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Does 49ers Offense Have a Favorable Fantasy Matchup vs. Jaguars?

Just when the 49ers Super Bowl odds turned into long shots, San Francisco dominated the Rams in primetime Monday night. Suddenly the team is only a half game out of the playoffs and has the No. 3 offense in DVOA. While everyone remains intrigued by Trey Lance, Jimmy Garoppolo has gotten 9.5 YPA with six total touchdowns and one turnover over the last three games (including against two top-10 pass defenses).

Only an injury is likely to take his job at this point, although more packages for the rookie QB are almost certainly in store. Jimmy G can be considered a top-15 fantasy QB this week against a pass-funnel Jacksonville defense that's stingy against the run. With Elijah Mitchell dealing with a fractured finger, Garoppolo could be passing more than usual against a leaky Jaguars secondary allowing 8.0 YPA this season.

Mitchell is a top-20 fantasy RB if he can play through his finger injury as Kyle Shanahan expects, but he'll likely be limited by a pin inserted. He faces a Jacksonville run defense that ranks No. 7 in DVOA and just shut down Jonathan Taylor over the final three quarters last week. Jeff Wilson Jr. is an intriguing flier as SF's passing down (and possible goal-line) back in this matchup and with Mitchell (and JaMycal Hasty) banged up.

It's been a rarity, but the 49ers receivers are all healthy; Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle are capable of being fantasy starters together given SF's extremely concentrated targets. Aiyuk is a flex option whose arrow continues to point up, while it's been heartening to see Kittle finally used inside the red zone (he has a target inside the 10-yard line in each of the past two games after previously not seeing one since Week 4 of 2020).

Samuel's target share has dropped from 35 percent without Kittle to 30 percent with him this season, but he remains a borderline top-five fantasy receiver anyway. His ability to get yards after the catch, run out of the backfield and excel with contested catches downfield is matched by no one in the league right now.

The 49ers have disappointed defensively this season but are a top-five fantasy D/ST this week against a QB/coach combo that's easily been the shakiest in 2021. It's too soon to worry about rookie Trevor Lawrence, but he's come nowhere close to meeting expectations while sporting the second-worst completion percentage above expectation in the NFL (only Zach Wilson is worse). Lawrence ranks 39th among quarterbacks in EPA/dropback – one spot behind Sam Darnold. Start the 49ers D/ST in fantasy leagues with confidence this week.

The viable fantasy options in Jacksonville are Dan Arnold, who's among the TE league leaders in targets since getting traded to the Jaguars, and James Robinson, who's a top-20 RB in any matchup given his volume. The 49ers have played better on the road but will be fighting a letdown during a short week after a big divisional upset win.


Dalton Del Don has been with Yahoo Sports since 2013, covering fantasy football, baseball and basketball. He appears on multiple podcasts each week and currently resides in the Bay Area, where he is an avid fan of the Golden State Warriors and 49ers.

For Del Don's fantasy insight from around the league, visit here.