Among the many major topics surrounding the start of the fantasy football season, injuries have consistently taken center stage. Specifically, the running back position has been an interesting discussion thus far, as a number of high-profile, or at least starting-caliber players, are battling various ailments ahead of Week 3.
One name that specifically comes to mind is San Francisco 49ers running back Tevin Coleman, who’s dealing with an ankle injury. It’s a brutal blow for both the team and for Coleman, who was slated to see extra work with the news that Jerick McKinnon would be sidelined after suffering a setback in his return from a torn ACL.
While Coleman missed Week 2 of the NFL season, the latest on his ankle doesn’t appear to provide much optimism, at least not to this point. We’re going to take a look at the latest on the 49ers running back and when he may return to action.
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Tevin Coleman to Miss Multiple Weeks?
The initial rumblings around Coleman’s injury pointed to a high level of concern about his potential return timeline. Specifically, as Chris Biderman of the Sacramento Bee revealed, the 49ers feared that he could miss multiple games due to his ankle injury.
But there was some positive news which came after the injury, as Jake Montero of KNBR.com reported just one day later that Coleman’s MRI revealed a high-ankle sprain, meaning he would not head to injured reserve. Kyle Shanahan spoke about the situation and stated the team would take it on a week-by-week basis with Coleman.
“Got hurt on the first play of the game,” Shanahan said. “It just got worse as the game went. I think we’ll ride it out.”
The outlook of the 49ers backfield has shifted quite a bit with Coleman’s absence, but it’s set up a few young running backs with the opportunity to shine.
Tevin Coleman Injury: Fantasy Football Outlook
In Coleman’s absence, Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson stepped in and all produced effectively. Breida tallied 12 carries for 121 yards while Mostert had 13 attempts for 83 yards along with three receptions for 68 yards and one score.
Another interesting name to monitor from a fantasy football perspective is Jeff Wilson, who received 10 carries for 34 yards but managed to find the end zone twice. It appears there’s going to be a fairly wide split at running back in Coleman’s absence (and possibly when he returns), making the fantasy decision for Week 3 a tough one.
It appears that Breida likely has the most upside as a runner, but from a fantasy perspective, specifically in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues, it’s hard not to like Mostert’s potential. His 151 combined yards with a touchdown made him the most fantasy-relevant back for San Francisco in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 49ers face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3, who ranks No. 9 in the league for most fantasy points allowed to opposing running backs. Per Yahoo Sports’ scoring, they’ve given up 24.25 fantasy points per game, with 110 rushing and 70 receiving yards on average to the position.