Michael Beller of Sports Illustrated put together a list of potential early 2019 fantasy football draft sleepers. San Francisco 49ers running back Matt Breida is among the undervalued players listed.

Beller wrote the following about Breida:

"It isn't often that a player who racked up 1,075 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns in one season is a fantasy sleeper the next, but Breida is in a unique position. The 49ers brought in Tevin Coleman in the offseason, and he's widely expected to be the team's lead back. Factor in the return of Jerick McKinnon, who missed all of last year after tearing his ACL late in the summer, and suddenly Breida looks like one of the most underappreciated players in the league. His role this season certainly will change, especially considering the success Coleman had under Kyle Shanahan when the two were together in Atlanta. Still, Breida didn't luck his way into last year's impressive stat line. He has a ton to offer as both a runner and receiver, and is well worth a shot with an ADP (131.1) that lands him late in the 11th round of a 12-team draft."

There has been much debate surrounding Breida and his fellow running backs on the 49ers roster. McKinnon was to be the team's starter last season before a season-ending ACL injury ended that plan.

Breida himself also dealt with injuries throughout the season yet managed to appear in 14 games while starting 13. 814 of his 1,075 all-purpose yards came while rushing the football.

Many believed Breida would compete with McKinnon, who is still rehabbing from his ACL injury, to be the 49ers' featured back in 2019. Team decision-makers introduced a new variable with the surprise signing of Coleman to a two-year deal.

The situation was further complicated when it was revealed Breida would miss the team's entire offseason program due to a slight pectoral tear. Although, he is expected to be a full practice participant during training camp.

Breida's injury and a setback to Raheem Mostert's recovery from the broken forearm suffered last season have left Coleman getting the majority of the reps in practice. That and the fact that Coleman has experience in Shanahan's offense have left many of this year's "experts" to speculate that he has the upper hand at snagging the 49ers' starting running back job. Coleman was with the Atlanta Falcons during Shanahan's two seasons as the offensive coordinator there.

No matter who ends up with the starter label, Breida knows each running back will serve a crucial role in the 49ers offense this season.

"All three of us are going to be used a lot," Breida told the San Francisco Chronicle in May. "I don't want to give away any secrets, but we're all going to be used in the offense."

Poll

  • Which 49ers running back will touch the football most in 2019?
  • Matt Breida
  • Tevin Coleman
  • Jerick McKinnon