Richie James

Richie James

Wide Receiver #82
Team: San Francisco 49ers
Ht / Wt:5'10" / 183 lb.
Born:September 5, 1995
Drafted:2018 / Rd. 7 (240)
Draft Team:SF

Richie James: Mainly used on special teams

James had six receptions for 160 yards and a touchdown in 2019, spending most of his time as a return man for the 49ers.

Analysis: James totaled 428 kick return yards and 264 punt return yards for leagues that account for those statistics. Outside of that, the speedy wideout was mainly used for the occasional deep shot, resulting in minimal fantasy value at best. James is under contract for next season, and will likely have to re-earn his spot on the 53-man roster with Trent Taylor likely to return healthy at the start of the 2020 campaign.

January 2, 2020 2:36 PM EST

Richie James: Huge kick return Saturday

James ripped off an 81-yard kickoff return but did not receive a target on offense in Saturday's 34-31 win over the Rams.

Analysis: James made his mark on special teams with a season-high 81-yard kickoff return on the the 49ers' first drive of the game. The second-year wideout continues to serve as the team's fourth receiver, averaging 7.4 offensive snaps but receiving no targets over his last five contests. In fact, he has just six catches on the season, but has gained 165 yards (27.5 yards per reception) with those limited touches. James can't be relied upon in his current role heading into the final week of the regular season.

December 22, 2019 3:53 PM EST

Richie James: Plays three snaps Sunday

James only played three snaps in Sunday's 29-22 loss to the Falcons.

Analysis: James sits at the bottom of San Francisco's wide receiver depth chart, and he will likely remain there barring an injury. His contributions should continue to come mostly on special teams

December 16, 2019 4:22 PM EST

Richie James: Starts, but used sparsely

James technically started Sunday's win over Green Bay, but did not have a target and finished with just 12 snaps on offense.

Analysis: James did not have a target, but did receive a carry for zero yards in addition to his usual duties on special teams. The speedy wideout has been used minimally this season, and that trend figures to continue as Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and George Kittle (knee/ankle) become healthier down the stretch. James is a non-factor heading into Sunday's tilt against the Ravens.

November 25, 2019 12:21 PM EST

Richie James: Sticks to special teams

James did not receive a target in Sunday's 20-7 win over the Rams.

Analysis: James remained exclusive to the special teams unit for the second consecutive week. The 24-year-old may have an opportunity to re-enter the receiving corps after Deebo Samuel (quadriceps) suffered an injury late in this contest. Kendrick Bourne (who had a catch Sunday) could also enter the fray, but neither wideout provides the upside of the receiver they could potentially replace, especially in a run-heavy offense. It's probably safe to leave James on waivers heading into Week 7.

October 14, 2019 1:54 AM EST

Richie James: Plays just six snaps on offense

James was not targeted in Monday's 31-3 win over the Browns.

Analysis: James saw his usage fall off the map, as he was on the field for just eight percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps after receiving at least 35 percent in each of the previous three contests. There wasn't a wideout returning from injury to explain the sudden drop in playing time, so coach Kyle Shanahan simply decided to rely more heavily on his starting trio of Marquise Goodwin, Dante Pettis and Deebo Samuel. James wasn't providing much fantasy value prior to Monday's dud (four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown through four games), and a reduced role further buries the receiver's appeal heading into a Week 6 matchup against the Rams.

October 10, 2019 3:54 AM EST

Richie James: Two catches in win

James caught two passes (three targets) for 22 yards in Sunday's 24-20 win over the Steelers.

Analysis: James saw most of his action from the slot again on Sunday, but was still limited in terms of actual production. The 24-year-old has just four catches through three games, although one of them (a 39-yard touchdown) showcased his big-play ability. James should continue to be worked in sporadically along with his usual return duties after Trent Taylor (foot) was transferred to injured reserve earlier this week.

September 23, 2019 12:39 AM EST

Richie James: Four targets Sunday

James caught one of four targets for seven yards in Sunday's 41-17 win over the Bengals.

Analysis: Deebo Samuel was the wideout receiving all of the headlines for his big game Sunday, but James actually finished third in playing time (46 percent). The 23-year-old continues to occupy the starting slot receiver role until Trent Taylor (foot) returns, but with just two catches through two games, James isn't involved enough to warrant much fantasy consideration.

September 16, 2019 1:39 PM EST

Richie James: Maximizes only catch

James brought in one of two targets for a 39-yard touchdown in the 49ers' 31-17 win over the Buccaneers on Sunday.

Analysis: The 2018 seventh-round pick enjoyed active status with both Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back) sidelined, and he took advantage of his opportunity with a 39-yard touchdown grab to cap off the 49ers' first possession of the second half. James saw action in 13 games last season and has a special-teams role as well, so he should continue filling a role of varying degree each week for the foreseeable future.

September 8, 2019 6:45 PM EST

Richie James: Makes 53-man roster

James was one of seven wide receivers kept on the 53-man roster following Saturday's deadline, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: James' inclusion on the final roster may come as a bit of a surprise given the volume of competition he was facing, but Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd's (back) doubtful tags for Week 1 likely opened a spot for the speedy wideout. The 23-year-old filled in for Taylor as the team's starting slot receiver this preseason, so there is a chance he could go from narrowly making the cut to a potential starting role against the Buccaneers next Sunday. Even if that favorable scenario unfolds, James is too unproven (nine receptions for 130 yards and a touchdown in 2018) to be relied upon right out of the gates.

September 1, 2019 6:33 AM EST

Richie James: Has one catch Thursday

James caught his lone target for seven yards in Thursday's preseason finale against the Chargers.

