The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 14  San Francisco 49ers vs New Orleans Saints Sunday afternoon game on December 8, 2019 at 1 pm ET.
San FranciscoRank@New OrleansRank
20.5Implied Total23.5
15.22Points All./Gm20.712
58.24Opp. Plays/Gm63.115
43.0%24Opp. Rush %34.4%3
57.0%9Opp. Pass %65.7%30
  • The 49ers are averaging 2.6 more yards per pass attempt than their opponents, the most in the league. The next closest team (Dallas) is at plus-1.6 Y/A.
  • San Francisco is allowing a league-low 279.9 fantasy yards from scrimmage per game while the Saints are second (280.5).
  • The Saints are allowing a league-low 52.7 non-passing fantasy points per game while the 49ers are second (54.7).
  • The 49ers are allowing a league-low 14.4 passing yards per drive while the Saints are second (17.4).
  • Drew Brees has been pressured on 26.1% of his dropbacks, the lowest rate in the league.
  • The 49ers have pressured the opposing quarterback on 30.7% of dropbacks, the highest rate in the league.
  • San Francisco has allowed over 100 rushing yards in nine straight games, the longest streak in the league.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Alvin Kamara: Kamara still has a seven-game scoring drought, but he had reeled off three straight RB1 scoring weeks before an RB25 (12.4) week last week in which he had 15 touches for 84 yards. The 49ers have allowed 121.3 yards from scrimmage per game to opposing backfields over their past seven games and have given up good games to combo backs they’ve faced in Christian McCaffrey (155 total yards) and Kenyan Drake (162 and 80 yards). 
  • George Kittle: Kittle has been a TE1 in every game this season except for last week (2-17) and in Week 7 against Washington (3-38). Both of those games were played in heavy rain and limited passing team production altogether. New Orleans has allowed a lower-end TE1 in five straight games to Charles Clay (3-88), Austin Hooper (4-17-1), Cameron Brate (10-73), Greg Olsen (5-44), and Jaeden Graham (4-41-1), all players far removed Kittle’s talent level. 

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Michael Thomas: Thomas had his worst week of the season last week (6-48-0), but he still held a high share of the team targets (25.8%) and managed to squeeze out double-digit points. The 49ers are second in the league in points allowed per game to opposing WR1 options (9.4 points per game). They haven’t allowed a lead wideout to reach 50 yards in a game since JuJu Smith-Schuster in Week 3, but have allowed touchdowns to Davante Adams and Larry Fitzgerald in two of the past three weeks. 
  • Jared Cook: Cook left a ton of points on the field last week, but still came out with his sixth straight TE1 scoring week. He’s had at least 74 yards in three of his past four games and leads the team with five end zone targets over that span. Since losing Kwon Alexander for the season, the 49ers have allowed two TE1 weeks to Jacob Hollister (8-62-1) and Mark Andrews (3-50-1), but each added a touchdown to their receiving totals. 

Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Drew Brees: Brees has been great for fantasy outside of facing the Falcons, but he has averaged just 6.8 yards per pass attempt over his past four games with one game over 7.0 Y/A over that stretch. This is the wrong matchup to be missing Andrus Peat and Terron Armstead is still questionable with an ankle injury. The 49ers have given up some usable scoring weeks to opposing quarterbacks, but they’ve all been mobile and have done damage rushing. Facing Lamar Jackson (4.6 Y/A), Aaron Rodgers (3.2 Y/A), Russell Wilson (6.8 Y/A), and Kyler Murray (4.5 Y/A) the past four games, the 49ers have still been electric versus the passing game. 
  • Jimmy Garoppolo: Garoppolo has four top-12 scoring weeks, but they all came in strong paper plays, something that isn’t enticing here based on matchup, being on the road, and having a pedestrian team total. Like the 49ers, the Saints can also get after the quarterback, ranking fifth in the league in pressure rate (27.6%) and are fourth in the league in overall sacks (40). Garoppolo has faced four other teams in the top-12 in pressure rate (PIT, CLE, CAR, and LAR) and has been the average QB21 in those games with a high mark at QB15 and 14.9 fantasy points.

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • 49ers RBs: Matt Breida was held out last week due to the field conditions, but is expected back this week. He could be returning to a full-blown committee now as Tevin Coleman’s ineffectiveness seemingly finally caught up to him last week. Coleman has rushed 49 times for 122 yards over the past five games and last week received just six touches compared to 21 for Raheem Mostert. Mostert didn’t waste them, either, putting up 154 total yards and a touchdown. Mostert now leads all 49ers backs in rate of runs to gain positive yardage (88.0%), five or more yards (43.5%), 10 or more yards (16.3%), and result in a first down (20.7%). We know this backfield is capable of being the best unit in the league on any given week, but hashing out the usage here is a challenge. The Saints are also excellent against the run. They haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since 2017 and are allowing 62.3 rushing yards per game to opposing backfields, which is second in the league. The Saints are 29th in receptions allowed per game (6.3) to backs, which would favor Coleman and Mostert more than Breida, but all three backs are FLEX options with a wide range of outcomes.
  • 49ers WRs: Deebo Samuel keeps on hitting, but the past two weeks has just four catches on six targets, maximizing his lower-end volume with 42- and 33-yard touchdown receptions. The positive news is that even with Emmanuel Sanders fully healthy, Samuel played a season-high 96% of the team snaps last week. Sanders had been playing through a rib injury the past three weeks and was limited to 29%, 44% and 67% of the team snaps the three previous weeks before playing 98% of the snaps last week and leading the team with six targets. Since joining the 49ers, Sanders has run 40% of his routes from the slot (Samuel 25%), where Marshon Lattimore has played just 13 snaps all season.

More Week 14 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

DAL at CHI | DET at MIN | BAL at BUF | SF at NO | IND at TB | CIN at CLE | DEN at HOU | WAS at GB | CAR at ATL | MIA at NYJ | LAC at JAX | TEN at OAK | KC at NE | PIT at ARI | SEA at LAR | NYG at PHI