What Do Elijah Mitchell, Deebo Samuel Statuses Mean for 49ers Fantasy Outlook vs. Bengals

Jimmy Garoppolo had a productive game (aside from two ugly picks) last week despite missing Deebo Samuel, and his 8.5 YPA ranks second in the NFL this season. Jimmy G can be considered a top-15 fantasy QB this week in a matchup that could call for more passing than usual with so many injuries to San Francisco's running backs. The Bengals rank 29th in defensive DVOA on passes over the middle of the field, where Garoppolo works almost exclusively. He's a sneaky fantasy start in a matchup with one of this week's highest totals (49 points).

Samuel would go right back to being a top-five WR should he return from his groin injury, but fantasy managers should have backup plans ready after he missed practice this week. Brandon Aiyuk didn't erupt during Samuel's absence last week, but he's a weekly top-25 WR now regardless of his fellow wideout's status.

George Kittle was fantasy's top scoring player last week and has a strong argument to be ranked as the No. 1 tight end in Week 14. He's seeing more red zone work than ever, having already matched his career high with five touchdowns over just nine games this year. Kittle ranks fourth among all pass catchers in yards per route run since 2020 and figures to be busy Sunday with Samuel and Elijah Mitchell battling injuries.

Mitchell is highly questionable while dealing with concussion symptoms and knee irritation, as a heavy workload hasn't helped keep the rookie healthy. He'd be a top-10 fantasy RB and a must start if active, but that's looking like a long shot. Jeff Wilson Jr.'s knee flared up last week, but he practiced fully Thursday and is the favorite to start Sunday. JaMycal Hasty will also see work, but Wilson is the preferred fantasy start.

It remains to be seen how Joe Burrow’s finger injury affects his performance (if at all), but he's fully expected to play (as is Tee Higgins, who's been limited in practice with a sprained ankle). The 49ers secondary is incredibly thin while dealing with a bunch of injuries as well, so don't be surprised if Ja'Marr Chase bounces back (he had a bad drop last week) with a huge game Sunday if Burrow's finger cooperates.

Joe Mixon has scored in nine-straight games, totaling 13 over that span. He's missed practice this week while dealing with an illness but would be a top-five fantasy RB if active. He'll likely be relied on heavily Sunday while Burrow is nursing his injury, but it's not an easy matchup. San Francisco has a depleted secondary but will be getting linebacker Fred Warner back and ranks third in run defense DVOA. Still, Mixon is a strong fantasy start right now regardless of opponent, assuming health allows.


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 Football: Week 14 sit-start lineup advice and other fantasy insight from around the league, visit here.