Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah is a perfect fit for the San Francisco 49ers backfield. He is fourth on the Lions depth chart and will be used for special teams primarily. Is the fact that his cap hit is just over $1 million a good enough reason for Detroit to keep him?

Well, lets delve deeper. Ameer Abdullah has entered the 4th and final year of his rookie contract. Regardless of how affordable he is in 2018, he will become a free agent in 2019 and the Lions have depth at the position. Kerryon Johnson shined in the preseason. So much so, that his snaps were limited and we saw veteran LeGarrette Blount playing in the second half of meaningless preseason games. Theo Riddick is a superb pass catching back who can lineup at any receiver position.

Abdullah was drafted in round 2 of the 2015 NFL draft and hasn’t produced to expectations as of now. To be fair, the Lions old coaching staff was horrible in regards to designing a quality running game.

Even worse was their horrible situational play calling and running efficiency statistics. The Lions have produced the worst offensive rushing game over the past 5 years per Warren Sharp (http://www.sharpfootballanalysis.com/blog/2018/detroit-could-wipe-away-massive-inefficiency-and-predictability-in-2018-with-this-improvement?mc_cid=47a93a8abe&mc_eid=5896ef96e7). I highly recommend reading anything that Sharp puts out there. Everytime I read one of his writings, I learn something new and feel I’ve gained an edge in the Fantasy Football World!

Kevin Smith in 2004 was the last 1,000 yard rusher in Detroit. The team hasn’t had a 100 yard rushing game since Thanksgiving day of 2013 when Reggie Bush ran for 117 yards.

Head Coach Matt Patricia brought in LeGarrette Blount to pound the rock and be the goaline back. The Lions then drafted Kerryon Johnson in round 2 of this year’s draft. Ameer Abdullah is definitely the odd man out but he also adds depth to a team that appears to be making a commitment to the run game. Tight end Luke Wilson is an upgrade in the blocking aspect over Eric Ebron as well.

Abdullah’s age (25), ability to be a 3 down back and special teams skills make him worthy of a 4th round pick in return. Martin Mayhew (49ers senior personnel executive) already traded with the Lions to acquire guard Laken Tomlinson for a 5th round pick in 2019. So the 49ers would need to give up their 4th round pick which would leave them without a 4th/5th rounder in 2019.

The relationship between both organizations is there with Mayhew previously acting as the general manager in Detroit, the Lions depth at the running back position and the need for a 3 down pass catching back in San Fran.

Expect the 49ers to revisit signing recently released running back Jeremy McNichols for depth. As of now its ol head Alfred Morris listed as the starting running back in San Francisco. Up and coming Matt Breida (health concerns) offers production as a change of pace back, pass catcher and 3rd down specialist. Running back Raheem Mostert is mainly special teams and full back Kyle Juszczyk is not a 3 down option.

We have a full blown committee in San Francisco with Ameer Abdullah providing an immediate solution. It would allow for Matt Breida to slide back into his change of pace role and Alfred Morris to be the back up. Morris does have a 4+ career yards per carry average and his familiarity with Kyle Shanahan’s offense is a plus. However, who would you rather have? The 25 year old, explosive Ameer Abdullah who won’t foreshadow to opposing defenses that its a run play? Or the one dimensional 30 year old Alfred Morris?

Jimmy Garoppolo will be slinging the ball often due to the niners falling behind often will Morris as their lead back. Of course Ameer Abdullah offers higher upside in Fantasy Football and Jerick McKinnon was not able to handle three down duties in 2018.

Make the trade San Fran!!!

As Always,

(Teams Going Off + Thoughts Flexed In) = Combination Lineups

May the Fantasy Force Be With You.

Follow Moon Man on Twitter @FFPmoonman

Updated Running Back Rankings:

https://ffphilosophy.com/2018/08/28/top-100-fantasy-football-running-backs-period/

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