The San Francisco 49ers come into the 2022 season with a new quarterback, but that hasn’t hurt their odds to have a winning season, as DraftKings Sportsbook has set their win total at 10. Defense and an innovative Kyle Shanahan offense helped an average Jimmy Garoppolo to a Super Bowl three years ago and 10 wins last year, so no matter what you think of Trey Lance this year, we should be able to get some fantasy goodness out of these players.
In this series, we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project — correctly — which players will win training camp battles.
Here’s a look at our picks to win the training camp battles for the San Francisco ahead of your 2022 fantasy football drafts.
Trey Lance vs. Jimmy Garoppolo
There is no QB battle, but Garoppolo is still on the team at this moment. That won’t be the case later on though. As soon as Garoppolo can prove his shoulder is healed, he’ll be shipped off.
Our pick to win: Trey Lance
Lance won’t have to worry about anybody taking away snaps and his upside as a rushing quarterback gives him a lot of fantasy value in Shanahan’s system. Don’t be afraid to ride with the second-year, first-round QB this season.
Elijah Mitchell vs. Jeff Wilson Jr. vs. Tyrion Davis-Price vs. Trey Sermon
The 49ers can be a real headache when trying to decipher who will get touches out of the backfield, especially when you factor in Deebo Samuel taking RB snaps. The good news is that the 49ers know how to run the ball effectively, and more often than not, injuries are the reason for a lot of the backfield turnover.
When healthy, Mitchell was the man last season, but health was a problem as he ended up playing in just 11 games. The good news is that when he did play, he averaged 4.7 yards per carry and averaged close to 20 rushing attempts per game.
After Mitchell we have Wilson Jr., who would be the most-likely lead back if Mitchell goes down, but rookie Davis-Price and second-year RB Sermon can’t be dismissed. Mitchell was drafted three rounds later than Sermon last season, but Mitchell won the job. Anything can happen in a Shanahan offense.
Our pick to win: Elijah Mitchell
Mitchell does have injury concerns, but his production and likely lead job make him a player worth targeting in drafts this season.
Jauan Jennings vs. Malik Turner vs. Ray-Ray McCloud
There are more names we could put in here, but we’d run out of room. After Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle, there aren’t many targets left to go around in San Francisco, but if one player could win the bulk of the WR3 snaps, he could have some value in deeper leagues.
Last season Jennings shared time with Mohamed Sanu and Trent Sherfield at WR3. This season Sherfield and Sanu are gone. They brought in Turner and McCloud, with McCloud more of a returner than WR3. Turner has some upside and could cut into Jenning’s snaps, but at this point Jennings is the likely lead for the job.
Our pick to win: Jauan Jennings
There really isn’t much fantasy value with Jennings unless Samuel were to hold out and even then the team could spread out his snaps between two or three receivers. This is a situation to stay away from, especially if they don’t put much passing on Lance’s plate this season.