Every team’s season except one ends in disappointment. That’s the nature of the Super Bowl. But the 49ers have a lot to be excited about. They have Brock Purdy on a cheap contract. They have Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle. And they’ll, hopefully, have Brandon Aiyuk (more on that later). 

This team doesn’t need to do much in the 2024 NFL draft or in free agency to get back to the big game. What we’re going to do here is look at the weapons in terms of their depth chart, contracts, and salary cap to see what the 49ers might need and make some predictions for fantasy football. So, let’s get to it!

*The salary cap numbers referenced in this article come courtesy of our friends over at Spotrac.com*

Fantasy Football Depth Chart: San Francisco 49ers


Brock Purdy

Sam Darnold

Brandon Allen

Running Back

Christian McCaffrey

Elijah Mitchell

Jordan Mason

Wide Receiver

Deebo Samuel

Ronnie Bell

Danny Gray

Wide Receiver

Brandon Aiyuk

Chris Conley


Wide Receiver

Jauan Jennings

Ray-Ray McCloud


Tight End

George Kittle

Ross Dwelley

Cameron Latu

White = unrestricted free agent

Green = role is safe

Yellow = role could be in jeopardy

Red = could be traded or released





Brock Purdy: Once upon a time the New England Patriots were faced with a huge question: Drew Bledsoe or Tom Brady? But that wasn’t the full scope of the question. Because Drew Bledsoe had just signed a 10-year, $100 million dollar contract. 

When the question is “Bledsoe or Brady plus a hundred million dollars”, the answer becomes a lot simpler. And that’s where Brock Purdy lives right now. He just took the team to the Super Bowl and he’s on a literal last-overall pick contract - his cap hit this year is one million dollars. It’s slightly more than a million next year as well.

The question of course for the future and dynasty fantasy football gamers is that second contract. Often times, if things don’t go right, the axe falls on the GM, the coach, or the QB (or sometimes it falls on all three). 

I did a little poll on X to see, hypothetically, where folks think that axe would fall if the 49ers don’t continue to have success. The top answer is what you worry about if you are investing in Purdy for your dynasty leagues. But, again, that’s a problem that is two years out. And might not be a problem at all if they extend him.

Sam DarnoldIt surprised some folks when Kyle Shanahan insisted on bringing in Sam Darnold while some felt the team had too many QBs already. Then they quickly moved on from Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance. Now that he’s trained in the Shanahan ways of quarterbacking, that might make him an attractive option to compete for a starting gig somewhere. If I’m Darnold, I’m looking to parlay that opportunity rather than returning to the 49ers to be the backup.

Brandon AllenThe new “emergency QB rule” was basically made for the 49ers after the 2022 disaster so, naturally, they were going to carry one. He’s a free agent as well but there are some rumors that he’s being considered as QB2 for 2024. He’d certainly be more affordable than Darnold. 

49ers QB FREE AGENCY TAKE: Honestly, the last thing you want right now if you are the 49ers is any sort of QB controversy. So, I don’t think it’s smart to bring anyone in at backup that could cause any sort of fan rumblings. You don’t want Minshew Mania in San Francisco. If they can bring back Darnold on a reasonable deal then great but Brandon Allen might get the job done. If not, here are some quiet options to potentially bring in.

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT QB OPTIONS: Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, Matt Barkley, AJ McCarron


Running Back

Christian McCaffreyThere’s not much to talk about here. Christian McCaffrey is the best RB in the world and he’s under contract for the next two years. We’ll worry about him slowing down when we see signs of him slowing down. Haven’t seen it yet.

Elijah MitchellElijah Mitchell is a cautionary tale for fantasy gamers out there. At one point he earned the starting job for this team and, despite some injury issues, put up 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 11 games. As it turns out, it might not have been that difficult to beat out Trey Sermon. Or put up good production in one of the league’s best systems. 

Whether it was injury concerns or something else, the 49ers decided to upgrade slightly from the Day 3 back by bringing in Christian McCaffrey. Now he’s simply a handcuff in fantasy football leagues if something happens to CMC.

Jordan MasonWhen they rested McCaffrey for Week 18, Mitchell and Mason shared the work fairly evenly. But, in general, Mason operated as the third fiddle behind Mitchell. 

Kyle JuszczykThe fullback is an integral part of this offense so he isn’t going anywhere. To put things in perspective, Elijah Mitchell and Jordan Mason combined for 268 snaps. Juice played 561. 

49ers RB FREE AGENCY TAKE: Kyle Shanahan constantly said in press conferences he wanted to take the workload off Christian McCaffrey. Then the following week CMC would play the whole game. The 49ers have what they need at RB unless they want to get serious about taking some of the work off McCaffrey. But he’s simply so good that it’s hard to take him out of the game.


Wide Receiver

Deebo SamuelDeebo Samuel went through some brief hold out threats and was rewarded with a three year, $70+ million-dollar extension. So, the unique player is under contract for both 2024 and 2025 as of now. Deebo is a tremendous player when healthy, but health has been a big question mark for him throughout his career. 

