Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


PFF on 49ers: 3 players to build around, power rankings, 2021 season odds

Jul 13, 2021 at 6:47 AM--


Pro Football Focus published several articles with some telling information on the analytics site's perception of the San Francisco 49ers in 2021. Let's quickly run through each of the topics.

Three Players to Build Around

Analyst Ben Linsey named three players to build around for each NFL team as it prepares for the 2021 season. They were tight end George Kittle, rookie quarterback Trey Lance, and third-year pass rusher Nick Bosa for the Niners.

Omitted from the list is linebacker Fred Warner. Linsey admits that was a difficult choice. The decision came down to Bosa versus Warner, and the analyst couldn't ignore the former's impact as a rookie. Despite Bosa missing most of last season due to a torn ACL, Linsey believes he will once again be a dominating force in 2021.

As for the other two selections...

"Lance's combination of rare physical tools and intelligence bodes well for his future in Kyle Shanahan's offense, even if the accuracy isn't fully there yet," wrote Linsey. "It also helps that Lance will have one of the few true difference-makers at tight end at his disposal as he makes the transitions into a starting role. Kittle is capable of winning as a receiver from any alignment and adding value as an inline blocker. He's the highest-graded tight end in the league since 2018 (93.4)."

Power Rankings

Pro Football Focus released its latest power rankings with the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers listed at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. The 49ers come in at No. 9, making the Bay Area squad the fifth-highest ranked NFC team. Only the Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers (assuming Aaron Rodgers plays), Los Angeles Rams, and Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints rank higher.

Pro Football Focus also lists left tackle Trent Williams as the team's highest-graded player and projects about a one percent probability that San Francisco will win Super Bowl LVI. More on that below.

2021 Season Odds

Pro Football Focus simulated the 2021 season 10,000 times utilizing its own PFF Elo rating system, PFF grades, and available market data. From that, the analytics site was able to assign various odds for the upcoming season.

How did the 49ers fare? While oddsmakers have San Francisco and the Los Angeles Rams even with the same odds of winning the NFC West, Pro Football Focus' exercise gives every other team within the division better chances. The projection has San Francisco with a 17.3 percent chance to win the NFC West. Los Angeles owns a 32.1 percent chance, the Seattle Seahawks a 31.5 percent chance, and the Arizona Cardinals a 19.1 percent chance.

Pro Football Focus puts the 49ers' average wins at 8.3 games, their chances of returning to the Super Bowl at 3.4 percent, and their chances of winning the big game at 1.4 percent.

The team with the best chance to end up on top is the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers.





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