Want to know what a frustrating running back by committee situation looks like numerically? Look no further than the 49ers’ snap counts from their decisive 31-3 victory over the Browns last Monday. For the first time since injuring his ankle in Week 1, Tevin Coleman was active for San Francisco. He didn’t start against Cleveland - that honor went to Matt Breida, who took his team’s first play 83 yards for a touchdown — but Coleman did play 25 offensive snaps. In the end, that was a single snap less than Breida and a single snap more than Raheem Mostert. Sure, you could make the argument that Kyle Shanahan was easing his prize free agent acquisition back into the fold. You could even make the case that Mostert only saw the field as often as he did due to a lopsided game script. However, if one thing about the 49ers system has become clear to this point in the season, it’s this: there is no focal point. The ball is going to be spread around.
Still, that doesn’t mean both Coleman and Breida can’t coexist as viable fantasy assets. You really couldn’t ask for a better set up than what Shanahan’s created in San Francisco. The 49ers run the ball on a league-high 56.6% of their offensive plays, they’re second to only the Rams among NFC teams in red zone scoring opportunities per game (4.2), and, most importantly, the duo get to run behind a behemoth of an offensive line. San Francisco is averaging an eye-popping and NFL-best 5.40 adjusted line yards per carry through four games. That figure is three tenths of a yard more than anyone else in football and makes them one of just five squads putting up more than five yards per attempt. Ailments to Mike McGlinchey and Kyle Juszczyk can’t be taken lightly, yet I’d continue to have faith in this unit achieving success on the ground.
Fantasy Football Analysis, San Francisco RBs Tevin Coleman and Matt Breida
Los Angeles has been underwhelming defending the run in 2019, as its allowed over 100 rushing yards per game and six total touchdowns to opposing backfields entering Week 6. The Rams’ own ability to score might impact the 49ers’ run-heavy tendencies, but both Breida and Coleman are able contributors as pass-catching options. Neither can be completely scripted out of this contest. Plus, with Jeff Wilson Jr. no longer active and vulturing goal line work, both have heightened touchdown expectancy. Considering all that, each should be thought of as an RB2, with Breida justifiably the more expensive option on DraftKings with his explosive ceiling.