Glen Coffee looked to be Frank Gore’s backup running back once again this season until he shockingly retired just days before the 49ers first preseason game. With this void in the running game, the 49ers coaching staff needed to see if rookie Anthony Dixon was up to the challenge of playing behind Gore.
While the coaches gave veteran Michael Robinson the first crack in preseason, he failed to deliver early as he fumbled the football on the first play from scrimmage. Dixon, on the other hand, went out and totaled 21 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
At 6′1" and 233 pounds, it was easy to see that Dixon was a load to bring down, but I was surprised to see how light he was on his feet. This nimble beast also displayed good hands as he recorded three receptions for 22 yards in the passing game and held his own in pass protection.
For a player who had been called out in practice this summer for not being physical it was clear to see he got his coaches’ message and responded in a big way.
2010 Fantasy Outlook
Unless the 49ers bring in a veteran running back soon, Dixon should be the No. 2 back in this offense to start the season. Robinson is his main competition, but he’s never converted into being anything more than a No. 3 running back for a football team.
If something should happen to Gore (he is injury prone) Dixon would make for a great waiver wire pickup because of the overall game that he’s already displayed. Yes, it was only preseason against backups, but if you get a chance to watch the film of this game you’ll be impressed with what this kid can provide.
Should you select Gore at your draft, I seriously recommend you grab Dixon at some point as a handcuff to give you fantasy points if Gore is out at any time.
NFL fantasy football player rankings writer Sean E. Douglas: fantasy-info.com