The San Francisco 49ers running back depth chart has taken some serious hits this season, but continues to be productive. Tevin Coleman suffered an MCL sprain in Week 2 and is sitting on injured reserve. Raheem Mostert also suffered an MCL sprain but returned after a two-game absence. Then, in Week 6 he suffered a high ankle sprain and was placed on injured reserve.
Jeff Wilson, who missed Week 6 with a calf injury, dominated in Week 7 before suffering a high ankle sprain of his own. He rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns, but had a defender roll up his ankle on the third score. He quickly left the game and after the game head coach Kyle Shanahan referenced the high ankle sprain.
Shanahan and running backs coach Bobby Turner have proven how effective they can be with virtually any running back, so the big question now is which of JaMycal Hasty or Jerick McKinnon is the back to roster in fantasy football. The 49ers will likely sign another back for depth, but Hasty and McKinnon are the names to know.
McKinnon saw little work in Week 7, getting some garbage time carries and nothing more. Wilson was the starter and when he got hurt, Hasty took over. Hasty finished with nine carries for 57 yards while McKinnon had three carries for a loss of one yard.
After the game, Shanahan said the plan from the beginning was for McKinnon to get rest this week. Given McKinnon had missed the past two years due to knee issues, it makes sense to manage his workload when you can — especially when your backfield is looking as good as the 49ers backfield.
That raises questions for fantasy football, however. Who will get the carries next week? Will it be a timeshare?
Hasty is rostered in only 3.3 percent of leagues while McKinnon is rostered in 82 percent of leagues. It’s safe to say McKinnon’s percentage shot up this past week. Hasty will be the popular claim with McKinnon already rostered.
It’s worth noting that Hasty ended up with more touches than McKinnon in Week 6 when Mostert went down. Hasty finished that game with nine rushes for 37 yards and one incomplete target in the pass game. McKinnon had six carries for 18 yards and caught two of three targets in the pass game.
In standard leagues, Hasty looks like the guy to roster. In PPR leagues, McKinnon has some value, but for now it seems worth riding with Hasty over McKinnon if you have to make that choice.
Up next: @NE, @SEA, GB, @NO