49ers vs. Panthers: 3 easy predictions to make for Week 5
No. 3: Jeff Wilson Jr. will carry the load for 49ers
Running back Jeff Wilson Jr., who jumped to the top of the depth chart due to an injury to starter Elijah Mitchell, is coming off a game against the Los Angeles Rams where he carried the ball 18 times for 74 yards and a touchdown.
There’s no reason to believe that Wilson will not again have the lion’s share of carries in the backfield. For reference, Wilson currently has carried the ball 57 times for 255 yards rushing. That puts him at 17 in rushing yards for the season.
The Panthers’ starting running back, Christian McCaffrey who many believed would be in top form after returning from his injury, has numbers that are not too far off from Wilson, though McCaffrey, a top-three pick in many fantasy football leagues, has carried the ball 58 times for 270 yards this season.
Wilson, even when he slid into the starting running back spot, was not expected to be a top rusher in the league. But he performs well when he gets volume, currently, and he is averaging 4.5 yards per carry on the season.
That average puts him ahead of top running backs like Jonathan Taylor, Dalvin Cook and Derrick Henry in that category.
He will have another 15 to 18 carries on Sunday for 80 yards rushing and a touchdown.