Deebo Samuel is a unique weapon for the San Francisco 49ers.
He’s not just a wide receiver. He does anything, from doing jet sweeps, lining up in the backfield in a shotgun, and operating out of the lunge. Samuel is the ultimate utility player for the 49ers, making him a fun player to use for Kyle Shanahan.
But Samuel, especially last season, was more limited with opportunities within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Much of this is due to Jimmy Garoppolo’s limitations. Samuel in 2020 was supposed to make a big jump as a receiver and reach nearly 1,000 receiving yards. Unfortunately for him, several injuries throughout the season put a damper on that goal and the quarterback’s play. 2021 hopes to bring a new spark for Samuel in receiving yards as Draftkings Sportsbook set the over / under at 895.5 receiving yards for him.
So will Samuel have more or less 895.5 receiving yards in 2021?
He will have under.
Samuel is very capable of breaking 895.5 yards on reception, but I just don’t think he will outshine him for a number of reasons. For starters, Samuel is an injury-prone player. In fact, it’s only one more injury to be labeled as such. There’s a good chance he’ll end up on the shelf again due to an injury that will prevent him from counting yards.
The other reason he’s falling apart is the talent around him. There are George Kittle, Brandon Aiyuk, and a host of other players to consider the fourth through sixth options. Aiyuk looks particularly like the best wide receiver and actually gets used to it as such, which brings me to the other last point. The way Samuel is used isn’t strictly as a receiver, and when he gets those looks he doesn’t see the roads going from deep to intermediate. Most of the time it’s right there as a quick take or below so it can work.
Last year, Draftkings Sportsbook had Samuel forecast 900.5 yards for over / under in a similar post I wrote last summer. He’s still floating in the same area, so there is always positive hope for him as a threatening receiver. But you can’t rack up that many receiving yards on those little tactile passes, and even then it could impact his body which needs to avoid wear and tear.
Which side would you choose for more or less 895.5 yards for Samuel?