Vernon Davis has been set free.
After spending his first nine seasons in San Francisco, Davis will finish his tenth as a Denver Bronco. The 49ers will receive a sixth-round picks in 2016 and 2017, and the Broncos will also receive a 7th round pick in 2016.
Davis has just 18 catches this season, and missed two weeks with a knee injury. But he’s not far off from a 13 TD season in 2013, and has suffered through inconsistent quarterback play his entire decade in the Bay.
Lack of production aside, Vernon Davis is a freak athlete who will cause matchup problems. For Denver it’s not the perfect replacement for Julius Thomas, who left in free agency, but it’s pretty close. Peyton Manning will find a way to get Davis the ball, plain and simple. For all the questioning surrounding Manning’s arm, he sure looked fine torching the Packers earlier this week.
Davis presents a unique fantasy option for owners who are eyeing the postseason. It’s likely we won’t see production from him for at least a few weeks, so he’s not as big a space-filler as say, DeAngelo Williams will be this week. But if you don’t own Rob Gronkowski, Vernon Davis could end up being the next best thing by season’s end. It’s not easy to get consistent production from that position, and any target of Peyton Manning is worth having on your roster. It’s not unrealistic to think that Davis could end up with 50 catches and five touchdowns by season’s end.