Purdy is recovering from an elbow injury and as of the time of publication, his Week 1 status is uncertain. We view Purdy as a low-end No. 2 QB who should only be rostered in redraft if you are allowed to start more than one quarterback. Then again, he has surprised us before. The former Mr. Irrelevant threw multiple touchdown passes in each of his last six regular season games as a rookie. He also topped 234 yards just once in those games. There is some risk that Trey Lance wins the job or that Purdy is unable to get healthy in time for Week 1, so make sure you draft another solid starter if Purdy is your No. 2 in Superflex. If he locks up the job and starts hot, his Dynasty value will skyrocket.
Purdy was one of the biggest surprises of 2022, going from Mr. Irrelevant to 49ers starter.
He played efficient real-life football in eight full games and even scored as a top-10 fantasy QB over that span.
But Purdy suffered a serious right elbow injury in the NFC Championship that required surgery. He was surprisingly cleared for the start of training camp, though, and is the favorite to be the 49ers' Week 1 starter.
Barring a setback with that elbow, Purdy will have some lower-end QB2 appeal given the 49ers’ top-notch weapons and HC Kyle Shanahan’s QB-friendly scheme.
What We Learned Last YearPurdy was 2022’s Mr. Irrelevant: The very last pick of the NFL Draft.He saw significant playing time across all four of his seasons at Iowa State, recording a career 67.7% completion rate, 8.3 yards per attempt, and an 81-to-33 TD:INT ratio.Purdy opened last season third on the 49ers’ depth chart. But QB Trey Lance went down with a season-ending ankle injury in Week 2, and QB Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a foot injury early in Week 13.Over the next eight games (including San Francisco’s first two playoff games), Purdy averaged 231.8 passing yards and 2.0 passing TDs.His scoring average in those eight games would have ranked ninth among fantasy QBs on the season.Purdy completed 66.8% of his passes and averaged 8.4 yards per attempt in those eight games. Those marks would have ranked ninth and second among all QBs.Purdy ranked 13th in Pro Football Focus passing grade among 41 QBs with 150+ dropbacks last year.He tore the UCL in his right elbow in the NFC Championship. He eventually had surgery in early March. The 49ers said at that time that they were expecting to get Purdy back on the field six months after surgery, although HC John Lynch admitted then that there are “a variety of time frames.”What to Expect in 2023Purdy was cleared for the start of training camp on July 25. He'll be on a pitch count to start, but the 49ers are hoping he's ready to throw without restriction by mid-August.The 49ers return former third overall pick Trey Lance and signed Sam Darnold to a one-year deal in free agency. But the team has said all offseason that Purdy is the “leader in the clubhouse" for the starting job.Purdy will be back in HC Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers have been a run-leaning attack under Shanahan, ranking bottom-7 in pass attempts in three of the last four seasons, including each of the last two.But the passing games have been efficient, finishing top-11 in yards per attempt in five straight seasons, including three top-four finishes. The Niners have ranked between 12th and 15th in total passing yards in five straight seasons.Overall, though, it hasn’t been a great spot for fantasy production. Here’s where the 49ers have ranked in total QB fantasy points under Shanahan:2017: 17th2018: 20th2019: 22nd2020: 26th2021: 13th2022: 12thRB Christian McCaffrey, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Brandon Aiyuk, and TE George Kittle all return. It’s one of the better pass-catching corps in the NFL.
Purdy was one of the most surprising Cinderella stories of the 2022 season, going from Mr. Irrelevant (the final pick of the NFL draft) in April to leading his team to the NFC Championship Game in January. Purdy took over as the 49ers' starter in Week 13 and proceeded to toss at least two TDs in seven consecutive games. He ranked 11th in fantasy PPG during the final six weeks of the regular season. There are some concerns here, though, including his low pedigree and small sample of work, as well as very small rushing contributions (34 rushing yards in eight full games). On the other hand, he has offensive guru Kyle Shanahan calling the plays and a terrific group of targets. Purdy will start for the 49ers, though if he struggles, Sam Darnold is waiting in the wings. Consider Purdy a late-round sleeper.