Key additions: QB Trey Lance, RB Trey Sermon, RB Wayne Gallman, RB Elijah Mitchell, WR Mohamed Sanu
Key departures: RB Jerick McKinnon, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Kendrick Bourne, TE Jordan Reed
The 49ers have famously used the ‘RBs don’t matter’ approachfor the past few seasons. They ride the hot hand and don’t declare allegianceto a particular running back.
Last season, Raheem Mostert (104 attempts), Jeff Wilson (126 attempts), and Jerick McKinnon (81 attempts) all saw lead-back opportunities. Some of this was due to injury, but some was just their offensive philosophy. Subtract McKinnon and add in Sermon,Gallman, and Mitchell. It will be a complicated situation to figure out, but Mostert and Sermon should get first crack at lead-back duties.
With that being said, San Francisco’s RB touches are very fluid week-to-week. It’s a frustrating position to figure out for fantasy and limits all of the RBs’ ceilings.
Between Bourne, McKinnon, and Reed, 166 targets are left behind. Deebo Samuel (nine games missed last year), Brandon Aiyuk (4), and George Kittle (8) are the obvious choices to pick up the load. Sanu and Jalen Hurd are the sleepers to be the fourth man in the pecking order.