Fantasy football: 49ers Deebo Samuel’s 2020 value after foot injury

Fantasy football owners can get a potential bargain with 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel suffering a foot injury. But he comes with risks.

Fantasy football owners were likely considering San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel a high-quality WR2 or FLEX player heading into the 2020 season.

But that was before the second-year wideout suffered a Jones fracture in his left foot during an impromptu practice session he and some other Niners players were enjoying in Nashville, Tennessee last month.

The initial prognosis was a 10-week recovery period, which put Samuel on track to be ready in time for San Francisco’s Week 1 contest at home against the Arizona Cardinals.

Without getting overly into the medical side of things, additional reports speculated up to 16 weeks’ recovery time, which would potentially cut off the first three or four weeks of the regular season.

And then there’s this:

Making the matter worse, one study (h/t Niners Nation) reports 50 percent of players with a Jones fracture demonstrated incomplete healing in the injury due to the aforementioned factors.

That’s clearly not good for Samuel, of course. And it’s potentially worse for fantasy football owners who had high hopes for the receiver who netted 802 receiving yards on 57 receptions, 159 rush yards and six combined touchdowns on the ground and through the air, all combining for 189.1 fantasy football points in PPR leagues a season ago.

So, how should fantasy owners adjust their strategies with regards to Samuel?

 

Determining Deebo Samuel’s new fantasy football value

Samuel hasn’t dropped much in ESPN leagues, still being owned in 89.3 percent of rosters, down only 1.6 percent. But it’s still early, and one might speculate that changes a lot between now and just before Week 1 when the vast majority of fantasy leagues hold their annual drafts.

But Samuel’s injury has dropped his average draft position (ADP), which now stands at 7.10 (10th pick in the seventh round) from a high of 5.04 in 12-team formats, according to Fantasy Football Calculator.

This means owners are understanding the nature of Samuel’s injury being risky enough to discourage any picks in the first half of a fantasy draft, relegating him to a likely stash for the first few weeks of the regular season, followed by a “wait and see” approach with regards to his injury recovery.

For others, it’s certainly wise to consider other top options for WR2 and FLEX players over Samuel, no longer looking at him as a must-have wide receiver to round out a starting lineup heading into 2020.

And considering the above-mentioned injury risks, there’s a serious chance Samuel is unable to return to the field anytime soon, which jeopardizes the need for a roster spot.

It’s possible, of course, your league has one IR designation spot, which might be perfect for a stash-and-wait player like Samuel. If that’s the case, it’s probably best to fill out your starting lineup first completely before using a pick on Samuel.

Next: Fantasy football: 49ers' top 4 options heading into 2020

After that, be sure to monitor his recovery through the season. If there are any setbacks, arguably the best option would be to let him go through waivers and only claim him late in the fantasy football year as one of those adds to help you navigate through the home stretch.