San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert sits atop a four-headed monster in the backfield, and he belongs in your fantasy football season-long and DFS lineups in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
San Francisco leads the series 11-10 against Pittsburgh with a 5-5 split at home, and it’s the first time hosting the Steelers since beating them 20-3 in 2011.
Though the Steelers have lost quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season, backup quarterback Mason Rudolph has proven upside in the passing game. However, he faces a tall task on the West Coast against a ferocious Niners pass-rush defense.
Defensive ends Dee Ford and Nick Bosa are game-time decisions. But if both suit up, Rudolph will have difficulty finding wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuester and former 49ers tight-end Vance McDonald, in what figures to be the latter’s revenge game.
On the flip side, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo lost a decade-long staple on offense. Last week, offensive tackle Joe Staley suffered a broken fibula and will likely miss up to eight weeks. This, coupled with Garoppolo’s pending date with Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, could spell disaster for the Niners run game.
Volume & efficiency
Volume is king when it comes to fantasy football, but efficiency is a very close second factor. While Mostert played on only 47 percent of the snaps in Week 2, it’s what he did with those opportunities that make him stand out.
According to NextGen Stats, Mostert toted the rock 13 times for 83 yards. That might seem competent, compared to Breida’s 12 rushes for 121 yards. But you must factor Mostert’s efficiency as a receiver as well.
Mostert caught three of four targets for an additional 68 yards and one touchdown, per NextGen Stats. This matters in season-long fantasy football or DFS matchups. Ideally, you want to target wide receivers who are targeted five times or more.
Mostert faces a bottom-10 defense in Week 3. Visiting running backs James White of the New England Patriots, and Rashaad Penny of the Seattle Seahawks, had a day with the Steelers in Weeks 1 and 2, respectively, for an average of 15 fantasy points each, across multiple fantasy platforms.
Against running backs, the Steelers have allowed 110 rushing yards per game on 27 rushing attempts, 8.5 receptions to pass-catching backs and 70 receiving yards per game. This matchup has all the makings for another solid high-end RB3 with RB2 upside outing by Mostert.
On DraftKings, Mostert is only $6K and carries projected ownership of only 1.74 percent, a bargain sleeper who could help you land your million.
I rely on no less than 10 different resources to compile my spreadsheets and analysis on potential starters each week. One of those resources is Las Vegas bookmakers. When it comes to running backs for fantasy football, I look for high negative spreads and big gaps in the Moneyline.
Bettingpros lists the following spread and Moneyline:
Steelers: +6.5 +240
49ers: -6.5 -300
Typically, a spread over four points is usually an indicator of rushing volume, and a Moneyline over 30 implies a team favoring the run game.
Of course, this doesn’t always pan out. But the odds of Mostert finding gold again at home could not align any better!
The 49ers have a real shot at ending 3-0 before the Week 4 bye, and Mostert should be an instrumental piece. So plug him into your lineups confidently as a flex with RB2 upside!