Heading into the draft, many folks had Ohio State product Carlos Hyde as the number one running back. He may have the skills to be the number one back, but when it comes to fantasy, he’s not.
Still, Hyde is an interesting player to analyze for 2014. A great college player with every-down talent, but landing in San Francisco can’t be fun, as I believe they have 37 running backs on their roster at the moment. So what should fantasy owners expect from the rookie runner?
Reports out of San Francisco indicate that Hyde will enter the season as the number two running back, behind Frank Gore. There have also been some rumblings that Hyde would serve as the team’s goal line back, but that still remains to be seen. Still, he’ll see plenty of usage to matter, as the 49ers run the ball as much as anyone in football, ranking inside the top-five in rushing attempts per game in each of the last three seasons. Also, Gore may be the starter, but his body has taken a beating and he is on the wrong side of 30.
Obviously, it’s not very appealing to have Hyde drafted as a backup, so his immediate upside is capped a bit. Not only is he the number two back, but the 49ers also have guys like Kendall Hunter and Marcus Lattimore on the roster already, who will be involved. There will be some weeks where Hyde comes in and scores two touchdowns, but there will also be a handful of weeks where he carries the ball five or six times.
At the moment, Hyde needs to be drafted as a handcuff in standard leagues, and nothing more. If you land Gore, you absolutely need to own Hyde as well. He has upside, and for dynasty purpose, he can be an absolute star in run-heavy San Francisco, especially with Gore aging. But Gore is a fantasy zombie, and continues to live. Hyde will have his moments in year one, but he’s a much better dynasty investment.
Bye Week: 8
Projected Round: 11th-12th
Auction Value: $4