San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida left jaws unhinged on his blazing 83-yard touchdown scamper on national TV last Monday night. However, that game also marked the return of Tevin Coleman to the San Francisco backfield.
Can Breida hold off Coleman enough to warrant a starting spot in your fantasy lineups for Week 6? Let’s find out.
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Matt Breida’s Fantasy Outlook vs. Los Angeles Rams
While it may seem outlandish on the surface, there could be an argument to be had proclaiming Matt Breida as the most efficient running back of the past decade. I know, it sounds insane, but hear me out.
Breida has averaged a superb 5.2 yards per carry throughout his two-plus year career. If you base those numbers solely off of last season, and the first five weeks of 2019, he averages an even better 5.9 yards per game. In comparison, Jamaal Charles, the poster child of yards per attempt, averaged 5.4 yards per carry over his illustrious career. Am I saying he’s Jamaal Charles? No. However, I am pointing out how well Breida does with the touches he receives. That latter part is extremely important because as well as Breida performs, San Francisco constantly opts to feature other running backs in their offense.
Breida has never been pegged as the main option in the 49ers backfield, carrying the rock 15+ times in a game just once over his 34 game career. Over that time span, he’s averaged less than 10 rushing attempts per game. Names like Raheem Mostert, Carlos Hyde, and Jeff Wilson Jr. have constantly eaten away at Breida’s usage over the years.
However, this time around he may have his toughest competition to date. Tevin Coleman is an extremely talented athlete who Kyle Shanahan has taken a liking to dating back to their days in Atlanta together. While the plan got delayed due to an ankle injury in Week 1, Coleman was brought in to be the guy in the ‘9ers backfield. In his Week 5 return to the lineup, he was just that. Coleman led the 49ers in rushing attempts a week ago with 16. He was also extremely productive with those touches, averaging an impressive 6.1 yards per carry.
The 49ers take on the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6. The Rams once-vaunted defense has been a shell of themselves over the first month-plus of the 2019 season. They’ve been especially generous to opposing running backs this year. The Rams have surrendered an average of nearly 24 points per game to the RB position through the first five weeks of play. A big reason for the massing stats against Los Angeles is due to the five rushing touchdowns allowed this season.
Unfortunately for Breida owners, unless he breaks off another 80+ yard run, he’ll likely not be the 49ers running back to find the endzone on Sunday. Breida has never been featured in the redzone, scoring just six rushing touchdowns over his career. Tevin Coleman, on the other hand, has scored 29 touchdowns over that same time span, including a rushing touchdown last week within the redzone.
Should You Start or Sit Matt Breida in Week 6?
Matt Breida is a hell of a player, but as a Breida owner, you’re constantly fighting against the 49ers game plan, as much as you are against Breida’s opponent. I believe Coleman will only see his usage increase as the weeks go on, and that starts in Week 6.
To make matters worse the 49ers will be without full back Kyle Juszczyk, an integral part of their run game. Breida is no more than a flex-flyer this week, one that will likely burn you. Keep the 49ers RB on your bench vs. the Los Angeles Rams.