How to handle Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., and JaMycal Hasty in the 2022 fantasy football playoffs

Heading into the first round of the postseason, is Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson, or JaMycal Hasty the best option in fantasy leagues and DFS?

Elijah Mitchell has been one of the most surprising rookie breakouts in fantasy football this season. Although he missed a few games, Mitchell finished the season with the 19th-most points per game at the running back position in half-PPR leagues. If you’re looking for running back help for playoff leagues or in DFS lineups, does Mitchell, Jeff Wilson Jr., or JaMycal Hasty offer the most fantasy value?

Can Elijah Mitchell be a part of a deep playoff run?

I’m not sure any team in the playoffs is flying under the radar as much as the San Francisco 49ers. After a slow start to the season, the 49ers are 7-2 in their last nine games. Their offense has put up the seventh-most yards per game this year and has a diverse and healthy attack with Mitchell, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Brandon Aiyuk capable of putting up explosive plays.

Not only that, but their defense is entirely slept on. The unit has allowed the third-fewest yards per game and holds opposing quarterbacks to only 206.5 passing yards per contest. Teams with strong defenses, great run games, and the ability to make splash plays typically have a good chance in the playoffs. I’m not ruling out a run by the 49ers. For fantasy playoff leagues, it’s possible that San Francisco could win a game or two, giving you multiple weeks of production.

Are Jeff Wilson Jr. and JaMycal Hasty worthwhile options?

In his last five starts, even though he has battled through injuries, Mitchell has been one of the most heavily relied upon running backs in the NFL. He has averaged 23.6 rushing attempts and 98.8 rushing yards per game while adding 3 total touchdowns. In those five games, the 49ers have won four.

They want to feature Mitchell and control the clock while sprinkling in do-everything playmaker Samuel and star tight end Kittle. Mitchell is going to get work, and he’s healthy heading into the first round of the playoffs. Wilson and Hasty are nothing more than backup options whenever Mitchell is healthy. Two weeks ago, for instance, neither one of them saw a single handoff.

Mitchell looks like a bargain in DFS

Looking at this weekend’s Wild Card slate of games, Mitchell checks in with a price tag of $5,500 on DraftKings. The matchup with Dallas isn’t ideal, but it’s not horrible. The Cowboys have given up the 10th-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs over the last four weeks.

Workload is king, though, and Mitchell will get his. He’ll also be in line for scoring opportunities, and he’s priced as the 12th running back in a six-game slate. That price doesn’t seem to check out for me.

Mitchell should put up decent numbers and is playing in a game that I expect to be close. The oddsmakers agree — San Francisco is sitting at +3 on WynnBet, which is the narrowest spread of any game in the first round of the playoffs. Mitchell is a bargain in all types of contests and competitions this weekend.