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Fantasy fallout: Deebo Samuel is for real; Elijah Mitchell is 'for now'

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Nobody has a more stacked lineup of fantasy analysts and NFL team reporters than ESPN. It's the rare "backfield by committee" that is actually a good thing for fantasy football managers.

Every Tuesday, Mike Triplett will ask our NFL Nation reporters a series of burning questions about the weekend's biggest stories in order to help inform your waiver-wire pickups and roster decisions.

Among the biggest questions this week are the usual turbulence surrounding San Francisco's running backs and wide receivers -- and a surprising lack of turbulence in the Rams' backfield.

It's time to begin our trip around the league, so fasten your seat belts and get ready to tour the NFL Nation!


San Francisco 49ers

Are we seriously doing this again with the 49ers' RBs already? How aggressively should fantasy managers pursue Elijah Mitchell as a waiver-wire priority, and do you expect him to remain ahead of Trey Sermon long term?

Is anyone actually surprised by this, though? Since 2018, the 49ers have consistently deployed up to four primary running backs over the course of each season. And, unfortunately, Raheem Mostert has struggled to stay healthy since ascending to the starting role following his dynamic finish to the 2019 season. I have been high on Mitchell since before training camp started -- and that was only strengthened as camp went on. I even made the bold prediction that he would carve out a role in the San Francisco offense. After all, Mitchell's speed was well known when the 49ers used a sixth-round pick on him. However, he proved to be better than expected between the tackles. While he still has work to do, especially in pass protection, he still figures to get the first crack at replacing Mostert.