anquan Boldin who chipped his way to a mediocre 700 receiving yards. However, even the 35 year old Boldin began to show his age last year.
Besides fantasy league managers (and fantasy daily managers) playing running back roulette late in the season with backup RB Shaun Draughn (who actually impressed in a few weeks of action), there was really no desirable option on the 49ers team after Carlos Hyde went down for the year. Sure Boldin had some serviceable weeks and perhaps if you played Torrey Smith on one or two of the right weeks he gave you 20 plus points, but for the most part this was a team to completely avoid. In fact, the 49ers were so bad that they were the ideal team to plug and play random defenses against.
In conclusion, the 49ers top running back could only muster over 400 yards rushing, their top wide receiver couldn’t eclipse 800 yards receiving, and their best quarterback was a guy that couldn’t cut it in Jacksonville. Oh, and did I mention they also fired Ron Jeremy as their coach after only one season? The only thing worse than the 49ers new turf was their offense.
The 2015 49ers were a team to forget in fantasyland. Lets hope for better results next year with Chip Kelly.