QB Nick Mullens - San Francisco 49ers
|6-1, 207||Born: 3-21-1995||College: Southern Mississippi||Drafted: ---|
Week 21: bye week
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs QB 1, QB 12, QB 24
Nick Mullens's percentile rank in each category, among QB with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 17 vs LAR (23 / 33 / 282 / 3 / 3 pass, 1 / -2 / 0 rush)
All but 15 of Mullens' passing yards, and all 3 of his touchdown passes, came with the 49ers down by two or more scores, so once again one needs to take his box score stats with a grain of salt. Instead, let's dissect his three first-half interceptions. The third, which resulted in a pick-six, was mostly a savvy play by inside linebacker Corey Littleton, who slid right towards George Kittle based on Mullens cursory glance over there at the snap, but immediately slid back towards the other side of the field when Mullens began staring down Richie James' slant route thinking Littleton had been neutralized. Prior to that, Mullens' second interception was due to a combination of three bad decisions: 1) not fully appreciating that his team could ill-afford an interception on 3rd-down in the red zone; 2) targeting a triple-covered George Kittle; and 3) stepping into the teeth of the pass rush, which got him hit as a he threw. Speaking of which, Mullens' first interception was entirely due to No. 3 above, getting hit as he threw, thereby resulting in a wounded duck gently floating into Littleton's awaiting arms.
2018 Week 16 vs CHI (22 / 38 / 241 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Mullens fared better than expected against the Bears ferocious pass rush. Much of that, however, was due to Kyle Shanahan's decision to frequently use six- or sometimes even seven-man protections. But although Chicago didn't produce many sacks, they nevertheless disrupted Mullens and company via hits, hurries, and deflections at the line of scrimmage. Indeed, 6 of his 16 incompletions were because he was hit as he threw the ball, and another 4 were due to his pass being knocked off course by a defensive lineman. Otherwise, it was a lukewarm performance; not awful, but also not great. He read the field well and threw accurately for the most part. His lone interception was of the "receiver volleyball sets it to a defender" variety. Unfortunately, his only real glaring mistake cemented his team's loss. On 4th-and-4 at the Chicago 45-yard line with 1:14 left, Mullens evaded initial pressure and rolled out to his right. Despite having tons of wide open space in front of him, a clock-stopping first down certain if he chose to run, Mullens instead heaved an off-balance deep pass to a tightly covered Marquise Goodwin that landed five yards out of bounds.
2018 Week 15 vs SEA (20 / 29 / 275 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / -2 / 0 rush)
Mullen's box score stats show a good performance, but the game film shows more of a mixed bag. In terms of screwing up a great play call, Mullens overthrew a wide-open George Kittle on what should have been a 71-yard touchdown. In terms of not screwing up a great play call, Mullens hit a wide-open Garrett Celek for a touchdown pass, which also benefited from safety Tedric Thompson's slip and fall on the wet turf. More mundanely, Mullens made a picture-perfect throw to Dante Pettis on a go route and dealt with pass rush pressure better than usual when Seattle sent blitz after blitz in the fourth quarter and overtime.
2018 Week 13 vs SEA (30 / 48 / 414 / 2 / 1 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)
Don't be fooled by Mullens' 414-yard passing yardage total. He threw for 300 yards down three-plus scores in the second half, including 180 in the fourth quarter alone. And while the yardage was there against defensive indifference, the scoring was not, which is kind of a big deal when you're down by a bunch of points. On San Francisco's final two drives, Mullens led the team inside Seattle's 5-yard line and came away with a grand total of 0 points. On the first, Mullens threw late across the middle at the goal line, which resulted in a pick-six by Bobby Wagner. On the second drive, Mullens was no match when Seattle dialed up the pressure. (Although, a false start and delay of game exacerbated matters.)
2018 Week 12 vs TB (18 / 32 / 221 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
As bad as Mullens' stat line looks in the box score, it's hard to pin all -- or even most -- of the blame on him. Both of San Francisco's top two wide receivers were out. Continuing a season-long trend, their pass catchers had a hard time getting open against man coverage. Perhaps most adversely, the 49ers offensive line played one of their worst games in pass protection this season, which resulted in Mullens being pressured (i.e., sacks plus hits plus hurries) on over half of his dropbacks (19 of 36). All of that said, Mullens threw more than a handful of errant passes, primarily due to getting rid of the ball too late with respect to the timing of the route. It's also worth noting for fantasy purposes that he had such poor production in fourth-quarter garbage time, throwing for 90 yards and 2 interceptions, the first of which was an awful play on his part. Not only did he committing the cardinal sin of throwing late, across his body, over the middle. But it was also a throw into double coverage with San Francisco about to score three or seven much-needed points.
2018 Week 10 vs NYG (27 / 39 / 250 / 1 / 2 pass, 2 / 1 / 0 rush)
For the second week in a row, Mullens was a serviceable cog in the wheel of Kyle Shanahan's offense, albeit with noticeable lapses from time to time. To wit, all of San Francisco's large gains in the passing game came when receivers were wide open by NFL standards, while Mullens' interceptions were as much his fault as the intended receiver's. Both involved deflected passes that serendipitously fell into the arms of a nearby defender, but Mullens made a late throw on the first and an errant throw on the second. That said, he was once again far better than C.J. Beathard was with respect to throwing accurately across the middle. Two throws in particular -- one to Marquise Goodwin and one to George Kittle -- required perfect timing and accuracy to avoid multiple defenders and hit the targets in stride.
2018 Week 9 vs OAK (16 / 22 / 262 / 3 / 0 pass, 4 / -3 / 0 rush)
As successful and emotional as this successful experience must have been for Mullens as a human being, his gaudy 11.9 Yards per Attempt and 14.6 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt involved a heavy dose of assistance from Oakland's defense. His 71-yard completion to George Kittle required a one-handed catch-and-run after a pass into three defenders. His 53-yard completion to Richie James was also a YAC-driven affair, but this time to a wide-open receiver. Pierre Garcon was even more wide open on his 24-yard touchdown reception. And on the tougher throws, which mostly went in Marquise Goodwin's direction, Mullens was lucky that two -- both deep in Raiders territory -- weren't intercepted.
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