The 49ers have signed Jimmy Garoppolo to a five-year contract worth over $137 million, and I like the trajectory of his career. I have a feeling he’ll probably be one of the top 10 quarterbacks on my board in 2018.
Garoppolo seems to have all the qualities everyone is looking for – vision, accuracy, decision making – and he was very comfortable in his limited action last year, going 5-0 as a starter. That included a pair of wins over playoff teams (Tennessee and Jacksonville). He beat the Rams, who also made the postseason, in Week 17, but they were resting a lot of regulars.
One report suggests the contract includes $74 million in guaranteed money. Regardless, it’s clear that the 49ers are locked in on the idea that he’ll be the quarterback to lead the team back to the postseason.
For fantasy purposes, I like that he’s working with Kyle Shanahan. Only a handful of coaches around the league have that Jedi-like ability to throw together any combination of guys and come up with an above-average offense. Shanahan was working with mostly scraps last year (with Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard starting most of the season) yet that offense still averaged 265 passing yards per game.
The previous year, Shanahan got the career numbers out of Matt Ryan, with that team passing for 38 touchdowns and almost 5,000 yards.
In the last two years, only 22 offenses have averaged over 260 passing yards. Shanahan is one of the few coaches who’s got his fingerprints on two of those offense.
It’s early. Let’s see, for example, who the 49ers add to their receiving corps (I expect they’ll obtain a big-time wide receiver or tight end). But my early guess is that Garoppolo will average over 270 passing yards and maybe throw 27-plus touchdowns, making him one of the league’s top 10 passers.
|TEAMS AVERAGING 260 PASSING YARDS (2016-17)|