Elijah Mitchell Fantasy Outlook & Injury Update 2022 (No. 1 Role in San Francisco Comes Down to Health)

Elijah Mitchell Fantasy Outlook & Injury Update 2022 (No. 1 Role in San Francisco Comes Down to Health)


Elijah Mitchell's rookie season in the NFL was a roller coaster to say the least. It was instantly clear that he was the No. 1 RB on the 49ers as he rushed for 104 yards and 1 touchdown on 19 carries in Week 1. However, he ended up missing six games due to knee, shoulder, finger, head and rib injuries.

Mitchell finished as the No. 26 RB in PPR-scoring fantasy football leagues. With that being the case, it's no surprise to see him at the tail end of RB2 territory in the rankings. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the 24th running back off of the board and as an early fifth round selection.

Elijah Mitchell Fantasy Football Outlook

It's worth noting that if Mitchell stayed healthy last season, then a RB1 finish was not out of the question. In fact, he finished as the No. 15 RB in terms of weekly average (15.0). Mitchell averaged exactly 100 yards from scrimmage in his 11 games played and saw workhorse load in the backfield.

Kyle Shanahan has been unpredictable with his backfields in the past, but his reliance on giving someone 20-plus carries a game has stayed true. That gives Mitchell a higher ceiling than other ball-carriers drafted around him.

Heading into 2022, there's no reason to believe Mitchell won't be one of the biggest x-factors on San Francisco's offense. Yes, the front office drafted Tyrion Davis-Prince in the third round back in April. The LSU standout is expected to compete with Jeff Wilson and Trey Sermon for a backup role, though. Mitchell proved during the 2021 season that he isn't messing around. After all, 515 of his 963 rushing yards were racked up after contact and he broke 16 tackles.

Mitchell's upside is obviously capped by him injury history. The issues were spread all over his body and that has to make fantasy managers worry about his durability. The last thing they want to happen is for Mitchell to go down again and be forced to ride with a waiver-wire pickup. He is a risky pick.

Elijah Mitchell Injury Update

Mitchell immediately felt the wear and tear that comes with being a NFL RB. He first missed Weeks 3 & 4 with a shoulder injury. The 24-year-old was then absent for San Francisco's Week 11 game with finger & rib injuries. Mitchell also missed Weeks 14 through 16 with concussion and knee issues.

The good news is that Mitchell enters training camp with no lingering effects from those injuries. He immediately started working with the first-team offense and head coach Kyle Shanahan said "he has looked good." All signs point to the second-year pro being ready to lead the backfield in Week 1.

Elijah Mitchell Projections

Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook expect Mitchell to have a heck of a season. He's fifth to lead the NFL in rushing yards (+1600), which is well above where he ranked in 2021 with 963 yards on the ground. He's also 18th to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns. That is obviously going to be a much harder title to take home considering he only has 5 career touchdowns to his name. When taking Mitchell's rookie averages into account (20.5 touches per game, 4.9-yard average), the idea of him logging over 1,500 yards from scrimmage is far from unrealistic.

Is Elijah Mitchell a Good Fantasy Football Pick?

When it comes down to it, is Mitchell someone to target in the middle rounds? For sure, but he lines up as more of a top-tier FLEX option. He's the No. 26 running back in the The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings, and is a suitable pick for managers looking to wait at the RB position.

Mitchell is not going to be someone fantasy managers reach for in drafts, but he will be someone capable of outperforming his ADP in the best case scenario. Waiting to see how other managers in your league judge him is the best strategy here. It could lead to you getting a steal in the sixth round or later.

If you've drafted Mitchell this year, or you're a San Francisco fan, make sure to check out the best San Francisco 49ers fantasy football team names for your squad.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.