Don't sleep on Carlos Hyde
On Monday, Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle stopped by the Pro Football Focus show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio (10 a.m. ET weekdays – Sirius 210 & XM 87). Lynch rejuvenated the Carlos Hyde hype train, he talked about Colin Kaepernick’s fit in the new offensive scheme, and more. You can find Lynch on Twitter @klynch49.
Hyde Will Be Featured
Carlos Hyde has tumbled down draft boards through the month of August. One major factor scaring off fantasy owners is Hyde’s projected role within the offense. At PFF Fantasy, we like Hyde. As a rookie, Hyde forced 25 missed tackles on just 83 rush attempts. Can he emerge as a top tier back?
“I think so,” Lynch said. “He’s run well in the preseason. At 220 pounds, he’s dropped some weight from last year when he was at 235. He’s dedicated, he came in early at camp. I think he’ll shoulder most of the role at running back. He’s a guy who will be featured and they want to run a lot. He’s also a guy they’ll use as a receiver. One of the features of this new offense is that they’re going to use outlets and they’re going to use him in the flat.”
If Hyde will also be featured more in the passing game, he carries upside that no other running back in his range offers. Hyde is an ideal target for your RB2 or FLEX spot.
What Happens Behind Hyde?
As part of the Hyde fallout on draft boards, Reggie Bush has ascended up draft boards. Some people see him as an ideal late-round target. Lynch warns against that.
“Kendall Hunter has yet to play,” Lynch said, “and Mike Davis looks really good as a zone runner. If Hunter can’t get on the field, I’m not sure if he’ll even make the team. Reggie Bush is a guy who can do a lot of good things; he’s a great screen pass receiver. He’s a guy who could play in the slot a lot because they don’t have a slot receiver and no one is emerging there. That could be Reggie Bush. I can see him also getting five or six carries a game.”
A New Wrinkle To The Offense For Kaepernick
There has been a lot of offseason chatter about Colin Kaepernick. He trained with Kurt Warner this offseason, and teammates have raved about his improved touch derived from his altered delivery. There are also whispers that the 49ers will increase their offensive tempo under new offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, and it would be hard to move the offense any slower than they did under former coordinator Greg Roman.
Lynch believes that we’ll see a new wrinkle to the offense that will be used quite often in 2015, especially in the red zone. This wrinkle could open up things for Kaepernick on the ground and in the passing game.
“I think we’ll see bootleg action off the zone-blocking runs,” Lynch told Clay when asked about Kaepernick’s prospects for 2015. “I think they’ll run it quite a bit. I think that will be a play they use in the red zone.”
Deep Dynasty Stash
Is DeAndre Smelter a darkhorse candidate to emerge as the 49ers’ slot wide receiver?
“He’s tall and fast,” Lynch said, “but the 49ers are really conservative with players like that (coming off major injury). I wouldn’t bank on him playing this year with the way the 49ers handle injuries of this nature. The guy I think is most intriguing is Jerome Simpson. You might want to pick him up in October, after the suspension, because he has looked very good. That role was his until he got suspended. I think Smelter is a good choice in 2016 and Simpson in 2015.”
Simpson was once a hot waiver wire add in fantasy leagues, but he was out of the NFL in 2014. He will also serve a six-game suspension to start the 2015 season. Although Lynch advises to wait on Smelter until 2016, they will need someone to emerge in 11 personnel packages at wide receiver when the season kicks off.
Has Vernon Davis’ Time Passed Him By?
There has been some chatter about Davis enjoying a bounce-back season after a disappointing 2014 campaign. Before you target him as your late-round tight end flier, you might want to read what Lynch expects from him in 2015.
“I don’t think he’s going to be the same player as he was two or three years ago,” Lynch said. “He was distracted last season. I expect him to be more productive but I’m not sure if he’s still that player who can catch 10 touchdown passes. He’s no longer a really young player and that might be reflected in his numbers this year.”
Our projections are not very bullish on Davis’ 2015 prospects. He is projected to finish in the back-end TE2 range. You’re much better off spending a late-round flier on tight ends like Eric Ebron, Larry Donnell, Tyler Eifert, and Kyle Rudolph.
Dan Schneier is a staff writer at PFF Fantasy and he covers the NFC East beat for FOX Sports. You can find him on Twitter @DanSchneierNFL. You can also add him to your network on Google+ to find all of his past material.