FBG says: Good matchup. The Saints ground attack has been the league's gold standard for the better part of two years, but has struggled a bit of late. They sit just 17th in raw yardage and 13th per attempt, with just 7 rushing touchdowns on the season. Alvin Kamara remains a shifty, dynamic runner, and one of football's most dangerous weapons in open space. But it appears his rushing volume has officially been scaled back. Kamara took on 72% of running back carries before his Week 6 injury, but has dipped to 59% since returning. His efficiency has gone up in the decreased role, though, with 5.5 yards per carry over the past 4 games. But he hasn't topped 75 yards since Week 1, and he hasn't found the end zone since Week 3. This attack has fully shifted back into the two-back mold of the past few years, with Latavius Murray running serviceably in the old Mark Ingram role. He doesn't produce enough for fantasy consideration, but siphons enough work to ding Kamara's upside.
For all of their pass-game dominance, the San Francisco defense has struggled for most of 2019 against the run. Through 12 games, they sit 25th league-wide in yardage allowed per rush (4.7) and 22nd per game (117). That said, they've shown noticeable improvement over their past three games. There's no shame in allowing a big day to Lamar Jackson, but they've done a fine job of containing Mark Ingram (15 carries for 59 yards), Aaron Jones (13 for 38), and Kenyan Drake (16 for 67) over that span. Perhaps the biggest factor has been top linebacker Fred Warner, whose play has trended upward after a rough start to the season. There are still plenty of liabilities, though. Rookie Dre Greenlaw has been inconsistent next to Warner, and the cornerback-heavy secondary provides little help in the box. Last week, Jackson was able to use his instinct and suddenness to create room against the 49ers' light front seven. It's safe to assume Alvin Kamara, who's similarly tough to track in the open field, has taken notes.