Can TE Vance McDonald Thrive in Chip Kelly’s System?

In October of last season, the San Fransisco 49ers traded tight end Vernon Davis to the – eventual Super Bowl Champion – Denver Broncos. That same month TE Garrett Celek suffered a season-ending injury that threw Vance McDonald, a former 2013 second round draft pick into the 49ers starting tight end role.

[the_ad id=”58837″]McDonald struggled at times with drops and miscues but did flash playmaking ability as he saw a fair share of red-zone looks and opportunities with Blaine Gabbert at the helm.

Fantasy owners will likely steer clear of nearly all fantasy options outside of Carlos Hyde this season, but Dynasty owners should take notice of what new 49ers coach Chip Kelly has been able to do with tight ends.

Kelly’s offense is heavily rooted in speed, mis-matches and using size to win battles in the RedZone. Both Zach Ertz and Brett Celek (Garrett’s older brother) flourished in Kelly’s offense in Phildelphia and often became major contributors in adding points to the scoreboard.

The 49ers offense is in total disarray, and Kelly likely won’t be able to turn things around as fast as he did in Philly, yet stranger things have happened.

The 49ers and free agent TE Garrett Celek are “close to finalizing” a long-term contract. Yet even when they do come to an agreement, look for McDonald to be more of the pass-catching threat in the Bay Area.

Garrett is more of a block-first tight end. He blocked on 242 of his 407 offensive snaps last season, catching 19 passes for 186 yards (9.8 YPR) and three touchdowns.

The 49ers also have Blake Bell a fourth-round converted quarterback out of Oklahoma, Bell’s rookie year ended with 16 catches for 121 yards. Bell sould be in the mix but the 49ers did invest a high draft pick in Vance McDonald and despite Garrett ahead of him on the depth chart, McDonald is viewed as more of the receiving threat amongst the group.

Just a Dynasty Tip of the day!

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