Fantasy Reaction: Carlos Hyde Signs with the Jaguars
There will be many more high-profile signings his week but Carlos Hyde‘s contract with Jacksonville throws a wrench in the plans of many fantasy managers. Namely, the managers that currently have James Robinson on their roster or planned to draft him later this summer. Some will scoff at the idea of Carlos Hyde being a threat but let me tell you why you should take his 2-year, $6 million contract seriously.
Hyde and Seek
While Hyde was far from fantasy relevant last year, you cannot discount what he has done running the ball over his NFL career. He is no superstar but he averages 4.1 YPC for his career and has averaged 4.4 over the last two seasons. In 2019, he carried the ball 245 times for Houston and rushed for over 1,000 yards. Hyde has also never scored fewer than three TDs in any season and averages just over five TDs-per-year over his career. All of this points to an RB that is not quite a JAG (Just-A-Guy)…though he is now a Jaguar…and could be a thorn in the side of James Robinson and his ability to repeat as a top-10 RB in 2021.
Reunited and it Feels so Good
The fantasy issue with Jacksonville signing Hyde is far more about a loss of volume for Robinson than anything about Hyde. There are two red-flags that are worrisome for 2021, outside of Hyde’s history of limiting the value of those around him.
First off, why a two-year deal? Why $3 million per year? It seems unlikely that the Jags would spend money on an RB, money that could have desperately used on other areas unless they plan on using him. It means that Hyde is almost certain to make the team in 2021 and thus limits Robinson’s redraft value. The other issue is that Hyde may actually know the playbook better than Robinson already.
How could the new guy know the scheme better? Technically, with a new head coach, everybody is new and before Carlos Hyde was a 2nd-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, he played his college ball at Ohio State with Urban Meyer. After that, he played with QB coach Brian Schottenheimer in Seattle. Hyde will be the backup in this offense but he will demand playing time and it seems unlikely that Robinson can repeat his insane 85% market share from 2020. Robinson received 240 out of 281 possible RB carries for Jacksonville last year. Hyde touched the ball 80 times in Seattle in just ten games. If Jacksonville is still bad in 2021, and they should be, Robinson will receive a smaller piece of the pie. He is a great back that will do well with those touches but the volume won’t be there for a repeat season.
Dynasty Outlook: 2021 & Beyond
For clarification, I do not hate James Robinson and I don’t particularly love Carlos Hyde. Hyde has no dynasty value outside of being an insurance policy for Robinson managers. Robinson is a firm buy candidate. He’ll be just 23 years old when the season starts, he had 1,400 total yards and ten total TDs in his rookie season, and he is on a dirt-cheap UDFA contract. Robinson will be a good back in this league for at least four more years and he is a player you want on your dynasty team. This next season could be rocky (think top-20 instead of top-10) and all that does is move his volume down enough to give you an excellent buy-low window. Most of the fantasy world will not pay Carlos Hyde much heed but he may cause more trouble than you think in 2021.