Frank Gore: Fantasy Owners Must Have Backup Plan in Place for 49ers RB

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 23, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Running back Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs for 37 yards on a play against the Seattle Seahawks at the start of the fourth quarter on October 18, 2012 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.  The 49ers won 13-6.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images

It's looking more and more like Frank Gore will be able to play when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Arizona Cardinals next Monday night.

But Gore's fantasy owners should absolutely have a backup plan in place anyway.

Ask any Trent Richardson owner what they think about Gore trying to recover from bruised ribs, and you might see a few winces. Richardson finished with just eight yards on eight carries for the Cleveland Browns on Sunday after battling through a rib injury during the week.

He cost more than a few owners a win with that performance. Your humble narrator knows from first-hand experience—Richardson's short day cost one of his teams, MeRaji Trois, a win. 

And it's possible Gore will suffer the same fate. To his credit, he doesn't think the injury is too severe (via Cam Inman of the Contra Costa Times):

Running back frank Gore insisted Friday his bruised ribs will be "all right" after playing Thursday night through the most pain of his 109-game career.

"The X-ray was looking good, and I'll take it one day at a time," Gore said. 

And he did participate in practice on Monday, according to Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee:

Frank Gore says he did everything in practice today, thinks he'll be fine for Monday.

— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) October 22, 2012

Nonetheless, if you're a Gore owner you need to do two things: Add Kendall Hunter via waivers to your team, and consider sitting Gore—and have a solid running back on hand to replace him—even if he plays on Monday night.

If Gore can't go, Hunter is the handcuff you want. If Gore can go, he's risky simply because a rib injury can be difficult to play through, especially for running backs. Plus, with a Monday night kickoff, you're always risking a late injury status.

Now, if reports out of San Francisco later in the week indicate that Gore has looked close to 100 percent and is running without pain, you have to start him. He's been too good this year to sit, and the Arizona Cardinals have given up 406 yards and three touchdowns to opposing running backs in the past three weeks.

Besides, chances are you don't have a replacement on hand with nearly the upside of Gore, and you'll kick yourself if he sits on your bench and has a huge game while your backup plan totally busts.

It's a tricky situation, and I don't envy you. As a Richardson owner, I can only offer you words of caution based on what happened this Sunday to the Browns back. As a fantasy-football fanatic, I recommend you be prepared in case you need to go in a different direction.

Gore will likely play and have another solid game for fantasy owners. But leave no stone unturned, my friends.


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