WR Deebo Samuel - San Francisco 49ers

5-11, 214Born: 1-15-1996College: South CarolinaDrafted: Round 2, pick 2019

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News you need to know

General News (Thu Jan 30): has had more receptions (62) in his rookie season (including playoffs) than former 49ers Jerry Rice (53) and Terrell Owens (36) did in their first pro seasons and has as many 100-yard games (3) as Rice and Owens had as rookies combined.

Week 21: at Kansas City Chiefs

All WR vs KC

FBG says: Tough matchup. The 49ers' ideal passing attack - low-volume and low-impact - has been on full display this postseason. Jimmy Garoppolo got past the Vikings and Packers dropping back just 30 times and completing 17 total passes. On the regular season, the 49ers as a team threw the league's fourth-fewest passes a game and a good-not-great 28 touchdowns. They were efficient, though, ranking fourth league-wide in net yards per attempt. Without much of a downfield component - they lack a true deep threat, while Garoppolo has long struggled with his long ball - this unit relies heavily upon its playmakers to weave magic on short and intermediate routes. Leading the way is full-fledged superstar George Kittle, who may be facing his tight end equal (Travis Kelce) on Sunday. Kittle has been quiet this postseason, spending most of his time blocking, but averaged 75 yards a game on a whopping 28% target share during the season. Garoppolo has also seen success, if only sporadically, when throwing to Emmanuel Sanders and dynamic rookie Deebo Samuel. Sanders can still win downfield, but hasn't caught more than 3 balls in a game since Week 14. Shanahan manufactures 4-7 weekly touches for the explosive Samuel, and he's responded nicely. But if all goes to plan for the 49ers, they'll control the Super Bowl on the ground and supplement with just a few well-timed splash plays from their receivers. The much-maligned Kansas City pass defense took a dramatic turn for the better midway through the 2019 season. Dating back to Week 9, they've allowed just 6.3 yards per attempt and 239 a game, with only 3 opponents (aided by garbage time) topping 225. The Texans' trio of DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller and Kenny Stills found success in the Divisional Round, but that had all the looks of a true outlier. Houston spent much of that game in desperation mode, and the Kansas City defense allowed just 46 passes of 20+ yards this season, eighth-best in football. Outside cornerbacks Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland are volatile in coverage, but both possess shutdown ability against downfield wideouts. Against the 49ers, though, the biggest burden will be on their slot unit as they seek to keep the likes of George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Emmanuel Sanders from making plays underneath. Slot cornerback Kendall Fuller had an up-and-down season, but has traditionally been strong inside, while safety hybrid Tyrann Mathieu has excelled as an on-ball playmaker (16 pass breakups and 4 interceptions). It's not a bulletproof unit, and they allowed a handful of big games to slot men and tight ends down the 2019 stretch. But often, opponents are pushed into shootouts early on, and the swarming pass rush forces a number of errant and ill-advised throws. As a result, this is no longer an easy group to throw on, even when the game is blown wide open. Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo will need to get creative to make big plays happen Sunday.

Recent Stats and Projections

17 at SEA 39 2 33 1 5 5.0 102 0 0 18.5
19 vs MIN 56 1 6 0 6 3.0 42 0 0 4.8
20 vs GB 44 2 43 0 3 2.0 46 0 0 8.9
21 at KC 51 3 53 0 9 5.0 39 0 0 9.2
21 at KC PROJ-Dodds * 2 * * 4.0 * * * *
21 at KC PROJ-Tremblay * 1 * * 3.8 * * * *
21 at KC PROJ-Bloom * 2 * * 4.0 * * * *

Weekly Performance vs WR 1, WR 12, WR 24, WR 36

Percentile ranks

Deebo Samuel's percentile rank in each category, among WR with more than 50 fantasy points.

Recent Game Summaries

2019 Week 20 vs GB (3 / 2 / 46 / 0 rec, 2 / 43 / 0 rush)

Amazingly, Samuel produced nearly all of both his and his teams' passing/receiving yardage within a three-play span six minutes into the game. On the first play of San Francisco's second drive, Samuel ran a backside slide route and caught Jimmy Garoppolo's short pass off of play-action. From there, he beat cornerback Kevin King to the outside and turned upfield for a gain of 16 yards. Two plays later, Samuel caught a simple dig route out of the right slot against Green Bay's Cover-2 zone. The impressive bit was absolutely trucking safety Darnell Savage after the catch, thereby allowing another 11 yards of run-after-catch on an eventual 30-yard gain.

