49ers to Employ Running Back by Committee?

Perhaps no NFL head coach outside of Seattle’s Pete Carroll loves his running backs more than San Francisco 49ers boss Kyle Shanahan. While last year’s emergence of Elijah Mitchell made Shanahan’s backfield plans a little easier to predict, 2022 could be a different story. 

According to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports, Shanahan “appears determined to deploy more of a backs-by-committee approach.”

Maiocco writes, “Mitchell put together a strong rookie season, gaining 963 yards and five touchdowns while averaging 4.7 yards a carry…But there are legitimate concerns about Mitchell’s durability…Mitchell proved he can be a very good three-down back. The only question is whether he can withstand that kind of relentless punishment.”

It’s a valid question as the 24-year-old missed six games due to a litany of injuries while undergoing a “clean-up” procedure on his knee in the offseason.

With Shanahan reportedly still down on sophomore Trey Sermon, Maiocco suggests Jeff Wilson and third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price will compete for meaningful carries alongside Mitchell.

While some fantasy managers may take a wait-and-see approach, San Francisco’s backfield is shaping up to be a weekly headache that may be best to avoid altogether.

FanDuel Sportsbook has the 49ers tied for the sixth-best Super Bowl LVII odds at +1600.