As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. Raheem Mostert is getting all the fantasy football cognoscenti ink spillage out of the 49ers’ backfield this offseason. Could Tevin Coleman play spoiler to the Mostert coming out party? If he does, could he reintroduce himself to the fantasy football community as a valuable player in 2020?
Tevin Coleman ADP and AAV:
Standard Scoring ADP: RB46, 136 overall
PPR Scoring ADP: RB48, 134 overall
Average Auction Value: $2
Tevin Coleman Statistics:
Tevin Coleman Overview:
Last season was quite the carousel at running back for the 49ers. Coleman led the 49ers in touches eight times last season, including in the NFC Divisional Game against the Vikings (the one right before Raheem Mostert went supernova). In the end, he led the team in touches as many times as Mostert. The 49ers played the hot hand down the stretch, and kept giving the ball to Mostert. Even during his hot finish, the 49ers coaches lamented not being able to get Coleman more touches. In fact, in the NFC Championship Game, wherein Coleman left with a dislocated shoulder before Raheem Mostert stole Green Bay’s souls, Coleman had out-touched and out-snapped Mostert.
The 49ers had beaucoup opportunity to produce last season, but they created opportunities for multiple running backs throughout the season. Mostert ended on the hottest streak, but Coleman had the higher rushing totals. Whereas Mostert never led the team with more than 15 touches prior to the playoffs, Coleman had three such totals in the regular season. Coleman had his own monstrous game, going for 118 yards and three scores against the Panthers in week seven.
That isn’t to say that the 49ers’ backfield isn’t crowded. It’s crowded as all get-out, and Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson might just be the correct answers while we’re bickering over Mostert vs. Coleman. It will definitely be a headache to own Coleman, but he’s cheap and Mostert’s path to production isn’t as clean as people want to admit.
Tevin Coleman Draft Strategy:
I know it seems like I have nothing but nice things to say about Tevin Coleman, but I don’t think he has a lot of fantasy football value in 2020 if everything goes right for the 49ers. I just see that backfield as something that is too messy to try to glean any sort of tangible value out of it week-to-week. The 49ers use backs seemingly at random, throwing different skill sets and styles at opposing defenses to keep them on their heels. Anyone who tried to definitively tell you in 2019 that they knew who would produce out of that backfield that week wouldn’t tell you this dirty secret: that was usually a guess.
I’m a 49ers season ticket holder, and I watched the running back situation for this team grow and evolve. A lot of people want to point at Mostert blowing up against Green Bay, but ignore that he did almost nothing in the Super Bowl. Mostert and Coleman split their touches in the playoffs, with about 62% going to Mostert with Coleman missing nearly an entire game. This isn’t to say you should heavily invest in Coleman (though I’ve found his price to be right as a bet), it’s a warning against investing too heavily in Raheem Mostert. There are too many good running backs in that backfield for Mostert to have the RB1 upside many try to lay at his feet.
Best Case Scenario:
Tevin Coleman gets to the top of the mountain, getting two-thirds of the 49ers’ running back touches. He ends up as a backend RB2 as the other guys nip at his heels and steal value.
Worst Case Scenario:
I’m completely wrong about Raheem Mostert, and Jerick McKinnon repeats his entire career with the 49ers in 2020.