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What to do with Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson in Week 3 fantasy football

The 49ers lost Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman to injury. We break down the running back options to consider in their place in Week 3.

Jerick McKinnon of the San Francisco 49ers in action against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on September 20, 2020 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers were ravaged by injuries in Week 2, losing key players on both sides of the ball. The losses included quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running backs Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman, and defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas. Bosa and Thomas are done for the year while the three offensive players are expected back this season.

The losses of Mostert and Coleman leave the 49ers with Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson as the two primary running backs. On Saturday, the team promoted JaMycal Hasty from the practice squad to offer additional depth.

In two games, McKinnon has rushed six times for 101 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for six yards and a touchdown. Wilson has worked primarily on special teams but did have two carries for three yards in Week 2 against the Jets.

Fantasy Football analysis: 49ers RBs Jerick McKinnon, Jeff Wilson

McKinnon missed the past two seasons after a torn ACL in 2018 and a setback in his recovery in 2019. He returned this season and has looked explosive in a relatively limited workload. Mostert got the bulk of the work in Week 1 while Coleman got the bulk of it in Week 2 after Mostert left with his knee injury.

McKinnon has long been a great pass catcher, but the question is how much of the ground work he’ll pick up. Wilson has been a short yardage back for the 49ers, although he did get two starts for the 49ers in 2018, rushing 38 times for 151 yards in Weeks 13 and 14, and adding eight receptions for 73 yards in the Week 13 contest.

McKinnon is the better start in PPR leagues based on what we’ve seen in the first two weeks, but in deeper leagues, Wilson offers some upside. The Giants have given up the tenth fewest fantasy points per game the past two weeks.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start McKinnon as RB2/Flex in most leagues, particularly PPR
Flex Wilson in deeper leagues
Don’t roster JaMycal Hasty