The 49ers' fears have been realized. RB Jerick McKinnon suffered an ACL tear in Saturday's practice and will miss the season. That leaves his expected touches available for Matt Breida and Alfred Morris. The team this week released RBs Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols. We'd bet on San Francisco adding to the backfield, but Breida and Morris carry much more value in fantasy football drafts over the coming week.
The 49ers' backfield took another hit over the weekend. RB Joe Williams suffered a rib fracture and a "deep" hip bruise in Saturday's game against the Texans, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. He's expected to miss "at least the opening of the regular season." Williams faced opportunity in the wake of injuries to Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida. His injuries now give way to Alfred Morris, Jeremy McNichols and Raheem Mostert. We'll see if Williams can make his way to 2018 relevance.
Niners RB Matt Breida is expected to miss the rest of the preseason because of the shoulder injury he suffered Thursday night, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Breida did, however, avoid structural damage to the joint. The team hopes to have him back for Week 1. In the meantime, RBs Joe Williams, Raheem Mostert and Jeremy McNichols will enjoy extra opportunities to earn offensive roles. Breida's current ADP is late enough (around RB50) that you can still take him there, barring some negative development with his shoulder. Williams is the biggest talent behind him on the depth chart and still has plenty to prove after a lost rookie year.
The Bucs have released RB Jeremy McNichols. The 5th-round rookie was a major disappointment this preseason, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry and failing to catch a pass. He figures to get scooped up by another squad but is obviously off the redraft radar. We'd keep McNichols stashed in dynasty. The Bucs will open the season with Jacquizz Rodgers, Charles Sims and Peyton Barber at RB. Doug Martin is suspended for the first 3 games.
Update: McNichols is joining the 49ers' practice squad.
Bucs RB Jeremy McNichols has been cleared for the start of training camp after offseason shoulder surgery. He has catching up to do after missing all of spring workouts. There's some opportunity in Tampa's backfield with Doug Martin suspended for the first 3 games, but McNichols is at least behind Jacquizz Rodgers and Charles Sims right now.
The Buccaneers selected Boise State RB Jeremy McNichols in the 5th round of the 2017 NFL Draft. At 5’9, 214 pounds, McNichols posted 1,337 yards in 2015 and 1,709 in 2016. He combined for 43 rushing scores over that span. Plenty elusive, McNichols also adds strong receiving skills (88 catches over the past 2 years). A Round 3/4 talent, the 21-year-old likely dropped due to post-Combine surgery on a torn labrum in his shoulder. Aiming to be 100% by July, McNichols will have a shot at early-season playing time — especially with Doug Martin suspended for the first 3 games.