2019 Week 19 vs MIN (6 / 3 / 42 / 0 rec, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)

Samuel displayed his typical run after catch toughness and ground out extra yards on his short receptions, including pushing the ball down to the one to set up a Tevin Coleman score and pushing through multiple tacklers to convert a third and long. He had one fumble on an end around that was reversed by replay.

2019 Week 17 vs SEA (5 / 5 / 102 / 0 rec, 2 / 33 / 1 rush)

Much has been made of Samuel's yardage-gaining prowess after a catch (and sometimes after a shovel pass on a jet sweep). There was a play in this game, during the fourth quarter no less, that gained only 1 yard after the catch, but was nevertheless even more indicative of what may be coming in the future. With Seattle having gotten back to within one score, and San Francisco having driven to the Seahawks 34-yard line, Samuel used Shaquille Griffin's own inside leverage against him to juke him out of his cleats, thereby turning press man coverage into wide open for a 23-yard gain (with only 1 yard of YAC). San Francisco answered with a touchdown of their own on the very next play.

2019 Week 16 vs LAR (6 / 4 / 31 / 0 rec, 3 / 28 / 1 rush)

Samuel did almost all of his damage on one second quarter drive that brought San Francisco back to within one score. On the first play, his jet sweep motion presnap left him wide open for a wide receiver screen that he caught and ran for an 18-yard gain. Two plays later, he lined up in the backfield, took a shotgun handoff towards the left sideline, and outran three Rams defenders for a touchdown.

2019 Week 15 vs ATL (3 / 1 / 29 / 0 rec, 1 / 8 / 0 rush)

Samuel's three targets involved an uncatchable short pass, a very catchable intermediate pass that he dropped, and a very catchable underneath pass that he caught wide open and ran for 29 yards.

2019 Week 14 vs NO (8 / 5 / 76 / 0 rec, 2 / 33 / 0 rush)

Samuel had two big plays -- receptions of 20 or more yards -- during the first half, but his two most important plays came on the 49ers' first two scoring drives of the fourth quarter. Up 35-33 facing 3rd-and-5 at the Saints' 32-yard line, Samuel ran a 10-yard dig route across the face of cornerback Eli Apple, who was playing the deep right third in Cover-3. Apple got caught flat-footed, so Samuel was able to catch the pass in stride to gain 16 yards and a first down. Later in the fourth, while holding on to a 42-40 lead like grim death, Samuel took an end around down the left sideline for 31 yards, thereby flipping field position while also putting San Francisco in a position to extend their lead.

2019 Week 13 vs BAL (4 / 2 / 41 / 1 rec, 1 / 20 / 0 rush)

Despite mostly being neutralized by the combination of Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey, Samuel still showed his play-making ability with a fourth-down, 33-yard touchdown catch on San Francisco's opening drive. Working against Baltimore's Cover-2, Samuel ran an out-and-up into the void between the cornerback and safety. However, badly underthrew the ball, such that "wide open" turned into "scattered, smothered, and double-covered." No matter, as Samuel adjusted his path to cut in front of Marcus Peters, and then leapt into the air to snatch the ball away at its highest point.

2019 Week 12 vs GB (2 / 2 / 50 / 1 rec)

On Samuel's 42-yard touchdown reception, he beat slot cornerback Tramon Williams on a post route, caught the ball 13 yards downfield, and then simply ran away from Williams, linebacker Blake Martinez, and safety Chandon Sullivan.

2019 Week 11 vs ARI (10 / 8 / 134 / 0 rec)

Samuel's first six targets came either on third down or in the red zone. The sixth of these produced both the highlight reel catch of the day and a first down the 49ers desperately needed while down three in the fourth quarter. On 3rd-and-9 at the 49ers' 26-yard line, Samuel ran a deep out route to the left sideline against slot cornerback Kevin Peterson. Jimmy Garoppolo was hit as he threw, so the pass was underthrown, which actually caused a faceguarding Peterson to badly interfere with Samuel. No big deal, as he leapt, popped the ball up to himself behind Peterson's back, followed it in the air as it bounced off Peterson's helmet, then caught it while diving to the sideline and being tackled by both Peterson and safety Jalen Thompson.

