29-Year-Old Linebacker – San Francisco 49ers
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
The deal with Bowman is simple: if he's healthy, he's a beast. The 29-year-old has a disturbing recent injury history -- a Week 4 Achilles' tendon tear last year and a multi-ligament tear in his knee ...
NaVorro Bowman Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $44 million contract extension in August of 2016 that will keep him in San Francisco through the 2022 season.
Bowman (Achilles) returned to the field for Wednesday's minicamp workout and ran without any extra support on his reconstructed knee, Cam Inman of The Mercury News reports. "Guys are saying, 'What are you on? How are you moving like this so early?' I've put the work in and I thought God will bless me with a great season this year," Bowman said.
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|2017 Proj||29||SF||Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for NaVorro Bowman|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
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A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
NaVorro Bowman: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Great as Kuechly is, there's a strong case to be made for Bowman as the top-ranked LB. He made an emphatically triumphant 2015 return from the gruesome knee injury suffered in the 2013 playoffs, logging a career-high 154 tackles (116 solo) while playing all 16 games. The reason to think he can match Kuechly this year is simple: coach Chip Kelly's arrival means the 49ers will log more snaps due to his uptempo offense. Bowman did already play a career-high 1,101 snaps last year, ranking ninth among NFL defenders, but Kelly's Eagles had two players around 1,200.
Bowman's ACL/MCL tear from January 2014 kept him out all last season, but his knee should be in good form more than a year and a half later. While Bowman is now healthy, his effectiveness remains to be seen. Bowman was an elite linebacker before the injury, averaging 141 tackles, three sacks and an interception in three seasons prior. If his speed and lateral movement return, Bowman should get plenty of playing time with Pat Willis and Chris Borland retiring. Bowman has major IDP upside if his knee responds.
Bowman recorded his third-straight season with at least 135 tackles, and 2013 was his best in the NFL, finishing with 145 tackles, including 120 solo stops, five sacks, two interceptions and four forced fumbles. He'd be a top IDP pick if he hadn't suffered a torn ACL in the NFC championship game, which is expected to keep him out of training camp, and likely a spot on the PUP list to start the season. If that does happen, he will be ineligible to play the first six weeks of the season, grealty reducing his season-long totals.
It seemed like an unfathomable suggestion just two years ago, but Bowman appears to have surpassed Patrick Willis as the top fantasy producer on the 49ers defense. The Penn State product entered his second season as a starter in 2012, finishing with 143 stops (92 solo) after totaling 136 tackles (107 solo) in his first year as a starter in 2011. With those two entries on his résumé, Bowman looks like a near lock to finish among the league's top-five tacklers as long as he plays a full season. Although he's an elite talent in his own right, that Bowman is surrounded by other great players means opponents can't single him out in the game plan. And Bowman almost never leaves the field – he logged 1,007 snaps on defense last year despite playing on a unit that often made quick work of opposing offenses.
Bowman couldn’t have been much better in his first season as a starter in 2011, as his 143 tackles ranked seventh in the league, and his 111 solo stops ranked second. Bowman was one of the primary contributors in a historically great San Francisco run defense last year, and he was only 22 years old. It’s reasonable to expect improvement in 2012, particularly in the sack and interception categories. Bowman has the athleticism of a defensive back and figures to be more disruptive in coverage and as a pass rusher this season. It’s less likely that Bowman will improve his tackle total, however, as 143 is a high bar, particularly given that he’s competing with Patrick Willis for tackles in a defense that doesn’t spend much time on the field. Bowman has an extremely high floor, in any case, because offenses will forever be more worried about Willis and the Smiths than him.
Bowman will start at inside linebacker. He could provide IDP value by racking up tackles playing next to Patrick Willis.
Bowman is a skilled rookie who will likely back up veteran Takeo Spikes at inside linebacker in anticipation of becoming a starter in 2011.