34-Year-Old Running Back – Indianapolis Colts
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
Quietly, Gore has become one of the most remarkable performers in NFL history. During a period in which running backs are considered almost disposable by front offices, the 34-year-old just keeps chug...
Frank Gore Contract Information:
Signed by the Colts in March of 2015.
Gore rushed twice for four yards in Saturday's preseason Week 2 loss to the Cowboys.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2017 Proj||34||IND||Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Frank Gore|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
|2017 Proj||34||IND||Subscribe now to see our 2017 projections for Frank Gore|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Frank Gore: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Running back is a hazardous NFL position, and it’s especially dangerous when players get to the 30-something years, but Gore hasn’t read that memo. Here’s the convenient truth: Gore hasn’t missed a game since 2010. He’s earned a reputation as a workout warrior and a careful protector of his body, and that’s served him well over the years. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to be lucky, too. Gore’s YPC took a tumble in his first Indianapolis season, though the extended absence of Andrew Luck certainly didn’t help the offense much. The Colts get Luck back this year, and take specific note of what the team did in the NFL draft: four offense linemen selected, zero running backs. They’re still invested in Gore, even into his age-33 season. On volume alone, this looks like a boring but valuable floor pick, someone you might even be able to land as the first running back off your fantasy bench.
After years of stockpiling backups for the day Gore broke down or faded away, the 49ers simply let him walk in free agency this offseason. Despite his advanced age (32) and huge career workload, Gore is regular as clockwork, not missing a game in four seasons and churning out yardage in large chunks. He recorded his fourth consecutive 1,100-yard season last year, with four 100-yard games. He's never possessed elite speed, but he's become adept at avoiding solid contact, using his vision, elusiveness and balance to find soft spots in the defense and make the most out of them. The Colts, looking for a more stable lead back than the injury-prone Ahmad Bradshaw or disappointing Trent Richardson, inked Gore to a three-year contract, and while Indianapolis' offense isn't as geared toward the run as San Francisco's, that isn't necessarily a bad thing for Gore. He also has good hands and averaged more than 70 targets per year in the four seasons prior to Jim Harbaugh, under whom he had just 28 targets per year in four seasons. A bigger role in the passing game could more than make up for whatever carries and production Gore might lose on the ground as the Colts keep him fresh.
Gore enters his age-31 season in an interesting situation. As is not uncommon for high-mileage backs, Gore saw his rushing numbers regress upon hitting the big 3-0 last year, posting the lowest 16-game rushing total of his career along with a career-low 4.1 YPC and his lowest catch total (16) since his rookie season. Meanwhile, the Niners have an impressive stable of younger running backs –Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Marcus Lattimore and new draftee Carlos Hyde – who should start pressing him hard for playing time this year. So Gore's career trending is downward and his value is sharply diminished for PPR purposes already. However, there are some points working in his favor. Though he seems to always be probable or questionable with knee issues, Gore has played in every game for three consecutive seasons and appears to be fully healthy following January finger surgery. And as a prototypical north-south runner, he's also seen double-digit carries at the goal line in the last three consecutive seasons – something that could persist this year even if one of his understudies cuts into his overall touches. The most likely scenario this season, assuming health, is that Gore sees his carries cut from his normal 250-plus to about 150, but retains enough goal-line use to retain flex value in standard formats. Be wary of overpaying for that limited value on draft day.
A pure north-south runner who gets lower than defenders to drive through tacklers, Gore proved a good fit for the read-option attack San Francisco turned to last season with Colin Kaepernick out of the pistol formation. Gore averaged 4.7 YPC and totaled nine touchdowns, both three-year highs, behind one of the league's best offensive lines. Perhaps more importantly, after missing games in four consecutive seasons, the hard-charging Gore has played 16 games each of the last two years. But Gore is 30 this year and is set to top 2,000 career carries in his ninth season. A third consecutive 16-game season might be too much to expect. Moreover, the presence of LaMichael James, Kendall Hunter and Kaepernick contributing on the ground could result in a workload that declines even further than the 16.1 carries Gore averaged per game in 2012. Once a prolific pass catcher, Gore is no longer a significant factor in that department, with only 45 receptions over his last 32 games.
