San Francisco 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell left Sunday's game with a knee injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest, per ESPN's Field Yates.
That left Jeff Wilson Jr. atop the depth chart for the remainder of Sunday's matchup with the Chicago Bears, and called into question for fantasy players who might emerge as the team's top running back option should Mitchell's injury be serious enough to cost him significant time.
Right now, Wilson is absolutely the safest option for fantasy players, in large part because there is a ton of uncertainty after him on the depth chart. While Jordan Mason was active on Sunday, both Tyrion Davis-Price and Tyler Allgeier were healthy scratches.
Wilson, 26, came into Sunday with 1,265 career rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in his four seasons, largely serving as a backup option for the team. That doesn't make him the sexiest of picks, but his longevity also suggests that head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers trust him.
If you want to go for the bigger splash, however, Mason is the current front-runner for the high-risk, high-reward waiver claim. While Davis-Price was a third-round pick this offseason, the fact that he was a healthy scratch is a major concern.
Remember Trey Sermon, the Niners' 2021 third-round pick who was all over fantasy radars last season and failed to make an impact before he was eventually released this summer while Mitchell thrived?
Well, Davis-Price's healthy scratch has major Sermon vibes, while Mason—an undrafted free agent—has bigger Mitchell vibes.
The other factor to consider is that the Niners used superstar Deebo Samuel as a de facto running back last season when the injury bug bit and were already giving him major backfield touches in Week 1 against the Bears.
His ability to factor in that role somewhat hurts the upside of both Mitchell and Mason as well.
Still, the safe selection if Mitchell's injury proves to be a lengthy one is Mason. He'll have flex appeal as the team's starter. Mason is a bigger gamble, no doubt, but if you want to swing for the fences, he's the pitch to hit.