San Francisco 49ers RB Elijah Mitchell has displayed some fantasy upside over the last two years. However, injuries have made him an inconsistent option, and he’s obviously behind Christian McCaffrey on the San Francisco depth chart.
So, what can we expect from Mitchell in 2023? Let’s break it down below.
2023 Fantasy Football: Elijah Mitchell Profile
Recap of 2022 season
Mitchell got hurt in Week 1. By the time he returned to the field, the team had struck a trade with the Carolina Panthers to install McCaffrey as their RB1. Mitchell played a backup role for three games before succumbing to yet another injury.
Updated 49ers outlook
The 49ers are expected to win plenty of games, and you know they will run the ball in Kyle Shanahan’s offense. Last year’s rookie sensation, Brock Purdy, could be the Week 1 starter at quarterback. However, Sam Darnold and Trey Lance will look to compete for that spot. Either way, San Francisco can rely on its offensive line — spearheaded by Trent Williams, excellent defense, and McCaffrey to make another postseason push.
Mitchell becomes a strong second runner behind McCaffrey. He sees around 10-12 touches per game with excellent efficiency while spelling the 49ers’ top running back. It would be great if that included some goal-line attempts as well. Then, Mitchell would be in a position to be a potential fantasy league-winner if McCaffrey gets injured. In a best-case scenario, Mitchell is a solid FLEX in deeper, PPR leagues given his production alongside CMC.
The absolute worst-case scenario is that Mitchell cannot avoid the injury bug for the third straight season, which seems to be the case as the Niners running back is sidelined during training camp. Aside from that, Mitchell might not be cemented as the RB2, as Jordan Mason could factor into the mix, which would dilute Mitchell’s volume even more.
Mitchell is a handcuff in fantasy football heading into the 2023 season. There’s a chance he has a few good games even with McCaffrey healthy, but his production will be extremely difficult to predict (and trust) on a weekly basis as long as CMC is active.
His outlook is a lot murkier now that he sustained an injury in training camp.