Absurdity Check: Is Tevin Coleman Droppable?

Tevin Coleman San Francisco 49ers

It’s hard to say goodbye to a running back that’s been a perennial talent on your fantasy football roster. We know, it’s difficult to cut ties with someone like Tevin Coleman. Probably because his 105-yard, three-touchdown game against Carolina still looms large in our rearview mirror. Unfortunately, the last five weeks haven’t been so kind to Tevin Coleman. That leads us to ask: is Tevin Coleman droppable?

Fantasy football owners have Tevin Coleman rostered in 95% of Yahoo! Fantasy Football leagues, making him a near-universally owned commodity. However, his performance over the last five weeks makes you wonder if that ownership should be halved. Since his three-touchdown effort against the Panthers, he has just one score. Even worse, he has just 234 yards in that timeframe, and he’s averaging just 12.2 touches per game. That’s a low number of touches for someone who is averaging just 3.4 targets per game over that stretch.

Not only is Coleman getting few touches, but he’s also extremely inefficient with those touches. He averages 2.5 yards per carry and 6.6 yards per target over the last five games. Oh, and his one touchdown in the last five games? It was first-and-goal from the 2, thanks to a 49ers interception. Even then, he needed a huge push to get those two yards. Since shellacking the Panthers, Coleman is as inefficient as his backup’s been efficient.

Matt Breida’s been out lately (more on that later), so Raheem Mostert has taken up the mantle as the 49ers’ second running back from Breida. Then, slowly, he’s taken the mantle as the #1 running back from Tevin Coleman. Last week, he had just six carries, but he looked like he was shot out of a cannon in all of them. He turned the six carries last week into 45 yards and a touchdown. Then, this week, he took over the role from Coleman, out-touching Coleman 21:6. He also was as effective running the ball as Coleman was ineffective.

Mostert turned 19 carries into 146 yards, routinely chunking off 5 or 6 yards at a time. It makes you wonder why the 49ers threw the ball on the critical unconverted first down that cost them the game. Yes, I am a bitter 49ers fan, why do you ask? Anyway, the point is that Mostert has been far more effective than Coleman in the last two games, and has done so on more touches.

Then, there’s the final problem: Matt Breida’s set to return next week at New Orleans. That muddies the backfield even more, as that puts two more efficient running backs ahead of Coleman in the depth chart. Fantasy owners have gotten away with keeping Tevin Coleman around because he’s been the goal-line back while splitting touches two ways. Now that he’s splitting touches three ways, this may become an untenable situation.

Ultimately, you can’t cut Tevin Coleman. The 49ers offense is too potent to do that. If you’re asking yourself if Tevin Coleman is droppable, then your league is deep enough that he isn’t. In eight-team leagues, ditch him. In ten team leagues, it’s borderline. Anything deeper than that, and you can’t get away with cutting Tevin Coleman, but you should definitely bench Tevin Coleman for the time being.


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About Jeff Krisko

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