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What to do with Tevin Coleman in Week 9 fantasy football [UPDATE]

Tevin Coleman comes off a huge Week 8 fantasy display to face the Cardinals on Thursday night. Can he keep up his big numbers?

San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman runs against Carolina Panthers defensive back Tre Boston during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium.  Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers running backs recap

The 49ers ground game was not huge in Week 9, but it had its moments. Matt Breida led the team with 15 rushes for 78 yards and added two receptions for 14 yards. Tevin Coleman had 12 rushes for 23 yards and added two receptions for 13 yards. Raheem Mostert rushed once for a two-yard loss. Jeff Wilson had one reception for two yards.

Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert game status update

The 49ers will have Breida and Mostert ACTIVE for Week 9 TNF. Both were questionable, but the 49ers will have their full contingent of running backs. Coleman remains a strong start with Breida as his primary complement. Breida has some starting value, while Mostert and Jeff Wilson do not have value. The one concern is Wilson vulturing some touchdowns away from the others, although that clearly was not a problem for Coleman in Week 8!

The Panthers had no answer for Tevin Coleman in Week 8, as he rushed 11 times for 105 yards and three touchdowns while catching both of his targets for 13 yards and yet another touchdown. His 13 touches were his fewest since his first game back from an ankle injury, but that didn’t matter, as he torched Carolina for 40.8 DraftKings points.

During that game both Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert suffered injuries but coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday that he believes both will suit up for Thursday night.

Fantasy Football Analysis, San Francisco RB Tevin Coleman

The Cardinals are a matchup that opposing running backs shouldn’t be wary. Statistically they have been better against the run than the pass, as they rank fourth-worst in passing yards allowed and tenth-worst in total yards allowed to running backs. But there isn’t much distinction between the two, as they are poor against both. Over their last six games they’ve given up 100+ yards to Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, Joe Mixon, and Christian McCaffrey while allowing seven touchdowns to running backs during that span.

Coleman’s only downside for fantasy has been his split in work with Matt Breida but the 49ers also run the ball more than any other team with 38.8 attempts per game. And this week, they are 10-point favorites in Arizona, meaning they should be set up to run all game long without being forced to push the ball through the air.

Coleman’s usage last week would have been better if he hadn’t closed the door on any chance of a Panther’s comeback by pitting four touchdowns on the board, so we should look toward his recent usage for are projections. In his three games before Week 8, he had 16, 20 and 22 touches. And in Week 7 he had his highest snap percentage at 66 percent while Breida was at 27 percent.

Coleman is the lead back on a team that will run the ball all day if they have the chance and they should have that chance on Thursday night. He won’t score four touchdowns again but as the no-doubt goal line back, I expect a touchdown and a healthy workload to get him above 100 total yards.

Traditional Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start.

DraftKings DFS Recommendation

Coleman has the most upside of any running back going in this Cardinals matchup. He also ranks seventh in my PPR rankings, so his $5,500 price tag on the Thursday through Monday contests looks like a nice value. Would it be better for Coleman if Breida and Mostert were out this week, sure, but this matchup sets up extremely well for Coleman. We also can’t count on his backups to take on as much work if they aren’t at 100 percent.

In the Thursday Night Showdown, Coleman has the highest upside of any player going and makes for the safest play in the captain’s spot. Fading him in tournaments is risky and would likely take a series of unfortunate events to pay off.