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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Vance McDonald in Week 3?

So far this season, Vance McDonald has lived up to all the pre-season hype that surrounded him or has he? He’s rewarded owners so far through two weeks as he has scored in both of the 49ers’ first two contests, but his productivity might just be a mirage, especially when it comes to his week three opponent. Find out below if he should be included or not in your Week 3 Fantasy Football lineup.

McDonald’s overall fantasy stats are impressive: 89 yards and two touchdowns in two games is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider the tight end landscape. However, there are a couple of concerning things to take into account here. First, McDonald has only three receptions on the year. Three! And two of them were for scores. That 66.7% touchdown rate is flat out non-sustainable at all. The second issue is tied into the first. Only five targets for the potential breakout tight end. Five targets put him behind the running back, Carlos Hyde, who has six targets. That’s not a sustainable model for success. Do you want to hear a bit more about a non-sustainable success model?

That play right there. Seventy-five yards and a touchdown from a tight end, not exactly what you would expect or even regularly see. Now, I don’t want to disparage the play. It was a good throw from Gabbert; McDonald torched Luke Keuchly, and that was a low block by Quinton Patton. But that play was the only catch Gabbert had week two and represents over 84% of his yardage total on the season. It significantly inflated his numbers from last week in what probably should have been a pretty pedestrian day for him.

Oh, and the reason he only had one catch? His other target clanged off his hands as he was wide open. His hands were always an impediment to his breakout, and they appear to be still working against him.

So all that wasn’t enough to convince you to sit McDonald? Well, consider his opponent, the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks/49ers rivalry was supposed to be one for the ages before everybody retired and Jim Harbaugh was shown the door. Ever since Levi’s Stadium has opened, the Seahawks have dominated the 49ers in every aspect of the game. And that isn’t likely to change on Sunday, at least on the defensive side of the ball.

They’re schemed better, and their defensive talent straight out mismatches the 49ers’ offensive talent across the board. They’ve also allowed fewer yards to tight ends all season than McDonald got on his fluky touchdown pass last week. You don’t want to count on that again this week. Leave him out of your fantasy football lineup.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]