According to David Lombardi of the Athletic, San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jalen Hurd is expected to play the big slot role this season.
Having a healthy Jalen Hurd available to create mismatches as a big slot receiver would be a major boost to a San Francisco 49ers offense that will be without Deebo Samuel for at least four weeks of the season. A productive running back at Tennessee before switching to slot wide receiver after transferring to Baylor, Hurd will be stepping into a position that accounted for a combined 78 receptions for seven touchdowns in 2019. With the 49ers top slot receiver Emmanuel Sanders now in New Orleans, Hurd seeing snaps as the big slot could be a short and long term fantasy boost for the potential late round lottery ticket on a team expected to start Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk on the outside (when healthy) for years to come.
Raheem Mostert's agent tweeted the following on Wednesday afternoon: "After months of unproductive talks with the 49ers about fairly adjusting Raheem Mostert's contract (which paid him for special teams) we have requested a trade. Disappointing that it would come to this for a guy who led all NFL RBs in YPC & helped lead them to the Super Bowl."
Mostert was slated to play a major role in the San Francisco backfield this fall so if he actually does end up getting traded it would have serious fantasy implications. Tevin Coleman would stand to receive a huge boost in workload and value if Mostert is playing for another team before Week 1. It's unclear what kind of compensation the 49ers will be looking for to move Mostert. He flashed big play ability last season but has a limited track record and scary injury history. If Mostert is moved, the fantasy-friendly running game in San Francisco would make Coleman a fascinating RB2 with RB1 upside.
The NFL and the NFLPA have begun discussions on player opt-outs for the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The report notes that both the league and union anticipate that an opt-out option will be available to players. The deadline for opting out has not been agreed upon, and the report also notes that any tolling of player contracts for opting out has yet to be discussed.
It is too early to know if any fantasy relevant players will be opting out this season, but it is fair to assume that if opt-outs are allowed at least some players will exercise that ability. Numerous players have opted out of the MLB and NBA restarts. Depending on the names that exercise an opt-out, the pandemic could have a huge influence on the fantasy landscape for 2020. With training camps set to open in less than three weeks, the league and union have plenty of issues to sort through in a short period of time before the players take the field to prepare for a new season.