Calling the San Francisco 49ers thin at the wide receiver position might be the understatement of the year. Deebo Samuel is hurt at least to start the year. Emmanuel Sanders signed with the Saints in the offseason. First round pick Brandon Aiyuk is dealing with a hamstring injury. The number one receiver is… Kendrick Bourne? Should we start to take Bourne as a legit fantasy option in 2020?
Here’s a fun fact. Kendrick Bourne had the same number of touchdowns as George Kittle in 2019. He also did it on 55 fewer catches. Maybe that number is fluke but from watching the games, Bourne looks like a productive red zone threat. He checks in at 6-foot-1 and has great body control while understanding the ball in the air. When you watch the games, Bourne knows how to win the ball in the air.
He’s also more explosive than you think. 11.9 yards per catch is a respectable number. He might be a 4.68 – 40 time guy but he can make some things happen after the catch. Mostly in the hard to bring down compartment.
Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t going to be getting into shootouts often. The 49ers have a strong run game. That hurts Bourne for fantasy. However, I think it’s clear that he’s going to have a role in the offense. Deebo Samuel will be back at some point. We know that. Brandon Aiyuk is the real X-Factor.
Is Aiyuk ready for prime time? I wasn’t super high on him in the draft process. He felt very similar to N’Keal Harry who didn’t impress his rookie year. If Aiyuk doesn’t get things going right away, the number two wide receiver job is Bourne’s.
Bourne might really make a big impact this year. Dante Pettis has fallen out of favor with the coaching staff. Trent Taylor is a slot guy at best. We could be in for the Kendrick Bourne show in 2020 whether we like it or not. It’s something to pay attention to along with the health of Aiyuk and Samuel.