Over the weekend, the 49ers contemplated how to address the fact that second-year tailback Glen Coffee had decided to walk away from the NFL. The free agent pool was fairly thin, and myriad injuries in preseason games sent General Managers scrambling.
The Saints signed former Washington tailback Ladell Betts to rebuild depth at tailback following Lynell Hamilton’s injury. The Bills signed several rookies. Other teams hit by injuries are mulling signings of the remaining veteran options.
On Monday, it was announced that former Eagles star and longtime fantasy hero Brian Westbrook had agreed to terms with the 49ers. Anthony Dixon, the sixth-round pick out of Mississippi State, topped 100 yards and scored for the 49ers in their preseason opener, but the team opted to bring in a seasoned veteran who can play on third downs (Westbrook’s pass-catching efforts made him a fantasy legend).
Westbrook immediately slides up the board as Gore’s top backup and handcuff option. Given the improvements on the offensive line (save the center’s broken leg, of course), the 49ers are looking to make some noise in the NFC West. Westbrook won’t see enough carries to warrant a fantasy start if Gore stays healthy.
However, he could prove to be a fantasy goldmine off the bench if pressed into heavy action.