Fantasy Impact of Elijah Mitchell Out: What 49ers RB Status Means For Trey Sermon
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images. Pictured: 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell (#45)
Looking for the latest fantasy football advice with Elijah Mitchell officially ruled out for Week 4? Check out this story.
San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell has been limited in practice this week, yet head coach Kyle Shanahan said Friday morning that Mitchell’s availability for Week 4 is “in limbo,” per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows.
How should fantasy managers who have Mitchell and/or Trey Sermon rostered be preparing should Mitchell be ruled in or out for Sunday? Our fantasy football rankers weigh in.
Fantasy Impact If 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell Is Active vs. Out
In Mitchell’s two active games, he received 19 and 17 carries while playing 64% and 61% of the snaps, respectively.
In Trey Sermon’s one game as the lead back, he received only 10 carries (of the team’s 21) and played 59% of the snaps — fewer snaps than fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who often lined up as the tailback in place of Sermon on key plays.
Sermon was a healthy scratch in Week 1, with Kyle Shanahan telling the media that Sermon was simply beat out by Mitchell and JaMycal Hasty, so it’s clear Shanahan’s trust lies firmly with Mitchell over Sermon.
Conclusion: With Mitchell’s health still in question, I’m projecting a 50-50 split, which would render both low-end FLEX plays. But if Mitchell is fully cleared, I will be projecting Mitchell to get a 2-to-1 share of the backfield (i.e., 67% Mitchell and 33% Sermon), making Mitchell a high-end RB3 and taking Sermon out of fantasy consideration.
If Mitchell is active: The 49ers RB situation becomes extremely murky.
I would need additional context to project and rank them confidently, but for now, I’m ranking Mitchell as the RB36 and Sermon as the RB30.
It’s possible that Kyle Shanahan comes out and says that Mitchell — who was limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday — is ready to go this week and names him the starter. In which case, I could end up ranking Mitchell as a low-end RB2, with Sermon falling outside my top 40.
The point is that there are too many unknown factors as of writing to confidently rank either.
If Mitchell is out: Sermon would shoot into the RB16-20 range of my rankings. He would be the lead back while FB Kyle Juszczyk likely plays the change-of-pace role again.
If you roster either of these backs, all you can do is wait for the end-of-week update and act accordingly, then check with my updated tiers after they’re published Saturday evening to see where these RBs end up in my rankings once we better understand Mitchell’s status for Week 4.