Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

SI lists 49ers WR Dante Pettis among its early 2019 fantasy football breakout candidates

Jun 11, 2019 at 8:57 AM--

Sports Illustrated continues its look at fantasy football gems for the upcoming season. The site's fantasy sports editor, Michael Beller, last week listed San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida among his early fantasy football sleepers.

Beller's latest installment lists early 2019 fantasy football breakout candidates and, once again, a 49ers player made the list. His list contains players who are already known among the fantasy football community.

"What makes them breakout candidates is the plausible chance that they will reach new heights this season, and then be good bets to remain there for the foreseeable future," writes Beller.

Which 49ers player is on the list? Second-year wide receiver Dante Pettis. Much of the reasoning behind the selection has to do with the situation in which Pettis finds himself. Kyle Shanahan is his head coach, and Jimmy Garoppolo will be throwing him the football.

Beller notes that the 49ers finished with the No. 16 overall offense in 2018. Most of that was without Garoppolo, who is expected to be the Week 1 starter this season. The team also added Tevin Coleman to a running back group that will be getting back Jerick McKinnon and already had Breida.

Beller wrote the following about Pettis:

"The team whiffed on its pursuits of Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown, leaving last year's group of receivers mostly intact. Of that group, Pettis is easily the most promising. A second-round pick in the 2018 draft, Pettis played only sparingly the first half of the season. Going into the team's 10th game, he had just eight targets. Over its next six, he got 37 looks, pulling down 24 of them for 371 yards and four touchdowns. That comes out to a 16-game pace of 64 catches for 989 yards and 11 scores. And remember, he did all of that with Nick Mullens at the helm. No offense to Mullens, who did a great job with the hand he was dealt, but clearly Garoppolo has more upside and can take the offense to a new level."

Beller isn't the only one expecting big things this season from Pettis.

"I have big expectations for Dante," Shanahan said in February. "We did before we drafted him. We had it throughout this year, and we expect him to continue to get better. I think he went through the normal rookie-type ups and downs that a lot of them do as receivers.

"He came in strong in training camp, got a little banged up but was healthy enough for Week 1; did well Week 2. I think he had a touchdown in Week 1. Week [4], he got an injury that kind of set him back. He didn't get right until about Week 12. Then he finished the year very strong. He finished the year up probably as our best guy."

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