Three and out: Gore’s fantasy value takes a hit

Niners land Brandon Jacobs: Remember when I said the running back position was going to be a huge question mark for fantasy owners in 2012? Well, the addition of Jacobs in San Francisco is going to do nothing but create more doubt. The bruising veteran, who joins Mario Manningham as former Giants to land with the Niners, will put a dent into the draft value of Frank Gore. With Kendall Hunter also in the mix, the 49ers now have three capable runners on their roster. Gore will continue to start and see a majority of the backfield touches, but he’s certain to lose some short-yardage and goal-line work to Jacobs. What’s more, Gore will be 29 and is coming off one of his heaviest workloads (311 carries through the regular season and postseason), so it’s a bad idea to draft him as more than a No. 2 fantasy runner. Jacobs is worth a late-round look in most leagues, but I still see Hunter as the best handcuff for Gore.

Peterson to start running: Fantasy star Adrian Peterson, who is coming off reconstructive knee surgery, is expected to begin running this week. And while all reports on the start of his rehab have been positive, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier still isn’t certain Peterson will be ready for the start of next season. Even if he is cleared, A.D. could be limited in the first few weeks as he regains mental and physical confidence in the knee. Most players coming off an anterior cruciate ligament injury need one full year before they’re back at 100 percent, even more so when the ailment was suffered so late in the season. As a result, drafting Peterson as more than a No. 2 fantasy back is a bad move — especially if you don’t land Toby Gerhart as a middle- to late-round handcuff.

Britt’s knee doing well: Titans wideout Kenny Britt was on his way to fantasy stardom last season, but a torn ACL suffered in his third game put that ascent on hold. The good news is that he suffered the ailment early in the year, so Britt will be in a better position to come in and make an impact than Peterson or Rashard Mendenhall. In fact, the talented receiver told The Tennessean he “will be 110 percent better than before” he suffered the ailment. That remains to be seen, but Britt has already started to run without a brace and is even planting and cutting with his right leg. Barring a setback over the next several months, he’ll be worth a middle-round look as a risk-reward No. 2 fantasy wideout in most leagues.

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