Pierre Garçon is the newly signed #1 wide receiver of the San Francisco 49ers. You are probably asking yourself: “Why does the lead receiver of a team that Vegas predicts will win four or five games in 2017 matter for Fantasy Football drafts and why did I click on this article?” Great question, the three key reasons why Pierre Garçon is a super sleeper in 2017 Fantasy Football drafts are his projected opportunity, his reunion with an old offensive mastermind, and very his low price.
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Opportunity: Not only did the 49ers sign Garçon to a 5-year $48M deal this off-season, but they also wooed offensive mastermind Kyle Shanahan to be the franchise’s new Head Coach. Over the last decade of Kyle Shanahan’s career, which included stops as Offensive Coordinator in Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta, his ordained WR1 received an average of about 150 targets per season and a 25% market share of receptions. Shanahan’s scheme has been partially responsible for breakout seasons from supremely talented alpha receivers such as Andre Johnson in 2008 (115 receptions for 1,575 yards and 8 TD), Santana Moss 2010 (93 receptions for 1,115 yards and 6 TD), Pierre Garçon 2013 (113 receptions for 1,346 yards and 5 TD), and Julio Jones 2015 (136 receptions for 1,871 yards and 8 TD).
Reunion: As you may have noticed, Pierre Garçon and Kyle Shanahan have had some amazing success while together in Washington, especially in 2013, when Garçon led the NFL in receptions and total targets. Since there is a very positive and direct correlation between receiving targets and fantasy points, Garçon finished the 2013 season 10th in average fantasy points per game for wide receivers. Speaking of reunions, Shanahan’s quarterback while in Cleveland, Brian Hoyer, was also brought into San Francisco to compete for the starting quarterback position. In 2014, Shanahan coordinated Brian Hoyer’s offense that jumped out to an AFC North best 7-4 record through the first 12 weeks of the season. During the Browns’ hot streak of winning 6 of 8 games following the bye week, Brian Hoyer thew for a median average of 283 yards and 1-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio and surpassing 300 yards through the air in 4 different games. In classic Cleveland Browns fashion, they went on to lose their last 5 games in a row and eliminate themselves from playoff contention with a 7-9 record. Last season, as starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears for 4 full games, Brian Hoyer showed flashes of fantasy goodness with an average of 329 yards per game and a 2-to-0 TD-to-INT ratio that is very encouraging for Pierre Garçon’s prospects as a very strong 3rd receiver or FLEX on your team in 2017 that can average 10-12 fantasy points per game in what Fantasypros.com projects as the 3rd easiest schedule for wide receivers.
Price: As of August 8, 2017, FantasyPros.com consensus experts ranked Pierre Garçon as the 36th best wide receiver with an ADP of 83. Frankly, spending a 8th or 9th round pick on a player with Garçon’s history in an offense catered to his strengths devoid of any other talented weapons is pretty much automatic. Add the Vegas low win projection for the 49ers into the mix and there is a perfect recipe for an accumulation of garbage time scoring brewing in San Francisco. Other wide receivers coming off the board about the same time as Garçon include oft-injured wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, a third option catching passes from Jay Cutler in DeVante Parker, and inexperienced and raw Cameron Meredith who has Mike Glennon as his quarterback. Well established and hyped up veteran players going within a couple rounds before Garçon that I project to have nearly the same amount of receptions, yards, and touchdowns as the newest 49er include Brandon Marshall (second or third fiddle to Beckham Jr. doesn’t leave much volume), Sammy Watkins (boom-or-bust second option in a run first offense), and Martavis Bryant (Big Ben’s third or fourth option behind Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell).
BenK’s Razzball Ruling: Super Sleeper! In six of the last nine seasons, a Mike Shanahan WR has finished in the top-10 in the entire NFL in targets and I don’t see why Pierre Garçon can’t be the next target monster in San Francisco for Shanahan once again!
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