The San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots square off in a Week 7 game that features a host of notable storylines. At the highest level, Kyle Shanahan will engage in a battle of wits with Bill Belichick. We can’t forget that Jimmy Garoppolo is the 49ers starting quarterback in large part because Belichick was willing to send him to Shanahan.
Inter-conference matchups are not viewed as quite the same level of import as divisional and conference matchups, but this is still an important game for both teams. Both teams are sitting around .500 and trying to get their seasons on track. The Patriots just dropped an 18-12 loss to the Broncos to fall to 2-3 — marking their first time below .500 in October since 2002. The 49ers beat the Rams 24-16 later in the evening to get back to .500 at 3-3. The Patriots are 1.5 games back of the Bills while the 49ers are 2.5 games back of the Seahawks.
The most significant injury of note for this matchup is 49ers running back Raheem Mostert. He is expected to miss the game due to a high ankle sprain.
Date: Sunday, Oct. 25
Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Notable Statistical rankings (Football Outsiders)
49ers: No. 13 overall — 13th offense, 11th defense, 13th special teams
Patriots: No. 22 overall — 25th offense, 14th defense, 10th special teams
49ers: +2.5, +115
Patriots: -2.5, -130
Fantasy football start/sit advice
Deebo Samuel, WR, $5,000: The 49ers use Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk in a variety of ways to get the ball in their hands, and more often than not they get the ball close to the line of scrimmage. Aiyuk is impressing, but Samuel is the go-to guy after George Kittle. It seems like we see multiple crossing shovel passes that get you easy points for receptions. The Patriots are mediocre when it comes to fantasy points allowed to wide receivers, so there is some value to be had here.
Ja’Mycal Hasty, RB, $4,200: The 49ers lost Raheem Mostert to a high ankle sprain, and Hasty is the name to watch. He only had 15 snaps to Jerick McKinnon’s 23, but look for Hasty to build on his work — even with Jeff Wilson potentially back. After Mostert, Hasty led the team with 37 yards on nine carries and added a nine-yard reception. This is a flier pick to save money elsewhere, but there could be some serious value given how much Shanahan can do with running backs.
Cam Newton, QB, $6,300: Newton threw two interceptions against the Broncos, and yet still ended up with a nice performance thanks to 76 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown. He will regularly have a solid floor thanks to his legs, and the upside is tremendous when he’s putting it all together.
James White, RB, $4,900: White is the ultimate high floor, low ceiling running back. He’s a consistently solid option in PPR leagues, which adds some DFS value as well. The Patriots pass catchers can be a tough group to predict, except for White. He’s going to get plenty of touches.