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LaMichael James has sprained MCL, cementing Kendall Hunter as fantasy handcuff

Ezra Shaw

LaMichael James suffered a sprained MCL in Thursday's preseason game and is expected to miss about three weeks. We break down the fantasy implications.

San Francisco 49ers running back LaMichael James was diagnosed with a sprained MCL, according to Matt Barrowsof the Sacramento Bee. Matt Maicco of CSN Bay Area says he is expected to be out for about three weeks, meaning that he will definitely miss next week's regular season opener against the Green Bay Packers.

More 49ers coverage at Niners Nation

James is the third running back on the depth chart behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, and also serves on return duties. He rushed for 125 yards on 27 carries and added 417 yards on kickoff returns last year. Barrows believes that Kyle Williams will take over on kickoffs, with rookie Quinton Patton handling punt returns.

Fantasy impact: James' fantasy value was already shaky with Kendall Hunter coming back from an Achilles injury, but this injury all but guarantees that Hunter will be Gore's main handcuff this season. James remains a decent roster stash in Dynasty leagues, but he's well of the fantasy radar in 2013.

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