QB Jimmy Garoppolo | San Francisco 49ers | 5th Year
2017 Stats: 1,560 passing yards, 7 TD, 5 INT, 1 rush TD
After some time as Tom Brady’s backup, and a theoretical successor, Jimmy Garoppolo was traded to the San Francisco 49ers at the trade deadline last year. He played in six games down the stretch, with a 5-0 record as the starter to bring great buzz for he and the team entering this season.
In those 2017 five starts, Garoppolo topped 290 passing yards four times (two 300-yard games; 308 passing yards per game) with more than 15 fantasy points (ESPN scoring) in each of the last four. Over those five games, he had six passing touchdowns (seven total touchdowns) and five interceptions with a completion percentage just north of 67 percent.
Even with just seven career starts, including one he left with an injury, the 49ers have made a huge investment in Garoppolo. But should fantasy owners fully invest in a 2018 breakout over a full season?
A complete offseason in Kyle Shanahan’s offense should help Garoppolo. He engineered 21 red zone drives in his starts last year, tied for most in the league over the final five weeks. One red flag is his lack of proficiency downfield, as he completed just three of 14 attempts beyond 20 yards in a short 2017 sample.
Garoppolo will have eight games against teams who finished in the top half of the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last year (ESPN scoring), including three from Week 1-Week 4, with six of those games against top-10 teams in terms of stinginess to quarterbacks. That said, Garoppolo faced three of those teams in his five starts last year (with the caveat of a Week 17 game that meant nothing to the Los Angeles Rams) and had more than 290 passing yards and/or multiple passing touchdowns all three times.
Garoppolo’s ADP on Fantasy Football Calculator is firmly in QB1 territory right now (QB8, pick 7.01 in 12-team leagues). That means he won’t be a value pick at all, and he’s going before Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers, Matthew Stafford and Ben Roethlisberger in those current mocks. But Garoppolo’s ADP has to be kept independent of his 2018 breakout potential as much as possible .