It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the running backs. The 49ers took Elijah Mitchell in the fifth round last season, and he set the 49ers’ rookie rushing record while missing six games. While Kyle Shanahan has shifted his top running back around every year of his time in San Francisco, folks think this could be different, even though the Niners have two third-round running backs on their roster from the last two drafts. What can we expect from Elijah Mitchell in 2022 fantasy football leagues?
Elijah Mitchell ADP and AAV:
Average Draft Position: RB21, 45 overall
Average Auction Value: $17.8
Elijah Mitchell Statistics:
|Year||G||GS||Rush||Ru Yds||Ru TD||Tgt||Rec||Yards||TD||Touches||Opp||Total Yards|
|Year||Std Pts||HPPR Pts||PPR Pts||Pts/G||HPPR Pts/G||PPR Pts/G||Pts/Tch||HPPR Pts/Tch||PPR Pts/Tch|
2022 Elijah Mitchell Fantasy Football Overview:
The 49ers took Elijah Mitchell in the fifth round last year, and took one look at their third-round running back (Trey Sermon) and exclaimed “no, thank you!” Mitchell went on to be the bell cow running back for the 49ers, when healthy, thanks to a season-ending Raheem Mostert injury in near-record time (4 snaps and 2 touches into the season). Elijah Mitchell then went on to set the 49ers’ rookie rushing record despite missing multiple games with multiple injuries.
So, going into 2022, people have decided to look at one of two things: directly at Elijah Mitchell’s touches last year, or Kyle Shanahan running backs (pun intended) into the ground and then casting them aside in order to find a new toy to play with. While I will concede that Elijah Mitchell was very good for the 49ers when healthy last season, and he got a monstrous number of touches in those games and produced with them (20.5 touches per game, for 100 yards from scrimmage per game). That’s good!
Elijah Mitchell played only eleven games with four different injuries and missed mandatory mini-camp recovering from knee surgery. That’s bad! The 49ers took another third-round running back, Tyrion Davis-Price, to go alongside Elijah Mitchell. That’s also bad! Call me crazy, but I think that the 49ers spent their second pick of the draft on a running back for a reason, and that reason isn’t that they have a ton of faith in giving Elijah Mitchell 20 touches per game for another year (because he hasn’t given them any sort of faith that he can hold up to that). So, Elijah Mitchell likely enters a time split and one where the 49ers don’t pass the ball to their running backs.
So, realistically, we are looking at about 15 touches per game for Elijah Mitchell.
2022 Elijah Mitchell Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:
Elijah Mitchell is going as RB22 and pick 45 off the board, falling into a tier of backs that I am calling the “Just Get Breece Hall Instead” tier alongside Cam Akers, Travis Etienne, and J.K. Dobbins. There are just too many question marks surrounding these guys for me to feel good about pulling the trigger on them with both Breece Hall (and A.J. Dillon!) still on the board. His price is slightly more palatable to me in salary cap drafts, where his $18 isn’t too bad. But, at the same time, I can just get Breece Hall at $11 or A.J. Dillon at $10 and Miles Sanders for $8 instead of Elijah Mitchell and a $1 upside running back.
Best Case Scenario:
The 49ers run Elijah Mitchell into the ground and he gets 1,000 yards across 10 games.
Worst Case Scenario:
The 49ers don’t run Elijah Mitchell into the ground and he gets 1,000 across 17 games.
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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]