Fantasy football owners should approach San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde with a bit of caution heading into the 2017 NFL season. Niner Noise describes why.
The 2017 fantasy football season is just around the corner, and owners everywhere are gearing up for the challenge of mastering a league.
Chances are, San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde fits into owners’ plans at some point on draft day. The 26-year-old former second-round pick of the Niners is operating under a new head coach in Kyle Shanahan, who hopes to reinvigorate a stagnant 49ers offense from a year ago.
As promising as Hyde might be in this new scheme, fantasy football owners may want to proceed with caution when targeting the former Ohio State tailback.
San Francisco 49ers
ESPN has Hyde ranked as the 22nd best option in their running back fantasy rankings, accumulating an estimated 183.6 fantasy points in 2017.
As a No. 2 running back or flex player, that’s not bad at all. But let’s look at both the upside and downside of adding Hyde to your fantasy roster.
Why Carlos Hyde Is a Risk
Hyde has never truly cemented himself as the 49ers’ heir to Frank Gore since taking over the starting job in 2015. Hyde missed all but seven games that year with a foot injury, and further injuries limited him to just 13 games last season.
No wonder Hyde has yet to crest 1,000 yards rushing in a single season.
The lack of proven weapons around Hyde could be both a boon and a hindrance for Hyde as well. San Francisco isn’t going to be an offensive powerhouse, even with Shanahan at the helm, this season.
While this may mean an increased workload for Hyde, it also increases the chance of injury significantly. And teams won’t hesitate to clamp down on Hyde’s ability to impact games.
Further muddling the situation is the fact Shanahan likes to employ a two-back system, like he did with the Atlanta Falcons in runners Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman last year.
Why Carlos Hyde Is a Steal
Fantasy football owners likely won’t reach for Hyde any sooner than Round 5, so that means he’ll be around by the time you have your big-name players in place.
Hyde reportedly is down to 228 pounds, per Chris Biderman of Niners Wire, and appears to be in the best shape of his NFL career.
“My goal is to be the No. 1 rushing running back in the league,” Hyde said, via Biderman. “I feel like I have the best opportunity to do that now with this coaching staff.”
Further fueling the motivation is the fact Hyde enters a contract year this season. With Williams likely the future of San Francisco’s ground game, Hyde is likely playing for his next big deal on the open market.
This, paired with the added competition in training camp, should push Hyde to have his first true breakout season — one which has eluded Hyde fantasy owners since he broke into the league back in 2014.
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Where to Target Carlos Hyde
Fantasy owners probably don’t want to spend anything higher than a fifth-round pick on the talented-yet-inconsistent Niners tailback.
And there are far too many No. 1 options out there to justify having Hyde as the top running back on your team. But as a No. 2, that’s a good look.
Keep in mind, though, Hyde has a history of injuries. Owners should exercise caution and look to add a player like Williams as a reserve option should Hyde go down.
Heck, targeting Williams with a late-round pick might not be a bad idea, should the rookie end up taking the lion’s share of snaps at some point in the middle of the year — a real possibility.
Hyde could easily be one of those players capable of turning your fantasy squad from a chump to a champ. Yet it’s equally as possible he winds up disappointing yet once again, leaving you scrambling for other options.
As such, approach with caution.