Gore played in all 16 games last season for just the second time in his career, though that came with a modest 4.3 YPC mark and a steep drop in production as a receiver. In fact, over the final eight games, he averaged just 3.5 YPC and had only four receptions. Gore, who might have the best vision of any back in football, is in decline, but his 11 carries for 20-plus yards tied for the third most in the NFL. While his 1,653 career carries aren’t overly high, he’s now 29 years old, and his physical style has resulted in a loss of some explosiveness. Moreover, San Francisco added Brandon Jacobs, who’s likely to take over goal-line work, and also selected LaMichael James in the second round of the draft. Kendall Hunter might be the biggest threat to steal touches of all, so it’s a crowded backfield. Expect Gore to remain the team’s lead back, but he’s an injury risk, and a decreased workload is a near certainty.
Gore totaled 1,305 yards with five touchdowns over essentially just 10 games before suffering a season-ending hip injury in Week 12 last year. Before that, he was on pace to record 74 catches for 723 receiving yards, and he averaged 125.3 total yards per game. (Only Arian Foster (138.8) and Darren McFadden (128.0) averaged more.) Gore is a football junkie who possesses excellent vision, and he’ll remain the centerpiece of San Francisco’s offense. New coach Jim Harbaugh is known as something of a quarterback guru, but his play calling was typically run-heavy during his tenure at Stanford. In fact, over his four seasons there, Harbaugh called a run on 58.9 percent of Stanford's offensive plays despite having quarterback Andrew Luck for the final two years. The upgrade in coaching should not be underestimated, and Gore will benefit. Be aware, however, Gore has played 16 games just once during his six years in the league, and he’s missed a total of nine the last three seasons. At age 28 and with 1,371 career rushing attempts, he’s undoubtedly an injury risk.
Despite missing two games (and most of a third), Gore eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing for the fourth straight season and also scored a career-high 13 touchdowns last year. He’s a huge weapon as a receiver, and after struggling mightily at the goal line over the previous two years (5-for-21), Gore converted half of his eight attempts last season. Unfortunately, he’s played a full 16- game slate just once during his five years in the league. He hasn’t suffered a serious injury since leaving college — never missing more than two games in a given season — but constant, nagging ankle injuries have plagued him. The 49ers drafted Anthony Davis in hopes he’ll upgrade the backup position and envision the powerful runner as a “closer,” but there’s little doubt Gore will dominate the touches as long as he’s healthy. San Francisco used two first-round picks to address the offensive line, so a team weakness could become a strength. Playing in a soft division for a smashmouth coach whose offense will feature the run, Gore has the upside to finish as the No. 1 fantasy back.
An exceptionally strong back with good vision and deceptive speed, Gore is a multipurpose weapon, able to do damage between the tackles, on the outside or as a receiver out of the backfield – 157 receptions over the past three years. The one place he’s struggled is near the goal line – just 1-of-10 in 2007 and 4-of-11 there last year. In fact, over the past three seasons, his conversion rate near pay dirt is an unacceptable 29 percent (10-of-35). Nagging injuries have plagued him (he missed two games last year with a sprained ankle) and so has an inadequate 49er offense, but it’s awfully hard to score double-digit touchdowns when you’re not cashing in on the easy ones. Gore’s also had problems with ball security, fumbling six times in 2008 and losing 11 of them over the past three seasons. The 49ers still have a shaky quarterback situation, but at least the NFC West appears to have three other defenses that should be below average. Moreover, the selection of Michael Crabtree with the 10th pick of the draft could open things up for Gore, as the receiver has the talent to be a difference maker even as a rookie. While San Francisco also selected running back Glen Coffee in the third round, Coffee should act as more of a complement to Gore than anything else, and at least Gore now has a clear handcuff. With OC Mike Martz gone and Mike Singletary in as head coach, expect San Francisco to shift its offensive focus to the run, ensuring another heavy workload.