Analysis: James had his quietest preseason output in the final game of exhibition play. The team has likely seen enough from the second-year wideout to determine his worth to the team. The 23-year-old appears to be on the bubble for a deeper 49er receiving corps in 2019, but if Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back) are forced to miss the start of the season, then James would immediately become the next wideout with the most experience playing slot in this current regime. That said, there are still too many options that appear to be ahead of the 2018 seventh-round pick for him to make a fantasy impact even if he were to survive roster cuts.

August 30, 2019 6:14 AM EST

Richie James: Leads team in receiving

James caught all four of his targets for 66 yards in Saturday's preseason win over Kansas City.

Analysis: James led all 49er wideouts in receptions and yards Saturday, as the team is giving him a good look to determine what role (if any) he will serve this season. The 23-year-old appeared to be on the bubble early this preseason, but Trent Taylor's (thumb) injury could open the door for him to start the year on the 53-man roster. Even if he can't claim Taylor's projected slot role, James would likely have use as a return man if he makes the cut.

August 25, 2019 10:10 PM EST

Richie James: Six catches Saturday

James caught six of seven targets for 31 yards in Saturday's preseason opener against the Cowboys.

Analysis: James led all 49er receivers in targets and receptions, but he was unable to do much with the opportunities. The 23-year-old has an uphill battle if he wants to carve out a role on offense this season after the club used to high draft picks on wideouts. James may have caught a break after projected starting slot receiver Trent Taylor needed to undergo surgery to his foot this weekend. If the latter heals up before the regular season, then James' best shot to make the team will be on special teams.

August 11, 2019 7:52 PM EST

Richie James: Struggles at minicamp

James was outplayed by Trent Taylor during the offseason program, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.

Analysis: With the 49ers using draft picks on Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd, it's hard to see how they'd make space for both James and Taylor on the 53-man roster. There's even a chance both undersized wide receivers might be cut, as the team also two veteran wide receivers -- Kendrick Bourne and Jordan Matthews -- with experience playing from the slot. It sounds like James will need a big summer to stick around on the Week 1 roster, though he might be able to earn a spot strictly on the basis of his work as a return specialist.

June 14, 2019 9:06 AM EST

Richie James: Scores in first NFL start

James had three catches (five targets) for 32 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 48-32 loss to the Rams.

Analysis: James was granted the first start of his career on the last game of the season with Marquise Goodwin (calf) missing the contest and both Pierre Garcon (knee) and Dante Pettis (knee) on injured reserve. The seventh-round pick made the most of his opportunity, playing on every offensive snap (58) and catching his first touchdown pass. James spent most of the year limited to return duties, so it shouldn't be surprising that he finished the season with just nine catches for 130 yards. The biggest takeaway from the rookie's campaign was that he clearly usurped Trent Taylor on the depth chart down the stretch, putting him in a favorable spot to make the team next year in a similar return/reserve wideout role.

December 31, 2018 4:53 PM EST

Richie James: Could get some extra run

James caught his lone target for four yards in Sunday's 14-9 loss to Chicago.

Analysis: James recorded his first catch in four weeks, due in large part to Dante Pettis (knee) going down in the first half. The rookie still saw little usage on offense, but he could vault up to third on the depth chart against the Rams on Sunday if Marquise Goodwin (Achilles) joins Pettis on the sidelines. If that happens, the 49ers will likely add a receiver or two from off the current 53-man roster, but James figures to start ahead of whoever joins the squad.

December 24, 2018 3:27 AM EST

Richie James: Rips off huge touchdown return

James did not receive a target Sunday, but he returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown in a 26-23 win over the Seahawks.

Analysis: James is buried on the receiver depth chart, but he put his athleticism on display with the first special teams score of his career. The rookie will remain in a kickoff-return role for Week 16's matchup with the Bears.

December 17, 2018 6:03 AM EST

Richie James: Demoted from punt return duties

James was not targeted in Sunday's win over Denver, but he muffed a punt return for the second consecutive week.

Analysis: James' inability to secure the ball on punt returns over the past two weeks caused him to be removed from the role mid-game in favor of Trent Taylor. The latter also occupied the rookie's role as fourth wideout on offense, eliminating whatever marginal fantasy value he had developed while filling in for injured starters. With the 49ers' receiving corps getting healthier with each passing week, James can be safely be left out of the fantasy conversation.

December 10, 2018 7:03 AM EST

Richie James: Held catchless in loss

James was unable to haul in either of his two targets in Sunday's 43-16 loss to Seattle.

Analysis: James finished third among San Francisco wideouts with two targets for the second consecutive week, but he was unable to connect with Nick Mullens in this one after tallying 27 yards last week. The speedy wideout was able to rip off 109 yards on four kick returns, but he also lost a fumble in that role. The 49ers are struggling mightily, so James won't create much fantasy buzz even if Marquise Goodwin (personal) and Pierre Garcon (knee) remain sidelined for Week 14's matchup with the Broncos.

December 3, 2018 6:22 AM EST

Richie James: Sees action in losing effort

James caught both of his targets for 27 yards in Sunday's 27-9 loss to Tampa Bay.

Analysis: Dante Pettis and Kendrick Bourne started in place of Marquise Goodwin (personal) and Pierre Garcon (knee), but it was James who was elevated to third on the depth chart in place of usual slot man Trent Taylor. The 2018 seventh-round pick also handled his usual return duties, recording 44 yards on three kick returns and six more yards on two punt returns. The surprising promotion shows the faith that the 49ers have in James, but he should be bumped out of the receiver rotation if Goodwin and Garcon are able to go Sunday against the Seahawks.

November 26, 2018 6:28 AM EST

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