If we are being honest, it’s going to be a long season for the San Francisco 49ers as they have a win total of just 5 at Bookmaker. …But training camp and the preseason is a time for optimism, so at least there are two teams with lower projected win totals: NY Jets (3.5) and Cleveland (4.5). San Francisco doesn’t face either AFC team.
And this could be a fantastic season to be bad with an expected bumper crop of franchise quarterbacks available at the top of the 2018 draft, led by USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen. That’s if the 49ers don’t sign Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency – assuming Washington doesn’t franchise Cousins for a third straight offseason. It’s widely known that Cousins thinks very highly (and vice versa) of San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan, who was Cousins’ former offensive coordinator with the Redskins.
So while it’s a rebuilding season with the 49ers, could a player win some sort of individual honor? It’s a bit of a stretch to see Brian Hoyer leading the NFL in touchdown passes or passing yards as he’s a journeyman and likely will be eventually replaced this year by C.J. Beathard so Shanahan and GM John Lynch can see what the third-round rookie out of Iowa can do in games that count. Hoyer is part of the field to lead the league in passing yards at +2650.
The NFL betting favorite on that prop is the Saints’ Drew Brees at +350. He has won the passing title a record seven times overall. Cousins is +1200 and San Francisco visits his Redskins on Oct. 15. On the passing touchdowns, the favorites are Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers (+350), New England’s Tom Brady (+380) and Brees (+400). The 49ers won’t face any of those three. Hoyer is part of the field here at +2000.
To lead the NFL in receiving yards, Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Atlanta’s Julio Jones are co-favorites at +350. They are widely considered the best two receivers in the league. The 49ers won’t face either of them, but will see the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. (+600) in Week 10. Any 49ers receivers (Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, etc.) are part of the field at +2007 on this prop at A+ sportsbook Bookmaker.
For the most rushing yards in 2017, Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell is +280 followed by Arizona’s David Johnson (+350) and Miami’s Jay Ajayi (+500). Oddsmakers don’t much care that Bell is holding out because the Steelers franchise tagged him. Could he be a 49ers free-agent target next offseason? The Niners will visit Johnson’s Cardinals in Week 4 and host them in Week 9. Johnson had 212 yards (his most vs. any team) on 46 carries and three TDs against San Francisco last year. The 49ers’ Carlos Hyde is part of the field at +800 on this prop.
Johnson is +300 to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns with Bell at +500 and Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy at +700. Johnson had 16 rushing scores in 2016, second most to former Patriot LeGarrette Blount’s 18. Blount is now with the Eagles. Hyde is +1200 as part of the field here and had a career-high six rushing scores last year.
Finally, Shanahan is +3300 to win NFL Coach of the Year. The 49ers have had two winners of the award and it’s the two guys one would expect: Bill Walsh in 1981 and Jim Harbaugh in 2011. San Francisco likely would have to finish at least .500 this year for Shanahan to have a shot.