Fantasy football: Impact of 49ers trade for Emmanuel Sanders

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 4: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos stands on the sideline before a game against the Houston Texans at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 4, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 4: Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos stands on the sideline before a game against the Houston Texans at Broncos Stadium at Mile High on November 4, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers made a big move this week, trading for former Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. Let’s take a look at what this means for fantasy football.

This week, the San Francisco 49ers made a big move, trading for wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos. The wide receiver corps was one of the weakest spots on the 49ers roster, and bringing in a veteran like Sanders should have a huge positive impact on the Niners offense as a whole.

Niner Noise has put out many articles already examining the implications of this trade. These pieces have examined how Sanders will affect the other receivers on the team, as well as the 49ers offense as a whole.

Since those angles have been covered, here we will take a look not at what Sanders’ trade means for the Niners, but what it means for your fantasy football team.

There are a few main impacts from this trade. The first is Sanders’ fantasy production should be much better on the Niners. Sanders is a great wide receiver. Sure, he is on the older side, but that didn’t stop him from having a great start to the season in Denver; and that was with quarterback Joe Flacco throwing to him.

We Niner fans may remember Flacco as the man who stole a Super Bowl from us on the back of horrible officiating, but he has not been playing at Super Bowl level for a long time. Let’s just say quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the Niners offense as a whole, should be an improvement for Sanders.

Sanders should immediately jump to the top of the 49ers depth chart, becoming the Niners’ No. 1 receiver. While the Niners receivers have not been particularly desirable assets for fantasy this season, none of them are as talented as Sanders. Sure, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan tends to lead a run-heavy offense, but that does not mean his offense cannot sustain elite fantasy receiving options.

In fact, Julio Jones was the No. 2 wide receiver in all of fantasy football during Shanahan’s two years as his offensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons. Obviously Sanders is not Jones, but those numbers show that Shanahan can coach great fantasy receiving options.

So, the first impact this trade for fantasy football is Sanders has become a much better fantasy play. Only start him this week if your roster is struggling, as it will be his first week on the team.

However, in future weeks, Sanders will be a great fantasy play, so make sure to have him ready to play if you can get him. And, due to having played in a similar offense, it is quite possible that Sanders manages to produce this weekend as well.

I will be playing him on one of my teams this weekend, but I can’t really recommend you follow suit since that team is 1-6.

The second impact is this should significantly raise Garoppolo’s fantasy production going forward. Jimmy G has been a mediocre fantasy option at best this season. That has been due in part to the 49ers weak receiving corps, and the Niners’ dominant run game has simply made it unnecessary for him to do much.

However, bringing in Sanders should change all of that. Now, Garoppolo has a true No. 1 receiving option to throw to. This should significantly elevate his performance going forward, and will make him a viable fantasy option. Perhaps not this week against the Carolina Panthers, who have a solid pass defense, but definitely in future weeks.

The third and final impact of this trade for fantasy is it should elevate the entire Niners offense. As already mentioned, Sanders boosts Garoppolo’s value. While his arrival means you should avoid playing any other Niner receivers (although I don’t know why you would have been playing them anyways), it should help many other positions. Tight end George Kittle will likely be able to do even more, as teams will no longer be able to focus on him as the Niners only elite receiving option.

Sanders should even have a positive impact on the 49ers running backs. The 49ers run game is already fantastic, and the addition of Sanders as another thing for opposing defenses to focus on should only allow them to do even more. I said this last week, but the mud in Washington got in the way of it being realized: both Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida are startable fantasy options.

This week, that will reign true As long as rain doesn’t get in my way again. With Sanders’ arrival creating even more opportunity for them, start them!

Next. Niner Noise podcast: Ian Williams talks 49ers success. dark

All in all, Emmanuel Sanders should have a huge positive impact on the 49ers offense, and for fantasy football as well. Sanders becomes a viable fantasy receiver for the rest of the season, although the rest of the Niners receivers likely become unplayable. Additionally, he should increase the value of Garoppolo, Kittle, Breida and Coleman, as Sanders elevates the 49ers offense as a whole.