Gaskins was released by the 49ers on Saturday, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reports. Even with Carlos Hyde (concussion) now injured, Gaskins didn't have a shot to stick on the final roster. Mike Davis, DuJuan Harris and Kelvin Taylor are competing for either one or two roster spots behind Hyde and Shaun Draughn (back).
Gaskins signed a two-year contract with the 49ers. Gaskins was on the 49ers practice squad in 2014 and at the beginning of 2015 before being pulled up to San Francisco's active roster around midseason and playing in the final nine games last year. He recorded 38 yards on 16 rushes and 69 yards on eight receptions in those nine games, but his major contribution was on special teams, where he played 35 percent of the team's snaps. Now that he's been signed once again, the third year running back will be looking to make the roster, but it seems unlikely that he becomes relevant in any fantasy format unless injuries force him into a larger role on offense.
Gaskins was promoted from the practice squad and saw limited action, finishing the year with 16 carries for 38 yards while adding 69 yards on eight catches. After starting the last two seasons on the 49ers' practice squad, Gaskins finally made his professional debut when Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush went down with season-ending injuries. His 2.4 YPC confirm the organization's belief that he isn't more than a roster depth piece. He is under contract through the end of the next season, so he will likely end up on the practice squad if he can survive the training camp roster cuts.
Gaskins carried the ball twice during Sunday's loss to the Lions, tallying 12 yards. It's hard to put a finger on Gaskins' role in the offense. After totaling seven carries in Week 10 against Atlanta, Gaskins didn't touch the ball again until Week 15, where he showed some receiving ability by hauling in six catches. Then Gaskins followed up that performance by not seeing a pass come his way on Sunday. Gaskins has yet to top 52 total yards in a game or score, so his value was already minimal. A lack of any sort of defined role solidifies him as an untouchable in the free agency pool.
Either Gaskins or DuJuan Harris will likely start Sunday's game against the Lions with Shaun Draughn (knee) ruled out, the San Jose Mercury News reports. Gaskins has carried the ball for the 49ers just 14 times since being brought up from the practice squad in late October, but that's 14 more than Harris, who was just added to the roster this week. Gaskins did make an impact in the passing game last week with six receptions and 52 receiving yards, so he will likely at least serve as the running back on passing downs. If he gets the early-down and/or goalline work too, he could be a sneaky Week 16 option against a Lions defense that has allowed a league-high 18 rushing touchdowns.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/22||Los Angeles Rams||14||16.63|
|10||11/12||New York Giants||7||14.88|
|17||12/31||@Los Angeles Rams||14||16.63|
|3 Year Avg||8||19||0||4||34||0||4|