2019 Week 10 vs SEA (11 / 8 / 112 / 0 rec)

Samuel was a consistent bright spot throughout this game, as five of his eight receptions went for double-digit yardage, and three receptions were among San Francisco's four longest scrimmage plays. The longest of these, a 30-yard catch and run was a backside play-action quick slant wherein Samuel beat Tre Flowers' man-to-man coverage to the inside of the field, and then made three defenders miss after the catch. Samuel's showed his strength on a 24-yard catch midway through the fourth quarter. He beat Flowers again, this time on a 15-yard curl route. After the catch, he cut inside, shed Flowers' tackle attempt, withstood a hit from safety Quandre Diggs, and then required five defenders to finally get him on the ground. It wasn't all sunshine and roses, however, as Samuel had an awful drop on a wide-open, massive YAC-potential quick slant to start a fourth quarter drive where the 49ers eventually punted.

2019 Week 9 vs ARI (7 / 4 / 40 / 0 rec)

Samuel avoided Patrick Peterson on the vast majority of his routes, but only mustered two notable plays. At the end of the first half, Byron Murphy, Jr., got picked by his own teammate, leaving Samuel wide open in the middle of the end zone, but he dropped the pass. Then midway through the fourth quarter, Samuel sat down in a zone to convert a first down on 3rd-and-11.

2019 Week 8 vs CAR (3 / 3 / 19 / 0 rec, 2 / 29 / 1 rush)

Samuel's skill set -- and the way Kyle Shanahan wants to employ it -- was in full effect on consecutive third quarter plays. With Carolina having cut the lead to 27-13 and San Francisco facing 3rd-and-8 from the Panthers' 28-yard line, Shanahan called Samuel's number on a dig route at the sticks, which he used perfect hands technique to grab in traffic. Then, on the next play, Samuel motioned tight to the line as if he was going to block, but then took a handoff behind right tackle, hit the hole, turned on the jets, and ran untouched for 20 yards into the endzone. It should also be noted that that was Samuel's third run of the game. His first was a jet sweep for 2 yards (technically shoveled to him for a reception), and the second was a reverse for 9 yards.

2019 Week 6 vs LAR (5 / 3 / 18 / 0 rec, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)

Despite playing his usual allotment of snaps as part of San Francisco's three-receiver rotation, Samuel's lone catch of note was a 14-yarder in which all he had to do was sit down in middle zone. Midway through the fourth quarter, Samuel pulled up lame in the middle of a route, apparently having injured his quadriceps.

2019 Week 5 vs CLE (3 / 1 / 3 / 0 rec)

As per usual, Samuel split time in two-wide receiver sets with Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis. His only target of note actually doesn't show up in the box score because it involved a 15-yard reception nullified by penalty. On the play, Samuel caught a wide receiver screen pass at the line of scrimmage, exploded up field, spun out of a tackle, and then ran over another would-be tackler before getting taken down.

2019 Week 3 vs PIT (4 / 3 / 44 / 0 rec)

Samuel could have had a more fruitful day from a fantasy perspective if not for dropping a 45-yard pass midway through the third quarter. He beat cornerback Steven Nelson's man-to-man coverage and jumped in front of help defender Joe Haden to catch the ball, but couldn't hang on when he fell to the ground.

2019 Week 2 vs CIN (7 / 5 / 87 / 1 rec, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)

No doubt Samuel had a productive game, especially for a rookie playing his second game in the NFL. Having said that, his gaudy stats owed more to Kyle Shanahan's play design and play calling than extraordinary individual feats of skill from Samuel himself. His first target was a play-action, throw-back pass off of his own jet-sweep action, which Shanahan had set up with several fakes on previous drives. All 49 yards of run-after-catch were due to the Bengals biting hard and having a caravan of blockers in front of him. Similarly, Samuel's 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter resulted from a broken coverage at the goal line. All of that said, one of Samuel's big plays was indeed a great individual effort. On the first play of the second half, Samuel had cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick spinning like a top on his deep dig route, such that his break inside created five yards of separation, which in turn allowed for 19 additional yards after the catch.

2019 Week 1 vs TB (3 / 3 / 17 / 0 rec)

Samuel got the somewhat-surprising start and played nearly 90 percent of snaps. His three targets were a potpourri of good and bad. Among the good were a great hands catch on a slant and an elusive end-around shovel pass that was nullified by penalty. On the negative side, Samuel fumbled away a sure-fire, go-ahead field goal with 20 seconds left in the first half.


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