While fantasy football owners might not think too much about making sure the 49ers’ defense/special teams are a go-to, there’s still plenty of business to be had.
If you’ve played fantasy football long enough, you’re fully aware that your defense/special teams selections won’t win you a fantasy championship, but a poor selection can definitely cost you a chance to win your league.
And once in a while, getting a top-notch D/ST group can actually propel you into tougher matchups against other league contenders.
OK, so it’s rare to give advice on D/ST groups, and you’re probably not going to think about which NFL defense teams and special teams you want to add until you’ve completed the essential part of your list of players.
But, since we’re a site of the San Francisco 49ers and all, it’s probably wise to take a stock market value on where the Niners’ defense stand going into 2022 and what kind of plans you’ll want to have in terms of the day fantasy football repechage.
Feeling optimistic about the 49ers D/ST in fantasy football? Good
In 2021, under freshman defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans, San Francisco’s defense got off to a slow start, alongside the team’s 3-5 regular season opener. Midway through the year, however, the 49ers turned a proverbial page on this side of the ball, allowing opponents to score 25 or more points just twice from Week 10 through the rest of the year and in the playoffs.
Perhaps more impressively, the Niners still managed to record 48 sacks, tied for fifth in the league, despite not having a double-digit sack other than EDGE Pro Bowl Nick Bosa.
On top of that, the Ryans defense only gave up more than 100 yards once in Week 10 at the NFC Championship Game.
Admittedly, the fantasy football owners of the San Francisco defense were hurt by the lack of interceptions (only nine) and a shoddy special teams group that didn’t offer much in terms of scoring value. without a kick.
But, following the addition of former Seattle Seahawks special teams coordinator Brian Schneider and former Pittsburgh Steelers return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud this offseason, we should also s expect improvements on this phase of the game.
In total, ESPN gave the D/ST group of the 49ers a fantastic 120 points last season, but predicts that same unit will have fewer in 2022 with 114.48.
Time to bite? For sure.
An undervalued 49ers D/ST is smart play in fantasy football
The volatile nature of D/ST units in fantasy, especially due to player turnover from year to year, can make it difficult to assess whether or not the success of a previous season will translate into the following season. .
Ryans, entering the second year of his career as coordinator, appears to have grown, however, and the Niners have retained most of their top-notch talent like Bosa and linebacker Fred Warner while also infusing a few extra faces like the veteran cornerback Charvarius Ward to bolster the secondary.
And that defensive backfielder has been one of San Francisco’s best units in training camp so far.
While San Francisco may not be ranked in the top three defenders, placing him in the top five is certainly reasonable.
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According to Fantasy Football Calculator, the 49ers’ D/ST group has an average draft position (ADP) of 12.08, three picks behind the Indianapolis Colts’ ADP of 12.05 and more than two rounds behind the Bills of Buffalo and the D/ of the Los Angeles Rams. ST units (10.04).
Yes, looking at dormant defenses like the Green Bay Packers (14.08 ADP) or Baltimore Ravens (14.11 ADP) might be a bigger bet with more value and an equal payout, the Niners have that good mix of not being a D/ ST fantasy football owners will sue but still deliver value.
Maybe even surpass it.
So, fantasy owners, plan accordingly.