Gore fell wildly short of his 2,000-yard rushing goal in 2007, but a 1,538-yard season isn't too bad for an "off-year." Of course, the six touchdowns were disappointing, and poor offensive support contributed to a drop from 5.4 YPC in 2006 to just 4.2 last season. Gore suffered a high-ankle sprain early in the season and later revealed it bothered him the entire year, which helps explain the lack of his typical explosiveness. When healthy, Gore combines terrific strength with great long-speed. At 5-9, 223, he has a low center of gravity, often shooting through the hole like a cannon. He’s also a major threat as a receiver. Gore is a tough player, but he’s also injury-prone and has the worst supporting cast of the elite running backs in the league. The 49ers scored an NFL-low 13.7 points per game last season. San Francisco’s passing game (5.2 YPA) was also last in the league by a wide margin. It’s possible a healthy Alex Smith could mature, but it also shouldn't be counted on. New offensive coordinator Mike Martz typically likes to deploy a pass-heavy scheme, but he’s acknowledged the offense has to center around Gore. In such a system, Gore's reception total figures to go up, and it might even reach the 80-90 range. Gore is a top-three talent but has a poor offense and health concerns stacked against him. Still, even if he doesn't rack up touchdowns, there's huge yardage potential no matter the 49ers’ win/loss record.
Gore entered last season battling Kevan Barlow for the starting job in San Francisco. He ended the year with a team-record and NFC-leading 1,695 rushing yards. His 5.4 yards per carry was the highest among the league’s Top-20 rushers. He also led the NFL in big plays, recording 15 runs of 20 yards or more. Over the season’s second half, Gore had 1,261 yards from scrimmage with six touchdowns, averaging 6.1 YPC. Gore worked with his college speed coach this offseason, planning to drop from 215 pounds to 210, which he believes will help him finish runs. Just 5-9, Gore explodes off the line and rarely goes down after first contact. He attacks defenders and doesn’t shy from contact, something fantasy owners would rather he didn’t do in hopes of long-term health. Gore’s had multiple knee and shoulder surgeries in college, so durability is a concern. Gore wasn’t successful in short-yardage situations, though, punching in just five of his 14 goal-line carries and incurring fumbling problems as well. But after losing a fumble in each of his first four games, Gore lost just one more over the remaining 12. While Gore was replaced at the goal line at times last year, Michael Robinson, the only alternative on the roster, was even worse than Gore in short-yardage situations, scoring just twice on seven carries from in close. Gore was also a force through the air, hauling in 61 passes for nearly 500 receiving yards. Losing running back-friendly offensive coordinator Norv Turner wasn’t great news, but the 49ers offense should be improved with the acquisition of Darrell Jackson from Seattle, the continued maturation of Alex Smith and the drafting of Joe Staley to shore up the line. With a defense also likely to perform better, San Francisco should play with the lead more often than last season. The NFC West is not a tough division against the run, so Gore figures to have six favorable matchups.
Coming out of college, Gore was perceived as a back with home run speed whose gimpy knees (he had two surgeries at the Univ. of Miami) and small stature (5-9, 210) made him an NFL question mark. His knees held up as a rookie, but the pounding he took fighting for yards behind the 49ers offensive line damaged both his shoulders, requiring two more offseason surgeries to repair. That said, he enters the season healthy, and with Kevan Barlow gone, has the starting job all to himself. The coaching staff loves Gore's drive and work ethic, characteristics they found lacking in Barlow and that they were willing to move Barlow attests to their faith in Gore's health. Gore didn't do much in the red zone in 2005 but his opportunities were limited (he converted just one of eight touches), and he should improve in that area this year. Gore was also ineffective as a receiver, an area of his game he’ll need to work on.
Gore will get a chance to unseat Kevan Barlow at running back. He has more speed and elusiveness than Barlow but is not as physical, and has had two major knee surgeries. Gore's ability to pick up the blitz will go a long way to determining his playing time and he should see 5-10 carries a game early in the season, with more to come depending on Barlow's and the team's performance.