Dominate Your League
A Footballguys Premium Subscription will give you the edge with lineup and waiver wire advice tailored to your league.
Save Time, Win More with Footballguys.Join Now
Welcome to Week 2 of the 2021 Footballguys Roundtable. Our intrepid and oddball panel of fantasy pundits discuss and debate the 49ers backfield, the state of the Baltimore Ravens offense, waiver-wire candidates with a twist (see below), and they will self-evaluate their team management style.
- 49ers Backfield
- State of the Ravens Offense
- Waiver-Wire Candidates with a Twist
- Fantasy Team Management Tendencies
Matt Waldman: Raheem Mostert is out for the year. Trey Sermon, by all accounts of mainstay beat writers since May, earned the vast majority of reps as the No.2 back and split time with Mostert all summer. However, he was a healthy scratch on Sunday and there are a variety of speculated reasons for it. Elijah Mitchell had a strong fantasy effort and JaMycal Hasty earned a key red-zone look.
- Who is your priority addition?
- Are you dropping anyone?
- Any situations where you're keeping multiple options?
- Do you have half a mind to avoid all of it?
I've shared my advice in multiple places, including this week's Top 10. What's your advice for fantasy managers about this backfield that has one of the best offensive lines and run games in the league in terms of play design and personnel?
Adam Harstad: Every team has to field a special teams unit, but no team wants to risk starters on special teams if they don't have to, and no team wants to devote roster spots to guys who only contribute on special teams if they don't have to. This means teams always prefer backups who can contribute to special teams.
The 49ers had one of the most prolific and productive return specialists of recent years in Richie James, but James injured his knee in late August, had surgery, and went on injured reserve. Raheem Mostert was the clear starter at running back, and San Francisco wanted a backup who could also return kicks, which was Mitchell, not Sermon.
Interesting "butterfly flaps his wings" thought: if Richie James doesn't injure his knee this offseason, Trey Sermon is probably active today.— Adam Harstad (@AdamHarstad) September 12, 2021
And y'all thought returners didn't matter. (I mean, not y'all y'all, but some hypothetical y'all that doesn't follow me on Twitter.)
Now that Mostert is hurt, San Francisco isn't looking at Mitchell, Sermon, and Hasty as "clear backups", but as "potential starters", so the calculus changes. Just because Mitchell was ahead of Sermon in Week 1 doesn't mean it'll hold in Week 2 (or Week 8, or Week 16).
I'd also point to last year's Rams as an example of the dangers of overreacting. In Week 1, Cam Akers had 15 touches for 43 yards, Darrell Henderson had 3 touches for 6 yards, and Malcolm Brown had 21 touches for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. Plenty of fantasy managers dropped Akers and Henderson for Brown. (I was among them.)
The result? Henderson was the star of Week 2, earned the starting job by Week 3, and was a Top 20 fantasy back through Week 10. Akers started slowly, but by Week 11 had caught his stride and from Week 12 on averaged 113 yards per game, cementing himself as a Top 12 back before his offseason Achilles injury. And Brown never started a game and never topped 60 yards the rest of the way.
Any of San Francisco's three backs could plausibly be league-winners this year. Or none of them could, as Raheem Mostert (or Jeff Wilson) could return at midseason and take over again. All three are worth a spot at the end of the bench for a couple of weeks until we find out more information.
Dan Hindery: Elijah Mitchell is a high-priority waiver wire target. There is some risk given how fickle Kyle Shanahan has proven to be with his running backs but the upside is massive, as well. Raheem Mostert is droppable. No way would I consider dropping Trey Sermon. I see Sermon’s value as pretty similar to what it was during fantasy draft season. His competition is now Mitchell instead of Mostert. If I have Sermon and am able to add Mitchell, I would absolutely keep them both. Whoever the projected starter is going into a given week should be in your lineup. At worst, the other is an injury handcuff. This is a favorable enough fantasy situation that the potential headaches (possibly not knowing who the starter is from week to week) are worth it given the upside. We have seen Mostert have 200-yard, 4-touchdown games.
James Brimacombe: It's a long season so how I would approach this backfield would be to get the cheapest piece of the running game that you can right now. Mitchell looks like the pricey option now so if I miss out on the waiver wire on him I am looking in Hasty’s direction. Trey Sermon will come at a high price as owners drafted him early in drafts and are the true believers in him and will want a premium in return. I think JaMycal Hasty would be my answer for the long term buy cheap and hold and see how it goes. If you have a big enough roster I would also take some stabs at Jeff Wilson and hold on to him for the second half of the season.
"Footballguys is the best premium
Continue reading this article
with a Season Long Pro subscription.
fantasy football only site on the planet."
Matthew Berry, ESPN
"Footballguys is the best premium