Jerick McKinnon was expected to play a major role in the San Francisco 49ers offense this season, but that won’t happen after he suffered a torn ACL in his knee this past week.
NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport reported the news of McKinnon’s injury on Saturday. The 26-year-old running back was signed by the 49ers as a free agent after last season.
Now, the 49ers will need to lean on other options in the running game. So, what does that mean for your fantasy football team? Here are some 49ers players who could see their roles increase as a result of McKinnon’s injury.
Alfred Morris, RB
Morris probably will start Week 1 against the Vikings, which is a bad matchup considering Minnesota had the second-best run defense in 2017. The 29-year-old veteran has started many games in his career, including three 1000-yard seasons with the Washington Redskins. That said, Morris has not run for more than 751 yards in each of the last three seasons, and he’s tallied just four rushing touchdowns over that span. Morris is a decent flex option or an injury pickup for fantasy rosters, but don’t expect him to be an RB1 or RB2 at this stage of his career.
Matt Breida, RB
Breida is a better option than Morris if you play in a PPR league. He ran for 465 yards with one touchdown last season, while also catching 21 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown on 36 targets. Breida will be a good check-down option for quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and also could see plenty of targets on third-down plays. His lack of strength, however, could result in very few goal-line opportunities.
Jimmy Garoppolo, QB
The 49ers could opt to throw a little more than expected with McKinnon out. Relying on Morris to shoulder a large part of the offensive gameplan this week is unwise. Garoppolo has decent athleticism, too, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he calls his own number near the goal line instead of handing the ball off to a running back.
Bottom Line: Neither 49ers running back is worth starting in most leagues. Morris and Breida likely will split carries throughout the season, and the 49ers probably will pass a lot more than they run given Garoppolo’s immense talent and the lack of a star running back.
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