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Morning Report: NFL.com Analysts Predict Super Bowl LVI Matchups

Good Morning Faithful,

Here are the top 49ers headlines for Tuesday, September 7.

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NFL.com Super Bowl LVI Predictions

Week 1 has finally arrived! Before games kick off on Thursday, NFL.com analysts predicted which teams they think will compete for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LVI on February 13, 2022, in Inglewood, California. Six of the 29 analysts projected the 49ers to make it to the Super Bowl, with five pinning the 49ers as the victors of the match, the second-most votes of any franchise behind the Kansas City Chiefs. Here's what they had to say about the 49ers.

  • Kevin Patra: 49ers over Bills. No rookie QB has ever made it to a Super Bowl. That all changes, and then some. With Trey Lance unleashed in Kyle Shanahan's offense, the Niners blast past the Bills in a shootout that leaves Buffalo once again a game shy in the Lombardi quest.
  • Adam Rank: 49ers over Browns: People seem to forget how good the 49ers were in 2019, when they were last fully operational. Now they are back to avenge their previous Lombardi loss. Tough for the Browns, whose first Super Bowl Sunday ends in defeat.
  • Gregg Rosenthal: 49ers over Ravens. Trey Lance becomes the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl title after Fred Warner tips Lamar Jackson's potential game-winning throw at the buzzer.
  • Marc Sessler: 49ers over Bills. Kyle Shanahan's season-long, on-field sea poem -- captained by electric rookie Trey Lance -- crescendos with a dominant offensive showing (250-plus ground yards) against a heartbroken Bills squad at uber-fancy SoFi.
  • Lance Zierlein: 49ers over Chiefs. Kyle Shanahan exacts revenge against the Chiefs in a Super Bowl and finally brings home the Lombardi with touchdowns from both Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.

The Most Intriguing 49ers Fantasy Options in 2021

The 49ers hope to put last season's injury-ruined season behind them and enter 2021 with many intriguing fantasy options. The team went all in at quarterback during the offseason, bringing back Jimmy Garoppolo and trading up to draft Trey Lance. While it remains unclear when the switch will happen, Lance's rushing ability in this system would make him an easy top-10 fantasy QB the moment he takes over. The rookie ran for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns as a 19-year-old in college and will benefit from San Francisco's offensive line and Kyle Shanahan's play calling. Even with the uncertain timeline (and currently dealing with a chipped finger), Lance is rightfully still being drafted as a top-15 quarterback in high stakes fantasy leagues right now. His upside is through the roof.

Deebo Samuel somehow had more yards after the catch than receiving yards last season and is yet another 49ers player whose main concern is health. He's being drafted as a top-35 fantasy WR, but there's potential for more. Trent Sherfield has emerged as SF's most likely WR3 and is a deep sleeper in fantasy leagues, especially with all the durability concerns on the roster.

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49ers Sign CB Josh Norman

The San Francisco 49ers announced on Monday they have signed CB Josh Norman to a one-year deal. In order to make room on the roster, the team released CB Dontae Johnson.

Norman (6-0, 200) was originally drafted by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round (143rd overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft. Throughout his nine-year NFL career with the Panthers (2012-15), Washington Football Team (2016-19) and Buffalo Bills (2020), he has appeared in 120 games (95 starts) and registered 437 tackles, 83 passes defensed, 15 interceptions (three returned for touchdowns), 13 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries and 1.0 sack. A 2015 Associated Press First-Team All-Pro and 2016 Pro Bowl selection, Norman has also played in eight postseason contests (five starts) and added 21 tackles, four passes defensed, one forced fumble and 1.0 sack.

49ers Sign Four Players to Practice Squad

The 49ers announced on Friday they have signed TE Tanner Hudson, LB Rashad Smith, CB Dee Virgin and WR Isaiah Zuber to the team's practice squad.

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