The San Francisco 49ers Marquise Goodwin, a former track star, established himself as a decent wide receiver for the 49ers last year. However, does he have what it takes to take the next step and be the man in San Fran in 2018?
He turned that into a respectable 56 catches for 962 yards and two touchdowns. Of those games, only five came with new star-in-the-making, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, under center.
Prior to Garoppolo, Goodwin was average at best. But Goodwin absolutely ate in those last five games with his new QB. “Pookie” and Jimmy G formed an unreal connection almost instantaneously.
In Weeks 13 through 15, albeit a small sample size, everyone seemed to forget Goodwin averaged eight catches for 106 yards with Garoppolo throwing him pigs. On top of that, Goodwin showcased his newfound route-running ability and made some pretty amazing sideline catches.
If you take Goodwin’s stats in the five games they played together stretched to a full season, he would have an astounding 93 catches for 1,229 yards and three touchdowns. And remember these were the first games these two ever played together. They had no training camp prior to establish such wicked chemistry.
Call it love at first sight.
To represent just how often Goodwin was targeted by Garoppolo, Jim Sannes of Number Fire crunches the numbers:
"In the five games that Garoppolo started, Goodwin had 24.7% of the team’s overall targets and 47.1% of their deep targets."
Aside from the low TD production, if Goodwin continues to see that type of volume and hits that 1,200-yard mark, he would nearly be on par with elite production. This would cast him into the upper echelon of the league’s receivers, right up alongside the Odell’s, Keenan’s and Antonio’s of the world.
And it’s not as far-fetched as some might believe.
Look for Goodwin’s touchdowns to increase to the mean as well, similarly to another No. 11, Julio Jones. As great of a red-zone threat as Jones is, he had only three touchdowns last season, one more than Goodwin.
The 49ers offense is expected to make significant strides and and become a high-octane offense in 2018, similarly to Jones and the dynamic Atlanta Falcons offense.
So how come Garoppolo only threw six touchdowns in five games last season? Well, the lack of scores can be attributed to a lack of playing time with his receivers and some bad luck as well. With the amount of yards he can put up on a per-game basis, the touchdowns will follow.
Goodwin has the speed, hands and route-running ability to be Garropolo’s go-to man in San Fran. Although so many are super high on Garoppolo, his No. 1 wideout is getting no love right now.
Goodwin was burdened by poor QB play and limited opportunities to shine during his time as a Buffalo Bill. Even so, many are blindsided by this and focus on his past flukiness and minimal production, as well as his short stature.
The 49ers are believers in Goodwin’s talent, as they just signed him to a three-year, $20 million extension.
The youngster, only 27 years old, is about to unleash his inner beast and is just entering his prime.
Fantasy Outlook for Goodwin and the 49ers Offense:
The 2018 49ers offensive outlook stacks up favorably to last year’s Philadelphia Eagles and Los Angeles Rams’ offenses.
In fantasy, it’s key to hone in on the next breakout offenses and pounce on their players before others, even if it means taking multiple players on the same team.
The 49ers have all the pieces to be that next great team.
Sometimes finding that next great offense means banking on unproven quarterbacks, a la Jared Goff and Carson Wentz. In this case, Garoppolo is way more proven. This diminishes some of the risk involved while retaining the upside. It’s a win-win.
With the addition of Jerick McKinnon, they now have a versatile running back who will certainly be on the defense’s mind at all times. Matt Brieda is also a force as a backup to McKinnon. With these two healthy, defenses won’t be able to focus solely on the receivers.
Wide receiver Trent Taylor is another promising young thoroughbred who could break out at any time and steal some of the defense’s attention.
Grab any part the Niners offense while you can, with an asterisk on veteran wideout Pierre Garçon, and reap the benefits.
Don’t fall for the oft injured Garçon, who will be 32 when the season starts, because of his big name. For a receiver with such lofty expectations, he has only two 1,000-yard seasons to his name. He has also never produced more than six touchdowns in a single season.
More importantly, he doesn’t have that special connection with Garoppolo that Goodwin has already established. And yet, incredibly, Goodwin is going three to four rounds later than Garçon in fantasy drafts.
A projection of 110 targets for 70 catches, 1,100 yards and six touchdowns is not out of the question for Goodwin. This is in WR2 company, for fantasy purposes, for the thrifty draft price of a bench spot. Goodwin ultimately has the looks of one of the biggest steals in this year’s fantasy drafts.
Goodwin has the chance to put up Jarvis Landry numbers with Garoppolo. He is a legit WR2/WR3 with an ADP (Average Draft Position) of well over 100 in both ESPN and Yahoo!. Target him in the ninth round to secure him for your fantasy squad.