Frank Gore has been one of the most productive running backs in the NFL in recent years, with at least 1,100 rushing yards in four of the last five seasons and over 1,000 yards on the ground in seven of the last eight seasons. It’s not surprising that he has also been a stalwart for fantasy football owners, with a top-15 finish among running backs in fantasy points in seven of the last eight years as well. Gore is in line for another productive season this year.
Gore has at least 240 carries in six of the last eight seasons, and he missed five games in one of those campaigns (2010). He is not in line for a big drop-off in carries this year, and he will remain the primary goal line back for the the 49ers (25 rushing touchdowns over the last three years).
Gore has never averaged below four yards per carry in his career, and he has at least eight total touchdowns in six of his nine seasons.
The 49ers had the third-most rushing attempts in the league last year (505; 31.6 per game), which should not change dramatically this year and Gore is still the team’s No. 1 running back.
Gore slowed down over the course of last season, with just one 100-yard rushing game while averaging 3.7 yards per carry over the final 13 games (including the playoffs), and he only found the end zone three times over the final 11 of those games. At age 31, and with over 2,500 career touches, the 49ers are likely to try to reduce Gore’s workload this year.
Gore production as a pass receiver has dropped off recently, with less than 20 catches in two of the last three years after having at least 43 receptions each season from 2006-2010. With plenty of other backs in the mix for touches, Gore’s passing down role will remain minimal.
Gore should still lead the 49ers’ backfield in carries as long as he stays healthy, but he has more downside than he’s typically had with the risk he hits the proverbial running back “wall” this year. He will be a viable RB2 in non-PPR leagues for at least one more year, but Gore’s days as an elite fantasy running back are firmly in the rearview mirror.
Bye Week: Week 8
Projected Round: Fifth Round
Auction Value: $20 (ESPN.com)
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter.