Marcas Grant | Tags: Three and out, Aaron Rodgers, Benjarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals, Darren McFadden, Eddie Lacy, frank gore, Giovani Bernard, Green Bay Packers, James Starks, Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Marcus Lattimore, Randall Cobb, San Francisco 49ers
Niners to go RB-by-committee?: Those ever-dreaded fantasy words could become part of the San Francisco 49ers offensive lexicon — running back-by-committee. That’s the impression Niners general manager Trent Baalke gave while speaking at the Combine this week. The team had hoped to use more backs to spell Frank Gore in 2013, but the veteran still ended up playing 75 percent of the team’s offensive snaps. This season, Baalke expects the 49ers to use a three-headed attack in the backfield. Gore will certainly be part of that group, but the question is who will emerge from the triumvirate of Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James and Marcus Lattimore. The latter was the NFL equivalent of a redshirt last season while continuing his rehab from a knee injury suffered in his final collegiate season. The biggest upshot of this is that Gore’s draft value will drop more than any of the other backs.
McCarthy envisions more from Lacy: This news will be music to fantasy owners’ ears: Packers head coach Mike McCarthy wants Eddie Lacy to be an every-down back in 2014. That can only help a rusher who split time with James Starks last season, yet still managed to post better than 1,400 scrimmage yards with 11 total touchdowns. Those totals helped him land as the sixth-best fantasy rusher in 2013. Getting Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb back healthy for the start of the season won’t hurt, either.
Bernard won’t see rise in touches: Just in case you were banking on a bigger workload for Gio Bernard in 2014, you might want to hold on. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis says he doesn’t anticipate his young, dual-threat back seeing more touches than he did in 2013. The rookie finished just outside of the top 15 among fantasy backs while splitting time with BenJarvus Green-Ellis. It’s expected that the Bengals will pursue Darren McFadden in free agency, which could make for a dynamic pairing with Bernard in Hue Jackson’s offense. But if Lewis’ statement comes to pass, Bernard won’t rise above the level of a mid-range RB2 in most leagues and a little higher in PPR leagues.
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