Why We Like Him
One of the NFL’s most underrated dual-threat backs, Gore continues to find success despite playing on a bad offense. He’s coming off his third straight 1,000+ yard rushing/350+ yard receiving season as he continues to carry the load for the 49ers. Playing in only 14 games last season, Gore put up a top 15 fantasy finish while ranking ninth in targets (66), 12th in receiving yards (373) and 14th in receptions (43).
He posted seven games with 100+ total yards and will continue to be one of quarterback Shaun Hill’s favorite targets until rookie receiver Michael Crabtree gets acclimated to the speed of the NFL game. Look for new head coach Mike Singletary to turn the 49ers into more of a power running team, meaning more carries for Gore in 2009.
Why We Don’t Like Him
Injuries are a concern as Gore has only played one full 16-game season in his four-year career. The bigger problem is the San Francisco offense. The Niners lack weapons in the passing game and tight end Vernon Davis has yet to develop into the receiving threat the team hoped he would when they drafted him.
Gore sees more touches when the 49ers are winning (21.2) then when they are losing (19.0), which is a result of the offense having to throw the ball down the field late in games in an attempt to win.
We really wish Gore played on a better offense so fantasy owners could witness his true talent. He has the ability to make plays in both the running and passing game and is the most reliable weapon on an offense starved for talent.
If his body can stand up to the physical pounding of a more run-based offense, expect to see a very productive season from Gore. Remember, this is the same guy that posted 1,695 rushing yards the only time he saw 300+ carries in a season. The upside is there. Note: Be sure to target backup RB Glen Coffee as a handcuff in the later rounds.
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