San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo injured his thumb in a loss to the Tennessee Titans in Week 16. He missed Week 17, and many expected him to miss more time than that. Ultimately, he returned, but he’s been dealing with the injury ever since. Is Garoppolo playing against the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Conference Championship, and what can fantasy football managers expect from the QB?
Jimmy Garoppolo’s 2021 production
Garoppolo has seen mixed results throughout the 2021 season. He’s thrown for 4,113 yards with 20 touchdowns and 14 interceptions over 17 games. He has added 52 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground, although he’s also fumbled 8 times, losing 3.
Garoppolo had a great stretch in the middle of the year. He threw 2 touchdowns in five of six games from Weeks 9-14. Yet, he did throw 4 interceptions over that span.
Garoppolo has struggled since that Week 16 game against Tennessee. Over his last four contests, he’s averaged 235.3 yards, 0.5 touchdowns, and 1.5 interceptions per game.
The 49ers QB hasn’t thrown for more than 175 yards in either of his playoff games this year. Furthermore, he’s yet to throw for a touchdown in the postseason while tossing an interception in each matchup.
How would his absence affect the 49ers’ offense?
Although Garoppolo hasn’t thrown well in the playoffs, the 49ers’ offense would drastically change if he were out. Trey Lance would take over as the starting option, taking a significantly more run-heavy approach.
In his Week 17 start, Lance recorded only 23 pass attempts against the Houston Texans. He toted the rock 8 times, while Elijah Mitchell recorded 21 rushing attempts.
Lance also saw 16 carries with 29 pass attempts in a start against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5. He becomes a complete focal point of the offense, as Lance has the potential to siphon carries from the running backs.
Ultimately, San Francisco’s offense would run through Lance, Mitchell, and Deebo Samuel. The trio could hurt their ceilings as they all contribute on the ground. Other options, including Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle, could lose value as well.
Will Garoppolo play vs. the Rams this week?
Garoppolo described his thumb injury as a constant throbbing pain that he’s managing. He missed the 49ers’ Week 17 game against the Texans but did return in a must-win bout against the Rams in Week 18. Garoppolo also played a full amount of snaps in San Francisco’s first two playoff games. He practiced in full every day this week and will continue to play through the injury.
Are fantasy points available vs. Los Angeles?
Fantasy points will be relatively difficult to come by for Jimmy G this week. The Rams are only allowing 16.1 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, ranking 21st in the NFL.
The 49ers want to focus on their run game, allowing Mitchell and Samuel to take over. Garoppolo looked terrible in each of his first two starts in the playoffs, and those struggles could continue.
Although he threw for 316 yards against Los Angeles in their last contest, Garoppolo recorded only 1 touchdown with 2 interceptions. He posted 182 yards and 2 scores on only 19 attempts in their first matchup, though.
I’m expecting this one to be closer to their Week 18 bout, with Garoppolo barely moving the needle in fantasy.