Is less really ever more? In a literal sense, no. Yet, its certainly a trick that Deebo Samuel pulled off in San Francisco’s 41-17 victory over Cincinnati last weekend. Despite seeing his snap count fall from 88.1 percent in Week 1 to just 38.6 percent in Week 2, Samuel left Sunday’s affair sort of looking like the 49ers’ top receiving option outside of George Kittle. Heck, his seven targets were three more than any other player wearing the red and gold, and four more than the aforementioned tight end. However, that’s sort of where my trepidation creeps in as it pertains to Samuel’s ability to keep this going.
In addition to his five catches for 86 yards and a touchdown, Samuel garnered two carries for seven yards. That might not seem like much, but it means that in the 27 offensive snaps that Samuel played, he was given an opportunity to touch the football nine times. That’s a third of his total snaps. That’s simply not going to keep happening, even with plays specifically crafted to get the explosive rookie the football. That said, the Steelers have been exposed by slot-type receivers in both their matchups so far this season, with Tyler Lockett and Julian Edelman combining for 23 targets. So, maybe there’s a chance this high-efficiency high wire act can be successful for a second-straight week.
Fantasy Impact: With all 32 teams in action, I’m having a really difficult time believing anyone could see Samuel as a Top-36 wide receiver after one impressive performance. Dante Pettis was clearly worked back in to what has become a crowded positional group in San Francisco, with not a single WR exceeding a 50 percent snap rate in Week 2. Also, Kittle will eventually get his looks. You were right to pick up Samuel off the waiver wire, but I’d keep him on your bench this Sunday.