Marquise Goodwin Fantasy

Towards the latter half of 2017, Marquise Goodwin jumped onto the fantasy football radar in a big way becoming the #1 target for Jimmy Garoppolo in the 49ers passing game. Now entering his 6th season out of the University of Texas, for the first time, he has the opportunity to step out of the shadows and solidify his place as the top wide receiver for his team. For years Goodwin was known for being a speedy, big-play wide receiver who would dazzle spectators every once in a while, but was never asked to do or be more than that. During his 4 years in Buffalo, he accumulated a total of 39 receptions, 780 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Yet when given the opportunity to be the #1 guy during one season in San Fransico, he accumulated nearly a thousand yards racking up 56 receptions for 962 yards, averaging 17.2 yards per catch, and 2 touchdowns all while playing with three different quarterbacks under center. However, it’s his performance and rapport with his third quarterback that needs to be the point of emphasis with him going forward.

Jimmy Garoppolo

During weeks 13-17, with newly installed starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo under center, Goodwin totaled 384 yards, essentially a third of his receiving yards for the season. That would seem to make sense, each quarterback tallying a third of his production.

However, with Garoppolo at the helm, Goodwin became more of a consistent wide receiver  as evident in his yards per catch average during that span:

Week Opponent Yds Avg Lng
13  @ CHI 99 12.4 20
14 @ HOU 106 17.7 32
15  TEN 114 11.4 18
16  JAX 37 12.3 24
17  @ LA 28 14 20

Gone were the boom or bust performances indicative of intermittent small and larger yard per catch averages. Instead, you saw relatively similar averages per game. From a fantasy football perspective, one statistic that was interesting was that of his average depth of target or aDOT. Via, Marquise Goodwin averaged a depth downfield of 14.7 yards per target in 2017. To compare to other notable wide receivers:

Wide Receivers in 2017 aDOT (yards)
Marquise Goodwin 14.7
Julio Jones 14.2
Mike Evans 14
Alshon Jeffery 14
Antonio Brown 13.4

What does this have to do with anything? Am I saying he’s on par as far as talent goes with Julio Jones or Antonio Brown?

Of course not.

Then what are you saying?

I’m saying with Jimmy Garoppolo throwing him the ball, Marquise Goodwin was a more consistent wide receiver in terms of average yards per catch than he had been all season. Not only that, but he was targeted downfield, as a whole, for more distance than Julio Jones and Antonio Brown all of last season.

What does all that mean for his fantasy football outlook?

It means that Goodwin has the faith of his new quarterback and head coach to not only catch the ball more consistently per game but to do so farther downfield.

Now, of course, this all sounds great and everything, but what about the two elephants in the room being the return of a healthy Pierre Garcon and the defensive upgrades teams have made within the division?

While the 49ers did sign Garcon last year to a 5 year, $47,500,000 contract last offseason the structure of the contract makes it so that the team could potentially release the aging veteran wide receiver in 2019 with a dead cap hit of only 7.2 million dollars. Furthermore, Goodwin did receive this offseason a brand new contract from the 49ers for 3 years, $19,250,000. The signing of a younger wide receiver with massive upside for less money seems to tilt the scales towards Goodwin for which wide receiver the team REALLY has faith in going forward, at least from a financial perspective. The undeniable rapport Goodwin has with his quarterback tips the scales towards him even more so from a football perspective. The 49ers must still have faith in Garcon’s ability shown by such a large financial commitment upfront ($20 million signing bonus). However, the organization’s moving up in the 2018 draft to select Dante Pettis adds a new wrinkle for competition that could hamper Goodwin’s fantasy value.

What about his defensive competition in 2018? Both his divisional opponents the Rams and Cardinals, boast stingy cornerbacks with names like Peters, Talib, & Peterson. Anyone of those cornerbacks is talented enough to shut down Goodwin, considering he faces them in 3 out of 16 games in most fantasy football season. In addition, the fact he’ll be facing other tough secondaries outside of the division such as those found on the Vikings, Chargers, Lions, and Broncos that’s nearly half the fantasy football season where he’ll not only have to deal with stiff competition from other opponents but competition within his own team.

Overall assessment of Goodwin’s Fantasy Potential

At the end of the day it all comes down to the comfort Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan have with Goodwin. We all know he can make big plays, but he showed last season he can also make the small plays that turn into big plays. I believe we will see Goodwin fully develop into the #1 wide receiver on this roster this season. His speed and relationship with Garoppolo should prove to be enough to get him over any roadblocks he may face on his own team as well as others. We’re starting to see the budding of a new superstar at the position. Just sit back and enjoy while drafting him this year and watch him bring home for you fantasy football trophies this December.


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