Brian Westbrook: The Fantasy Football Spin of Westbrook Joining the 49ers

Ken KellyContributor IIIAugust 16, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - DECEMBER 27:  Brian Westbrook #36 of the Philadelphia Eagles runs the ball against the Denver Broncos on December 27, 2009 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Broncos 30-27.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Brian Westbrook held true to his word and chose a team on Monday.

It was no surprise that the team hails from the NFC West. What’s shocking is that it’s the San Francisco 49ers, not the St. Louis Rams.

The 49ers emerged as a dark horse over the weekend after Glen Coffee’s sudden retirement, but it’s still quite a turn of events in that division.

This decision has a ripple effect on the dynasty value of quite a few players.

Brian Westbrook, RB, SF

Westbrook is simply not the dominant fantasy force he used to be.

He has concussion concerns to go along with chronic knee and ankle problems. In fact, he’s only played in 22 games the past two seasons combined.

One factor that may have played into his decision was avoiding the turf in St. Louis. You can bet the 49ers field will be much better on his knees and ankles.

He’ll work with Anthony Dixon as the handcuff to Frank Gore, but he’ll be nothing more than a change-of-pace back as long as Gore stays healthy.

If you’re a competing team who is reliant on Frank Gore, you could make a case to acquire him as insurance, but he’d still likely split carries with Dixon in the event of a Gore breakdown.

If you’re a rebuilding team, there’s absolutely no reason to go after him. His presence on your roster would only impede you from adding a valuable developmental prospect.

Frank Gore, RB, SF

The signing of Westbrook is actually good for Gore owners.

He was in danger of being overworked if Dixon didn’t really step up to the plate. Having Westbrook around to take some of the load off him should help keep him fresh throughout the season.

Anthony Dixon, RB, SF

Dixon had a monster preseason game this weekend with over 100 yards rushing. Westbrook may take some short-term value away from him, but it will also allow him to be eased into the rotation and not be overwhelmed by his sudden responsibilities.

His dynasty value remains the same. He’s a solid second rounder in rookie drafts.

Michael Robinson, RB, SF

Uh oh.

Fumbling on the first series of the game this weekend hurt Robinson’s chances to make the team. This signing should pretty much destroy them.

Steven Jackson, RB, STL

Bringing in Westbrook could have helped ease his workload. He’ll enter the season as a candidate to lead the league in carries.

That could be good or bad for fantasy owners.

Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, STL

He’s making a pretty strong case to be the No. 2 running back in camp. He’s roster worthy now that Westbrook is taking his talents elsewhere.

Kenneth Darby, and Keith Toston, RBs, STL

If Westbrook had signed with St. Louis, these two would have been fighting for one roster spot. As it stands, it looks like they both have a shot to make the final 53 of the Rams.

Toston still seems to be the better developmental prospect to us, but it’s not saying much.


Brian Westbrook is the newest member of the 49ers. While it may seem flashy and exciting, don’t get too worked up over it from a dynasty fantasy football perspective.

We’ve already seen the best of Westbrook and the memories we have of his fantasy brilliance are surely going to all be in an Eagle uniform.

For the complete set of strategic 2010 dynasty rankings, click below:

Strategic Quarterback Rankings
Strategic Running Back Rankings
Strategic Wide Receiver Rankings
Strategic Tight End Rankings
Strategic IDP Rankings

Article written by Ken Kelly

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