So, you want to be a fantasy football analyst?
All you have to do is successfully predict the year the running back Frank Gore actually falls off.
Gore has been churning for the 49ers for 10 years now. He has accumulated almost 2,200 carries in 132 games and, at age 31, has miraculously played in all 16 games in three straight seasons now.
See why being a fantasy analyst is so darn hard?
However, the 49ers are well aware that Gore’s time may be dwindling, as they have selected a running back in the draft for three consecutive seasons now. The latest pick being Ohio State product, Carlos Hyde. A bruising back, many saw Hyde as the best overall running back in this year’s draft class. This guy can score touchdowns, finding the end zone 35 times during his final two seasons at OSU. For the short-term, San Francisco isn’t the best place for his fantasy value, but long-term and dynasty wise, you begin to feel excited.
Gore is still a presence, yes, but is going to be 32-years old and plays in one of the most run-heavy offenses in the NFL. He had nearly 400 touches during the regular season and playoffs last season, and history suggests that 400-touch players tail off during the following year. Via Jamey Eisenberg of CBS Sports, when he looked at the 27 backs over the last 10 years to accumulate 400 touches in a season, 22 of them saw a significant decrease in fantasy points the following year. Meanwhile, nine of those 27 backs suffered an injury the following year, while two ended up retiring. I’m not saying Gore is definitely going to get hurt, but the workload has been very significant.
Gore will still get plenty of work, but Hyde continues to make a case for a significant role in this run-heavy offense. After he was drafted, there were some rumblings that Hyde would see some goal line work for the 49ers. Either way, he is going to have a role in this offense because the 49ers are a team that is envisioning a Super Bowl run and they’ll want to keep Gore fresh. Hyde should see decent volume. After all, the 49ers run the ball as much as anyone in football.
I’m 100 percent buying Hyde for the future, but I’m slightly buying him for his rookie year, too. I could see him carrying the ball around 120 times, and obviously if something were to happen to Gore, Hyde would be a top-20 fantasy running back from then on. Playing alongside a mobile quarterback like Colin Kaepernick is great for fantasy rushers, too.