FBG says: Neutral matchup. The 49ers boast the league's second-most run-dominant offense, pounding the ball on 50% of their snaps; only the Ravens run it more. But that volume divvies up several ways each week, which works for coach Kyle Shanahan but limits the upside of all three relevant backs. Raheem Mostert has been a great story, running explosively (6.0 yards per rush) to the point of leading the backfield in snaps, carries, and yards over the past 2 weeks. Mostert's usage is likely capped around 10-12 rushes a week, but he's a flex consideration in fantasy with that wild efficiency. (It's likely not a fluke, either: Mostert put up 7.7 per carry in a change-of-pace role last season.) Matt Breida returned from injury last week and ran well, opening the day with a 28-yard scamper and ending with 54 on just 6 attempts. Breida is quick and dynamic, but spent last Sunday as Mostert's caddy and may stay in that role. He's a bit fragile, and Shanahan has rarely used him heavily. At the moment, Tevin Coleman isn't part of the festivities, with just 19 rushes for 51 yards over the past 3 weeks. Coleman drew just three carries in last Sunday's shootout, and he didn't do himself any favors by failing to convert a 3rd-and-1 chance. All told, this is one of football's most productive attacks, but it's never easy to nail down the distribution. That makes Mostert and Breida volatile, if high-upside, fantasy plays on any given week.
The Atlanta run defense remains a relatively weak unit, and it's been beaten consistently on an efficiency level by good backs. But overall, there's been notable improvement throughout this group, and this isn't the cakewalk fantasy matchup it once was. Dating back to Week 5, only a single runner (Chris Carson) has cracked 70 yards against the Falcons, and they've done excellent work in bouts with Todd Gurley (18 for 41), David Johnson (12 for 34), and the red-hot Latavius Murray (9 for 14 over 2 games). Tackle Grady Jarrett remains a dominant force inside, routinely tying up blockers and blowing up plays in the backfield himself. And the linebackers are strong: Deion Jones has long been an active run-stopper, but De'Vondre Campbell has taken a big step forward this year. Overall, this matchup is nothing to fear for fantasy purposes, and Kyle Shanahan's attack does project well for Sunday. But the days of blindly plugging any Falcons opponent into a lineup are over, or at least on hold.