He won’t likely recapture the magic of his 2021 season that saw him have 1,400+ yards receiving with 14 TDs including EIGHT rushing TDs, but he’s still locked into the 49ers lineup and your fantasy lineups every week. 

Brandon AiyukHere’s the hot button name. He’s going through some of the moves we’ve become accustomed to for star WRs at the end of their rookie deals. Unfollow the team on social media, let the trade request rumors percolate etc. 

We just mentioned his teammate Deebo Samuel went through it. There was another WR with the same agent as Deebo Samuel that also did something similar - his name is AJ Brown. That’s kind of the picture that’s been painted here for Aiyuk that he wants to be paid now, whether it’s by the 49ers or another team. 

John Lynch at the NFL combine has said he wants Aiyuk there, but they have challenges. 49ers fans certainly want him there. For fantasy gamers, I don’t think it matters all that much where he is. In fact, going somewhere he could be the focal point might be even BETTER for his fantasy value. But he’s a star in this league and he turns only 26 next month so he’s going to be just fine for fantasy gamers.

Jauan JenningsThe 49ers use the fullback and a second tight end so often that the third wide receiver isn’t a full time player. In fact, the fullback played over 100 more snaps than Jennings.  Jennings only played more than 50% of the snaps in four games and they were all games where Deebo Samuel was hurt. And, even if Brandon Aiyuk were traded, I don’t think they just slot Jennings in as the WR2 and proceed. 

I think if Aiyuk were to be traded, the 49ers would be using either the pick they get back or a high-end pick on a WR, the way the Vikings and Titans did when they traded away Stefon Diggs and AJ Brown. He’s a restricted free agent which means the 49ers can bring him back for $2.8 million, which they will likely do.

Ray-Ray McCloudMcCloud returned both kicks and punts for the 49ers in 2023 making him a valuable real-life asset. If they don’t bring him back in 2024, they’ll need to fill both those roles.

Ronnie BellAn option for returning punts would be Ronnie Bell - he was the only other player besides McCloud who returned a punt for the 49ers last year. He was drafted last year in the last round so he could be cut for very little but, if McCloud isn’t back, that’s a cheap solution.

Chris ConleyChris Conley came in to help while Jauan Jennings was hurt and he even made a key play in the Super Bowl. But the veteran journeyman is not all of a sudden going to be a fulltime player for the 49ers. He’s an unrestricted free agent. 

Danny GrayGray suffered a shoulder injury that landed him on IR and was never activated despite some talk from the coaches suggesting he was healthy. That doesn’t bode well for the second year player as he could be on the outside looking in a this stage. He can be released with around a million in savings, ~$400K in dead cap.

49ers WR FREE AGENCY TAKE: This all depends on Brandon Aiyuk. As I mentioned, they use enough fullback and tight end that WR3 isn’t a huge priority. If Aiyuk is there, they are good to go. If he’s not, they really just need to think about the return game. If it’s not Ray-Ray McCloud, here are some options. 

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT WR OPTIONS: Jamal Agnew, Jakeem Grant, DeAndre Carter


Tight End

George KittleGeorge Kittle is the best two-way tight end in the NFL in terms of his combination of blocking and pass-catching. And that’s exactly what the scheme calls for. It might not be great for 49ers fan but, in you have George Kittle in your fantasy leagues, you are quietly rooting for Brandon Aiyuk to get traded. 

Charlie WoernerCharlie Woerner is one of the better blocking tight ends out there so he could be in high demand both other teams. The decision to bring him back will depend on whether they like what they saw out of rookie Brayden Willis or not. They might bring in a cheaper blocking TE if need be.

Ross DwelleyIf Woerner is the blocking tight end, Dwelley would be the de facto backup pass catcher. And like Woerner, whether they bring Dwelley back or not depends on how they feel about rookie Cameron Latu, who is his understudy. Dwelley is also an unrestricted free agent.

Brayden WillisThe seventh-round pick played limited snaps for them so it’s hard to say how they feel about him. He doesn’t have much fantasy football appeal giving his blocking profile.

Cameron LatuOff all the backups behind George Kittle, the most interesting dynasty stash would be third round pick Cameron Latu out of Alabama. He missed the entire season with a torn meniscus but they are hoping he can develop as a pass catcher.

49ers TE FREE AGENCY TAKE: They might be able to just let guys walk and stick with Kittle as the starter with Willis as the blocker and Latu as the backup pass catcher. If not, here are the free agent options for those roles that could make sense. 

49ers Free Agent Blocking TE Options: Marcedes Lewis, Geoff Swaim, Drew Sample, Adam Trautman, MyCole Pruitt, Johnny Mundt

49ers Free Agent Pass Catching TE Options: Mike Gesicki, Jesper HorstedAnthony Firkser (cut candidate), Kylen Granson (cut candidate), Tanner Hudson (RFA), Shane Zylstra (RFA)

NFL Free Agency Previews

Discover our other breakdowns for the rest of the league ahead of 2024 NFL free agency: