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Who won 49ers running back battle between Raheem Mostert, Trey Sermon, Elijah Mitchell

It’s looking like two of these players are going to be getting a lot of work this season.

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert got his first taste of preseason action this season on Sunday against the Raiders. He started the game and played the first 10 snaps with the ones, rolling up 53 yards on seven carries. After that, Trey Sermon took over, playing 14 snaps with 37 yards on seven carries. That was their first action together in the preseason.

Sunday’s tilt was Elijah Mitchell’s first preseason game too after missing the first two with a hip injury, and he made an impression with his six carries and 24 yards. He also looked good on special team, returning two kicks, including a 45-yarder, and recording a tackle. It earned him the praise of head coach Kyle Shanahan after the game, and makes it seem as if he has a lock on a roster spot heading into the season.


Mostert is getting a lot of fantasy hype after Sunday’s game, and deservedly so. He and Sermon give the team a great 1-2 punch out of the backfield. It’s worth remembering that Shanahan loves a good running back committee. Mostert and Sermon give him just that, a duo with explosive play potential.

It’s hard to know if Mitchell can take over the third spot held in last year’s rotation by Matt Breida. The team also has veteran Wayne Gallman on the roster, who started camp looking like he’d be behind Mostert. They’ve also got JaMychal Hasty.

Fantasy football implications

Both Mostert and Sermon have real fantasy value, with an edge for Mostert. Both players figure to see plenty of playing time this season, even with a rotation.