The undefeated San Francisco 49ers are preparing for their Week 7 matchup against the 4-2 Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium. On Tuesday, the team made headlines with their trade for Denver Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders. General manager John Lynch surrendered third- and fourth-round picks in the 2020 draft in exchange for Sanders and a fifth-round pick. It’s a trade clearly aimed at providing the 49ers with another impact player on offense to make their push into the postseason.
Let’s take a look at the weekly stock report for the 49ers after their Week 6 win over Washington and the trade for Sanders:
Stock up: WR Emmanuel Sanders
From the bottom of the barrel to playoff aspirations. Sanders is leaving the 2-5 Broncos to join the 6-0 49ers. The Denver wideout is going from the 25th-ranked Broncos offense to the seventh-ranked 49ers. San Francisco averages an 11th-best 26 points per game to the Broncos’ 16, ranking 29th. There isn’t any angle the trade isn’t an upgrade for Sanders. Even the 49ers’ unspectacular passing attack ranks one spot ahead of the Broncos. Sanders will be the clear No. 1 receiver in Kyle Shanahan’s offense and should see a similar target share to tight end George Kittle.
Stock down: Every other receiver
The opportunity has been there through the first six games for other wideouts in Shanahan’s offense to emerge as the go-to target for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. None of them were able to show enough to keep the 49ers from pursuing options elsewhere. Sanders will immediately take on the impact that was meant for the likes of Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, or Marquise Goodwin. All of those receivers will still get their chances, but the opportunity to thrive this season will continue to shrink as Sanders commands more of a target share and builds chemistry with Garoppolo.
Stock up: Grit
The Mud Bowl, as cornerback Richard Sherman coined it, was one of the messiest games the NFL has seen in years. It was a disappointing turn of events for Shanahan, who undoubtedly looked forward to unleashing the 49ers offense and defense on his former team. Instead, the stifling rain and mud gave the 49ers a chance to showcase a grit we’ve yet to see from this team in 2019. The offense did what it took to put nine points on the board, despite the difficulties both running and throwing. The defense recoiled a bit in the opening drive, but blasted Washington for the rest of the game, allowing just 36 yards in the second half en route to a shutout. We’ve all seen the photos of a mud-covered guard Mike Person, a perfect summary of both the game and the gritty quality the 49ers showed on Sunday.
Stock down: Run game
This one comes with an asterisk given the conditions the 49ers experienced on Sunday. On the other hand, Washington was the second consecutive week that Shanahan’s rushing attack was stuffed, especially when compared to the success over the first four games. Over their last two contests, the 49ers have been held to just 2.9 yards per carry on the ground. They averaged 5.1 yards per carry the previous four games combined. The rushing offense actually performed better in the rain and mud than they did against the Rams the week prior. The addition of Sanders should open up the offense, creating additional space for Shanahan’s rushing attack, but their decline over the past couple weeks is worth keeping an eye on.
Stock up: No. 2 overall
Nick Bosa capped off the 49ers’ Week 6 shutout with a sack on Washington quarterback Case Keenum as time expired. He also added four tackles for loss and seven total tackles, leading the defense. The 49ers’ prized rookie is playing like one the NFL’s best pass rushers through the first six games. ESPN listed Bosa as the NFL’s most disruptive player through Week 7, logging a quarterback pressure, hurry or sack on 24% of pass-rush snaps. That essentially means Bosa is in the backfield once every four downs, which is almost laughable. Pro Football Focus also basks up ESPN’s findings, with Bosa leading all pass rushers in their productivity metric.