On the surface, Gore put together a solid season in 2011, finishing the year with the second most rushing yards of his career (1,211) and finding the end zone eight times. However, it was a roller coaster ride as Gore struggled in his first three games with 148 rushing yards and one touchdown before putting together a great five game stretch when he topped 100 rushing yards in every game and totaled 634 yards and four touchdowns. After that, his usage and production declined over the 49ers final eight games as he averaged just 15.8 touches and accumulated 429 rushing yards and three touchdowns. First year head coach Jim Harbaugh clearly seemed to be curtailing Gore’s workload in order to keep him fresh for the playoffs and with the addition of Brandon Jacobs in free agency and LaMichael James in the draft, that approach is likely to continue in 2012. That will mean fewer carries for Gore and since he was rarely used as a pass catcher last season (just 17 receptions after averaging 51 receptions over the previous five seasons), his days as a RB1 for fantasy purposes appear to be over. Look for Gore to struggle to reach 1,000 rushing yards in 2012 and finish the year as a low end RB2, provided he wins the short yardage role over Brandon Jacobs. If he loses that role, Gore will likely finish the year as a fantasy backup.