The San Francisco 49ers have a deep backfield heading into 2020, even after trading Matt Breida to the Miami Dolphins. They return Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, a healthy Jerick McKinnon, and Jeff Wilson, to go along with three undrafted free agent signings.
Last season, Mostert and Coleman led the team with 137 carries apiece, and Breida was right behind them with 123. Mostert was the most efficient of the three backs, averaging 5.6 yards per carry to Breida’s 5.1 and Coleman’s 4.0. Additionally, at Football Outsiders, Mostert ranked seventh in both DVOA and DYAR, while Breida ranked 25th and 33rd, and Coleman ranked 41st and 38th and was negative in both stats.
Mostert appears on track to claim some semblance of a starting role, but Kyle Shanahan has shown a willingness to rotate backs with the proverbial hot hand. This can make for a confusing situation for fantasy owners.
As you consider 49ers running backs, the most useful piece of information might end up being Mostert’s contract. He’s signed through 2021, but there has been chatter about him potentially securing an extension — maybe even before star tight end George Kittle. A new deal doesn’t guarantee much in the Shanahan offense, but if you’re interested in a 49ers running back and on the fence about the best direction to go, a Mostert extension would be as clear a sign as anything at this point.
Presently, Mostert’s ADP is late sixth round, while Coleman’s is middle of the eighth round. It makes sense to take Mostert before Coleman, but how much earlier? An extension would likely move Mostert into the fifth round of drafts, if not higher. I personally am inclined to stay away from 49ers running backs because Shanahan’s offense can be so unpredictable. However, an extension would provide a little more confidence in his value. There is uncertainty in that backfield, but an extension would be a show of confidence in Mostert.