Admittedly a single word wouldn't be much of a post, so let me elaborate. Frank Gore is obviously not going to put up the type of numbers (1695 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns ) he had last season. In fact, Gore is now on pace to finish with 887 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns - totals that are almost half of what owners expected. He receiving an average of 4 fewer carries per game compared to last season. He's been battling nagging injuries. He isn't the same back he was last season.
It's not all Gore's fault though - his team is simply terrible. Alex Smith was supposed to develop into a true starting quarterback, instead he's battling Tarvaris Jackson for the title of Worst Starting Quarterback in the league. When Smith has been hurt, his back is Trent Dilfer. Enough said on that topic.
The offensive line has been a disaster, putting the Niners near the bottom of several categories:
- Sacks Allowed: 31 (3rd worst)
- Rushing Yards: 90.1 (8th worst)
- Rushing First Downs: 35 (T-3rd worst)
The receiving game has also been a huge disappointment. Darrell Jackson was supposed to be a difference-maker in the offense, but he hasn't been a factor all season. Arnez Battle just isn't that good. Ashley Lelie was recently unearthed by a team of archaeologists from the University of Cairo. Sleepers like Vernon Davis and Bryan Gilmore have continued to sleep. It goes on and on.
It's easy (and fun) to pick on the Niners, but the fact is that there isn't any reason to expect a turnaround. There isn't one injured player that can return to spark the team, no rehab that can quickly improve Gore's performance.
There's just Frank Gore, your top five draft pick.
He should be sitting on your bench watching guys like Ryan Grant and Jamal Lewis get the starting nod on your fantasy team. The upcoming games against Cleveland and Cincinnati may warrant a start, but the schedule for the next three weeks (Arizona, Carolina, Minnesota) are difficult enough that you should swallow your pride and bench Gore. It's difficult, but I'm doing it.