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Ranking the top 10 players halfway through 2018

SANTA CLARA, CA – NOVEMBER 01: George Kittle #85 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with Pierre Garcon #15 after a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Levi’s Stadium on November 1, 2018 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Niner Noise takes a look at the entirety of the San Francisco 49ers roster halfway through the 2018 and ranks the top 10 players on either side of the ball.

While a 2-7 start over the first half of the 2018 season is nothing to brag about, the San Francisco 49ers have certainly shared a good number of feel-good stories and performances between Weeks 1 through 9.

Granted, injuries have been one of the dominating factors for the Niners all year. Season-ending losses to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon just highlight the many problems head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. have had to deal with.

Setbacks like those injuries have forced Shanahan to admit 2018 is still about the rebuild. But with the rebuild comes those storylines — the essential discovery of building-block pieces around which the team can continue to improve between now and whenever San Francisco begins to contend again.

Let’s focus on those players and stories at the halfway point.

In this slideshow, Niner Noise ranks the top 10 49ers players over the first half of 2018. To establish some criteria, this ranking will be judged by the following:

  • A player needs to have played in at least six of the Niners’ nine games.
  • Said player needs to have seen at least 50 percent of his unit’s snaps.
  • Special consideration will be given to special awards in season.
  • There will be a combination of traditional stats and analytics.
  • Our own judgment… because that’s what we’re doing here.

So, sorry, fans of quarterback Nick Mullens. Despite his heroics in San Francisco’s Week 9 dominant win over the Oakland Raiders, the second-year signal-caller hasn’t exactly accumulated enough games or snaps to qualify.

OK, let’s kick this thing off… literally. With punter Bradley Pinion.

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