On the same day that saw the end of an era for one quarterback in New York, a new era might be beginning in San Francisco. On Tuesday, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will start in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.
Just over a month after San Francisco traded its 2018 second-round pick to the New England Patriots for Garoppolo, he will now make his first start in Shanahan's offense. The team brought Garoppolo along slowly, with Shanahan's desire to let him adjust and learn the rather complicated playbook and system that Shanahan uses.
However, the 49ers were forced to accelerate their plans for Garoppolo after quarterback C.J. Beathard suffered a leg injury and Garoppolo took the field for three plays. On the final play of the game, Garoppolo threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Louis Murphy as the clock expired. While it didn't change the outcome of the game, it served as a bolt of energy for a fan base that desperately needed it.
Now under center, Garoppolo's arrival also provides a boost for fantasy football players. Carlos Hyde, who emerged as the center of San Francisco's offense, would see a nice boost to his stock in a season where he already is putting up great numbers. Hyde is 12th in the league in rushing yards (639), eighth amongst running backs with 130-plus carries in yards per rush (4.1) and is third amongst running backs in targets (73).
While the upgrade at quarterback might mean a slight drop in targets, Hyde should continue to see six-plus targets a game and the passes should be more accurate coming from Garoppolo's arm than Beathard. Pair that with a greater respect opposing defenses will need to give to San Francisco's passing attack, with Marquise Goodwin as an excellent deep threat who can get open down the field, it should open a few more lanes for Hyde. In PPR leagues, Hyde is now locked in as a top-12 running back moving forward.
At wide receiver, Goodwin should see a slight boost as well. Garoppolo showed in spot starts and appearances in his career that he can put good touch on the deep ball and that will only help Goodwin's chances for success.
As for Garoppolo, he should be a fringe top-20 quarterback going forward. Shanahan is one of the game's best offensive minds and with a month to work with Garoppolo and mold his quarterback of the future, he should put him in position to post some quality numbers over the remainder of the season. There will be some rough moments, but the remaining weeks will help Garoppolo learn Shanahan's offense and build momentum for the team going forward.