New 49ers O.C. sees bigger role for Gore

Following that theme, Jimmy Raye II, who is joining San Francisco as offensive coordinator, told the Sacramento Bee he sees a lot of similarities between the 49ers and the Chiefs squads he coached from 1998-2000. For what it's worth, here's how those offenses ranked:

1998: 19th overall (16th passing, 23rd rushing) 1999: 12th overall (22nd passing, 4th rushing) 2000: 8th overall (5th passing, 25th rushing)

Those teams never had a back like Frank Gore, though. Raye said Gore "seems like he has the capability to carry the ball 25 times" a game. That's great news for owners planning on drafting/keeping Gore, who averaged just 17 carries per game in '08 (20 touches per game).

Of course, this is just early pre-preseason talk from an optimistic, incoming coordinator. But it should be noted that Raye also said he plans to use a system that blends the one Norv Turner ran in S.F. in '06 with his own from K.C. For the record, Gore totaled 2,180 yards and nine TDs in '06, while averaging 19.5 carries and 3.8 catches per game.

Gore checks in at No. 11 in our early '09 RB rankings, but are you willing to take him even higher based on his past performances and Raye's optimism? I like Gore in PPR leagues, especially late in the first round, but I'm still hesitant to rely on an injury-prone RB in a questionable offense in non-PPR leagues.