Preseason Player Analysis
What You Need to Know:
- Mostert’s 5.4 yards per carry over the past 2 seasons ranks 2nd among 76 RBs with 100+ attempts during that stretch.
- HC Kyle Shanahan’s scheme deserves a lot of credit for Mostert’s success. He’s led all RBs in yards before contact per attempt in both of the last 2 years.
- Mostert ranked 7th in Elusive Rating among 45 qualifiers in 2019 but sunk all the way to 45th among 47 qualifiers last season. He finished 10th and then 22nd in Pro Football Focus’ rushing grades.
- Mostert has had trouble staying healthy. He missed 8 games last year with a knee injury and 2 ankle injuries. His 2018 season ended in Week 9 with a broken arm.
- This offseason, the 49ers brought back restricted free-agent RB Jeff Wilson, signed free-agent RB Wayne Gallman and drafted rookie RBs Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell.
- Wilson will open the season on the PUP list after May surgery to repair a torn meniscus, but Mostert will need to fend off the other guys for work.
- Sermon looks like the biggest threat. He’s a good-looking prospect, and the 49ers traded up to select him with the 88th overall pick of this spring’s draft. The scheme Sermon ran in at Ohio State last year is similar to the scheme HC Kyle Shanahan runs in San Francisco.
- Shanahan has deployed backfield committees over the past 3 years, with no 49er RB topping 153 carries in a single season.
- But he hasn’t been opposed to riding a true lead back in the past. RB Carlos Hyde carried 240 times and finished RB9 in half-PPR points in Shanahan’s 1st season in San Francisco. Shanahan produced 4 other top-9 half-PPR RBs over his first 9 seasons as OC/HC in Houston, Washington, Cleveland and Atlanta.
- The 49ers’ running game has been solid under Shanahan, finishing top 16 in yards and yards per attempt each of the past 3 years. They’ve also ranked top 10 in rushing TDs in 3 of Shanahan’s 4 seasons.
- The running game could be even more efficient this year if and when rookie QB Trey Lance takes over. Lance will be a big-time threat on the ground -- and we know rushing QBs tend to make their RBs more efficient.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line:
Mostert has been excellent in HC Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, averaging 5.4 yards per carry over the past 2 seasons. But he struggled staying healthy last year and faces much more competition in 2021 after the ‘Niners added RBs Trey Sermon, Wayne Gallman and Elijah Mitchell this offseason.
We’ll see if he can hold off the group for the lead RB job. If he does, he’ll carry lower-end fantasy starter value.