30-Year-Old Tight End – San Francisco 49ers
2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Davis rebounded from his head-scratching underuse in 2012 to tie his career high in touchdowns last season and total his most receiving yards in four years. The increased production was in part a resu...
Vernon Davis Contract Information:
Signed a five-year, $37 million contract extension with $23 million guaranteed with the 49ers in September 2010.
Davis had no catches on two targets in Sunday's loss to the Seahawks.
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|Receiving||Rec Distance||Big Rec Games||Rushing||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2014 Proj||30||SF||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Vernon Davis|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs|
|2014 Proj||30||SF||Subscribe now to see our 2014 projections for Vernon Davis|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Receiving||Rec Distance||Rushing||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Targets||Red Zone Runs|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Vernon Davis: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Davis is not only one of the league's most athletic tight ends – he's one of its most athletic players. Davis has the speed (4.38 40) of an elite wide receiver, yet he's as big and strong as a linebacker. The size and speed combination makes him an almost impossible matchup – Davis averaged 9.0 YPT, second highest among starting tight ends. Coach Jim Harbaugh's explanation for Davis' criminal underuse during the last two regular seasons is that Davis is the primary focus for opponents. That will especially be the case this year after Michael Crabtree suffered what could be a season-ending Achilles' tendon injury in minicamp. Without Crabtree, Davis likely will see more targets, but unless defenses sell out to stop Colin Kaepernick’s read-option, Davis figures to be blanketed most games. Keep in mind, however, that Kaepernick has the arm strength to get the ball to Davis further down the field and in tighter spaces than the more conservative Alex Smith ever did.
Davis saw two more targets and caught 11 more passes last year than in 2010, yet his yardage dropped by 122, and he had one fewer touchdown. Much of the difference appears to stem from his yards after catch, which dropped from a position-high 457 in 2010 to 346 last season (7th). Perhaps defenses devoted more coverage his way. Or maybe he ran more routes to the sidelines … or maybe it was just a coincidence. It’s a bit perplexing, especially considering his 292-yard performance on 10 catches in the playoffs, which included 119 YAC. Inside the red zone, Davis’ targets dropped to nine (from 13) thanks in part to the 17 targets that went Michael Crabtree’s way. Davis is still arguably the most durable tight end in the league, playing a full 16-game slate each of the last four seasons. And he fits the definition of a “physical freak” with the complete package of size, speed and agility. But despite all his talent, keep in mind he’s never had a 1,000-yard season, which makes his ceiling somewhat limited. The 49ers’ receiving corps also figures to be the deepest Davis has seen since he entered the league, with Crabtree coming off a 72-catch season and the addition of Mario Manningham (and Randy Moss is attempting a comeback too).
It was too much to expect Davis to repeat his 130 targets from his 2009 breakout season, but even though he had 37 fewer looks his production was still impressive, more so considering San Francisco's spotty quarterback play. At 6-3, 250, Davis remains one of the league's most athletic tight ends. In fact, he might be the perfect combination of strength, size and speed for the position. Linebackers are no match for his quickness, and he’s big enough to outmuscle smaller corners and safeties. These advantages resulted in a tight-end-leading 16.3 YPC. Davis did much of the work himself, using his athleticism to make defenders miss for a position-leading 457 YAC – half of his receiving yards. He led all tight ends with 16 receptions of 20-plus yards, showing his ability to stretch the defense and make plays downfield. While Michael Crabtree (100 targets) stole some of Davis' opportunities, Davis received 13 red-zone targets for the third time in four years, helping him score seven touchdowns, fifth among tight ends. Davis is also durable, playing every game the last three seasons. Alex Smith returns at quarterback after signing a one-year deal and Davis will be a top option in the passing game, especially from in close.
Last season was a tale of two quarterbacks for Davis, who thrived after Alex Smith took over for Shaun Hill. Through the first five weeks of the season playing with Hill under center, Davis saw only one target inside the 10 yard-line and three touchdowns. Over the last 11 games with Smith at the helm, Davis was targeted eight times inside the 10 and scored 10 touchdowns, including in six of the final seven games. Another advantage of Smith was his ability to get Davis the ball down field. After catching one target of 25-plus yards from Hill, Davis caught seven 25-plus-yard targets from Smith, turning three of those into receptions of 40-plus yards. If you extrapolate his averages with Smith over a 16-week season, Davis would end up with about 70 more yards and one or two more scores. His 13 touchdowns last year tied Antonio Gates’ record for most touchdowns in a season by a tight end, and his 174.5 fantasy points led all tight ends. He was one of only three tight ends with at least 130 targets.
Davis’ athleticism is off the charts. The fastest player on the San Francisco roster, Davis ran a 4.38 40-yard dash as a rookie at the NFL scouting combine, yet at 6-3, 253, he’s still big enough to take on linebackers. Only 26, Davis will have a full offseason to practice with Smith, which should improve their already stellar chemistry.
Davis’ production dropped off across the board in 2008 – with two less touchdowns and 21 fewer receptions than the previous season, despite playing in two more games. On a positive note, his offensive coordinator, Jimmy Raye, has publicly stated he expects Davis to be “a major part of what we do.” Davis’ talent has never been in question, as he used his athleticism to record two catches of more than 40 yards last year, the only tight end to do so. He’ll also head into the season with arguably the best quarterback he’s had in San Francisco with Shaun Hill calling the signals.
Davis has suffered through leg and knee injuries, which limited his production during his first two seasons. Perhaps more limiting, however, has been the team's poor quarterback play. Despite those obstacles, Davis managed to finish 14th with 74.9 fantasy points last season. Davis has good size and phenomenal speed for the position, and he should see more opportunities in 2008 as San Francisco brought in offensive coordinator Mike Martz to invigorate the passing game. Martz promises to use Davis creatively – including lining him up in the slot and out wide at times.
Davis, who missed a big chunk of last season with a broken fibula, likely will become a bigger part of the 49ers offense in 2007, especially with Eric Johnson no longer around. Even though the 49ers added Darrell Jackson to bolster their receiving corps, Davis ran inside and outside routes during May minicamp, suggesting he could line up at wideout this season. His 13.3 yards per catch last season would have been good for third at the position had his 20 catches qualified him among the league leaders. Davis had 42 targets last season, with half of those coming in the last four weeks when he was finally healthy.
Selected sixth overall in the 2006 NFL draft, Davis will compete with Eric Johnson for the starting tight end job, and both likely will have value. At rookie mini-camps, Davis split out wide in some formations and will do so during the regular season. There is little in the way of competition at wideout, so we’re likely to see both Davis and Johnson get extensive opportunities. Davis, who goes 6-3, 254 with blazing 4.38 speed, should be a very difficult matchup for opposing defenses, but the Niners’ offense as a whole needs to improve, or red zone opportunities could be few and far between.