Fantasy RB Insurance


By Vidur Malik

As the playoff time begins, it’s important to solidify your backups in case your starters get some late-season rest. This will probably be the case for those of you who have Frank Gore on your team, as he hasn’t been at full-strength for a while.


Fortunately, his backup Kendall Hunter should provide some production, and you should consider picking him up. The Niners already locked up the NFC West and are now playing for playoff seeding, so even though their games are still meaningful, Gore doesn’t necessarily need to have big days these last few weeks. He’s been the team’s workhorse for several seasons now, but Hunter showed he is a capable runner himself this season.


Hunter’s stats aren’t impressive (82 carries for 322 yards and two touchdowns), but he has made the most of his chances during his rookie season, and when Gore was struggling early this year, there was even talk of Hunter cutting into Gore’s carries. Gore ultimately proved he could handle a starter’s workload, but Hunter has still gotten consistent reps and has caught 11 passes for 149 yards, demonstrating that he can use his quickness as a receiver as well.


Hunter has probably not made many headlines on the national scene, but you should capitalize on that and pick him up if he is available in your league. Chances are Gore will not receive 20 carries a game, and any reps he doesn’t get should go to Hunter. He’s solidified himself as the No. 2 running back in San Francisco, and his value should be at its peak now that the 49er starters could rest in preparation for the playoffs.


One of the most challenging aspects of the fantasy playoffs is figuring out which starters to bench. If Gore is on your team, read up on his updates and pick up Hunter as insurance. If Gore looks like he’ll play, you’ve still got one of the league’s best on your team. If he doesn’t play, you’ll put yourself in the best position to get points he would normally pick up by starting Hunter.


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