Sep 12 update: The 49ers placed Deebo Samuel on injured reserve, per Field Yates. He will be on IR for at least the first three weeks of the 2020 season.
The San Francisco 49ers activated wide receiver Deebo Samuel off the NFI list before final roster cuts, making him eligible to play in Week 1 if he is ready to go. On Sunday, 49ers GM John Lynch said Samuel “has a shot” at playing in Week 1, per Jennifer Lee Chan.
Lynch said the doctors will check out Samuel on Tuesday and assess his status from there, per Kyle Posey. Samuel is recovering from a broken foot that initially was projected to keep him out for most if not all of September.
Samuel tops the 49ers wide receiver depth chart and likely would join George Kittle as a top target for Jimmy Garoppolo. However, due to that, it is unlikely the 49ers are going to offer a firm confirmation about his Week 1 status for the time being. The 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 1, and they’ll want to keep Arizona guessing in preparation for the game.
Once Samuel returns to the game-day lineup, he’s an intriguing fantasy option. George Kittle is the. toptarget in this offense, but Samuel showed serious ability in his rookie season. In 15 regular season games he cauvght 57 passes for 802 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing 14 times for 159 yards and three more touchdowns. In the playoffs, he had 10 receptions for 127 yards and six rushing attempts for 102 yards.
If Samuel does not play or is limited in Week 1, the 49ers wide receiver depth chart includes Brandon Aiyuk, Trent Taylor, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James, and Dante Pettis. One or more could break out, with Aiyuk having the upside, but none is a clear starter in fantasy football for the time being.