We need to be careful not to overrate a player based on any performance against the Raiders, much less a preseason performance. Oakland's defense was the worst in the AFC last year in terms of rushing yards allowed (159.7 per game).
Still, when a rookie running back delivers triple-digit yardage on 16 first-half carries, the fantasy community should take note, no matter the opponent. San Francisco's Glen Coffee(notes) was an absolute terror against the Raiders on Saturday. He gained 137 total yards over just three series and he buried a defender (or two) at the end of every run. Usually it was safety Hiram Eugene(notes) and/or linebacker Thomas Howard(notes) taking the hit. Highlights here.
These were the rookie's post-game comments:
"I’m learning to be a physical runner and it’s easy behind this line," Coffee said. "They just blocked and blocked and blocked."
It's not just the line. If you watch the video, you'll see a few stellar blocks by Michael Robinson(notes), too. The Niners are going to feature a power-running attack this year under head coach Mike Singletary and coordinator Jimmy Raye. If things go according to plan, there are going to be plenty of touches left for Coffee after Frank Gore(notes) is satisfied.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that the rookie presents a serious threat to Gore, though. Here's Singletary via the AP:
"Frank Gore is, in my opinion, one of the top five backs in the league." ... "Frank’s going to run the ball. We’re going to get the ball to Frank. Coffee, we’re very thankful that we have him, but he’s going to serve the same purpose that we brought him here for. There’s going to be times when Frank needs a rest, and that’s when Coffee will have a chance to play."
When Coffee plays, he's going to abuse some people. That guy is a load, and he's oddly smooth for a back who delivers so much punishment. His current Mock Draft Central ADP is just 202.8, so there's little risk involved.
Gore had ACL tears in both knees in college, he's had surgery on both shoulders in the pros and he's missed games due to injury in three of his four NFL seasons. It's not like he's unbreakable. Consider Coffee one of the more intriguing handcuffs in the player pool.
Photo via AP Images