Vance McDonald Likes Gabbert’s Arm E-I-E-I-O

Sep 7, 2016

Vance McDonald
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Vance McDonald is a popular tight end sleeper heading into the season. In part because the San Francisco 49ers have a shortage of pass-catching talent and in part because Blaine Gabbert doesn’t have the big arm to stretch the field.
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Anquan Boldin  left for Detroit leaving Torrey Smith as the returning leading receiver for the 49ers with 33 receptions for 663 yards and four touchdowns. He’s not really a great fit for Gabbert’s skillset. Bruce Ellington (hamstring) is shut down for the year. Quinton Patton and Jeremy Kerley are far from reliable fantasy options.
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That leaves McDonald because Gabbert is going to have to throw the ball to somebody. Vance tied for third (with Patton) with 30 receptions last year while finishing fourth with 326 yards and tied for third (with Garrett Celek) with three touchdown catches. At 6’4 and 267 pounds McDonald is a solid option for Gabbert working the middle of the field.
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He did have relative success with Gabbert at the helm. From Week 11-17 McDonald caught 21 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns. He did miss Week 14, but in the final six games he played, McDonald averaged 3.5 catches for 43.7 yards and 0.5 touchdowns.
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Not exactly TE1 numbers, but certainly worthy of TE2 numbers if he can maintain similar production. I have him inside the top 20 for Week 1 and just outside of the TE2 range for the year.
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Keep him in mind should you suffer an injury or need a bye-week fill-in.
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