Over the past three weeks, two unlikely 49ers players have rose to fantasy prominence. The first being Blaine Gabbert and the other obviously being Shaun Draughn. Sooner or later we’ll be seeing tweets with them being recommended as the duo for True Detective Season 3.
Starring television roles aside, if you’re hurting at running back heading into the playoff, you could do a lot worse than Shaun Draughn.
Since taking over the starting running back role, Draughn has ran for 146 yards on 43 carries and caught 17 passes for 113 yards.
Yes, the 3.4 yards per carry isn’t too pretty, but he’s managed to make plays against the Cardinals, Seahawks and Falcons. Each of those run defenses ranks in the top 10 in yards allowed per game.
In the coming weeks, Draughn should have an easier time getting the ground game going considering he faces the Bears, Browns, Bengals and Lions over the next few weeks.
While the schedule suggests he should have better success running the ball, Draughn has also been a huge factor in the passing game.
In the past three weeks, Draughn has been targeted 21 times by Blaine Gabbert and that won’t be stopping anytime soon. The 49ers don’t have the best group of receivers and considering the struggles of the offensive line, Draughn is going to get a lot of action.
Also, Draughn has literally sewn up the every-down running back job. In week 12, according to JJ Zachariason, he became the only running back all season to play every single one of his team’s offensive snaps. He likely won’t be leaving the field very much as long as Carlos Hyde is out.
On paper, a 27-year-old running back that just comes out of nowhere in a pretty bad offense is somewhat hard to trust, but that needs to be thrown out the window when it comes to Draughn.
Blaine Gabbert has somehow become a capable quarterback and Draughn is getting all the action he can handle. Draughn may not be the fantasy hero that we want, but he is the one that we need. Draughn needs to be owned in all leagues.