Running back Tevin Coleman was signed in what appeared to be an attempt by the San Francisco 49ers to find themselves their bell-cow back. Coleman enjoyed his best NFL years under the tutelage of then-Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, and current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. However, the injury bug has seemingly followed Coleman from Atlanta to the Bay area.
Coleman is set to miss his second consecutive week of play. Raheem Mostert filled in more than admirably for the injured running back in Week 2 vs. the Bengals. Is Mostert, the unheralded running back from Purdue, in line for extended duty in Week 3 vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers? If so, is he worth a spot in your fantasy lineups? Let’s discuss.
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Raheem Mostert Fantasy Outlook vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
To put things simply, I firmly believe that the San Francisco 49ers offense is the most running back friendly offense in today’s NFL. Since Shanahan has made his way to San Francisco the ‘9ers have continuously shuffled running backs with similar, high-level effect. From 2016-2017 the 49ers had six running backs average over four yards per game on an extended amount of usage.
San Francisco’s running game success has taken on an even more high-level form in 2019, ranking fourth in the NFL in total rushing yards. One of those running backs responsible for the plethora of yards the ‘9ers have accumulated this season is little-known Raheem Mostert.
Mostert may still be unknown to the masses, but is currently beloved in fantasy football circles. While Mostert didn’t draw the start in the 49ers’ Week 2 demolition of the Cincinnati Bengals, he was heavily leaned on.
Mostert out-snapped starting running back Matt Breida by 13 snaps a week ago. In return Mostert out-touched Brenda 16 to 13. Mostert averaged a highly impressive 6.4 yards per carry vs. the Bengals. However, this has become the norm for him throughout his NFL career. Mostert has an abusrd 6.7 yards per carry average in his career on 63 carries.
Mostert also flashed his receiver prowess in Week 2. Mostert, who only caught six passes in his career prior to this season, reeled in three receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown through the air.
Mostert will look to continue his absurd yards per touch pace against a struggling Pittsburgh defense.
The days of the Steel Curtain defense are long gone. Pittsburgh currently ranks as the fourth worst total defense in the NFL, and has allowed the fifth most points on per game basis this season.
The Steelers have been nearly equally bad at defending fantasy running backs. Pittsburgh has surrendered the ninth most fantasy points to opposing running backs through two games.
Should You Start or Sit Raheem Mostert in Week 3?
Everything lines up fairly nicely for Mostert in this game. The matchup is certainly there. Pittsburgh has been horrendous on the defensive side of the ball. Mason Rudolph will also be making his first career NFL start at quarterback for the Steelers. The 49ers defense currently ranks second in the NFL in forced interceptions. If San Francisco can get their hands on a few balls defensively, they will likely lean on the run game to eat up the clock.
While Breida is certainly the 49ers big play guy, they seem to like Mostert as their grind-it-out back, which bodes well for the running back vs. Pittsburgh. The presence of Breida caps Mostert’s ceiling as a low-end RB2, however, he is certainly a player with flex-start appeal who has a plus-matchup on his hands.
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