Update: Jay Glazer reports that Christian McCaffrey will get around 20 snaps.
The 49ers travel to face the Panthers in Week 5 and will look for a bit of a breakthrough game for their ground attack. The Niners have been solid enough on the ground, but they haven’t had that monster game that reminds you how good Kyle Shanahan can be in devising a ground attack.
To date, the 49ers are averaging 135.3 rushing yards per game and 4.4 per rush. If those were their season-ending figures, that’d be impressive, but early on their YPC is tied for 16th. Last week against the Rams, San Francisco had 22 rushes for 88 yards and Jeff Wilson finished the day with 74 and a touchdown. He’s been a perfectly solid running back, but nothing spectacular. Can he break out in Week 5?
Fantasy Football analysis: 49ers RB Jeff Wilson
Wilson has scored double-digit fantasy points each week since becoming the starting running back. He had 13.4 last week, 11.6 the week before against Denver, and 12.3 the week before that against Seattle. He currently ranks 33rd in fantasy points per game, but if we removed his first game when he was a backup, he’d be 25th. Still low-end RB2 level, but that’s not nothing.
This week, the 49ers face a Panthers defense that ranks 10th against the run and 14th in fantasy points allowed to running backs. It’s worth noting they had strong performances against the Giants, Saints, and Cardinals, but the Browns' vaunted rushing attack ran all over them to the tune of 217 yards on 39 carries. That suggests some upside in Wilson this weekend.
Start or sit in Week 5?
Start Wilson as a low-end RB2 with high-end RB2 upside.