Jerick McKinnon Week 3 Waiver Wire Winner After 49ers RBs Decimated by Injuries - Roto Street Journal
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Jerick McKinnon Week 3 Waiver Wire Winner After 49ers RBs Decimated by Injuries

I don’t know what the 49ers did to anger the football gods, but they got struck by the injury bug despite a Week 2 blowout win against the Jets. Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman both went down with injuries and have already been declared OUT for Week 3’s contest with the Giants.

These injuries leave Jerick McKinnon as the lead RB in San Francisco, and that noise you heard was the sound of Wolf’s third leg splintering through his desk at McKinnon’s opportunity. The Wolf has been harping on a healthy McKinnon in Kyle Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme for so long, it’s ingrained in my brain.

For much of Sunday’s game with the Jets, McKinnon was a non-factor as the team leaned on Mostert early on before handing the reigns over to Coleman after Mostert suffered a mild MCL sprain.

The RB stat lines were as follows:

Mostert – 13 snaps, 8-92-1 rushing, 2-15-0 receiving

Coleman – 30 snaps, 14-12-0 rushing (puke), 2-28-0 receiving

McKinnon – 13 snaps, 3-77-1 rushing, 0-0 receiving (1 target)

Jeff Wilson – 5 snaps, 2 carries, irrelevant (for now…)

While McKinnon wasn’t featured much in Week 2, he made highlight plays and solidified a more significant role for himself moving forward for the 49ers.

When the team first signed McKinnon back in 2018, the contract implied that San Francisco was going to rely on the speedy running back for a large workload in the offense. However, knee injuries kept him off the field for two straight years as the team rotated backs in gross committees. McKinnon’s talent is off the charts, which is why Wolf has been so high on him for many years now. The potential is there, but what worries me is the opportunity he’ll get in the immediate future.

Most will probably look at the injury situation and see a ton of carries on the horizon for McKinnon. But, McKinnon has never really proved though that he can be a bell-cow back, and my biggest fear comes from the creature that is Jeff Wilson.

You might remember the name, but if you don’t, he’s was basically the RB3 or RB4 for the Niners in 2018, and received a few spot starts in the offense. He totaled 15 and 23 carries in back-to-back games, with 61 and 90 yards, respectively. I could easily see Shanahan catapulting Wilson into the RB1 role, while keeping McKinnon as a change of pace guy or third-down specialist.

What’s even worse is Nick Mullens will likely start at QB this week with Jimmy Garoppolo recovering from a sprained ankle. In Wilson’s two spot starts Wilson where he looked serviceable, his QB in those games were… Nick Mullens.

I love McKinnon’s upside and think he’s a very worthy Week 3 waiver wire add if he’s not already scooped up in your league. But the looming Jeff Wilson gives me pause from declaring McKinnon as a smash home run waiver wire hit.

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