SMITTY: Great news for those who were counting on him as a RB2/3 this week. Looking for Week 16 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Great news for those who were counting on him as a RB2/3 this week. Looking for Week 16 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: Both have a short week, as the 49ers play the Chargers on Saturday night. As it stands now, both on the wrong side of questionable, which would make both Alfonso Smith and Bruce Miller set to split the workload in Week 16. Hyde might have a touch better chance to play this week, and if he started he’d be a great flex play, but it’s still way too early in the week to predict this. Stay tuned! Looking for Week 16 Power Rankings?
SMITTY: This is mostly a speculative news posting on our part, but sometimes thinking way, way ahead can win a league. Carlos Hyde, on our Upside Board, has been a sleeping giant all year. In fact, he has been sleeping a lot longer than we had hoped. We feared this could happen, and he was by far, and still is, no lock to get starter carries at all in 2014. Still, his “if” upside is so huge, see what’s what on trade front when it comes to Hyde in both redraft and dynasty, and in even medium size leagues, check waivers to see if he is available. Again, he is guaranteed nothing at this point, but in the spirit of trying to be two moves ahead, Frank Gore hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown in six-straight games, he has just one rushing touchdown on the year, and his last three games looked like this yardage-wise: 38, 20, 49. Hyde may have only received 3 and 2 carries in his last two outings, but he averaged 5.0 and 8.5 YPC. That’s not a big sample size, and honestly, I don’t care what his YPC were… he is a sleeping giant, no doubt, I just hope he doesn’t sleep until 2015, something that is entirely possible, so know that. Looking for Week 10 Power Rankings?
Carlos Hyde goes for 50 yards and 1TD on just 7 carries in Week 1.
SMITTY: Welcome to the Carlos Hyde show. He needs more carries than 7, sure, but the kid is the real deal and could easily be a top 10 fantasy rusher if given the touches. Will he get the touches right away in Week 2? Or, will he be a guy that is limited by a lack of early production, but then goes nuts down the stretch in 2014? This is the kind of stuff we attack in our Smart Alerts, so be certain to sign up for them!
Take a listen to Russ Bliss’ third radio show of the 2014 fantasy football season! Russ has been doing fantasy radio for over 20 years with his famous “The Red Zone” program, which airs on NBCSports Radio (1060am). Smitty is slotted to join Russ almost every Tuesday night, and below is the third show of the year. Take a listen!
Topics: Tim Wright, Sam Bradford, Shaun Hill, Zac Stacy, Andre Ellington, Montee Ball, Tony Romo, Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde, Demaryius Thomas, AJ Green, Calvin Johnson, Eddie Lacy, Matt Forte, Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles, Giovani Bernard, Marshawn Lynch, Dez Bryant, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and more
Jeremy Hill ran the ball six times for 36 years during his team’s preseason opener on Thursday night. Carlos Hyde ran the ball five times for 39 yards during his preseason debut against the Ravens; In the same game, Ray Rice ran the ball three times for 17 yards, Lorenzo Taliaferro ran the ball 13 times for 71 yards, and Bernard Pierce ran the ball 10 times for 37 yards and 1TD.
SMITTY: Lorenzo Taliaferro looked very good on Thursday night. He ran with authority and power. The problem is, he has two very good runners ahead of him in Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, who both have very high-end RB2-type upside if getting starter carries. Will this just be a RBBC in 2014? Or, will one runner get starter touches? If so, which one? I hope it’s Pierce, and he does get first crack in Weeks 1 and 2, as Rice is suspended for the season’s first two contests. Taliaferro has nice dynasty appeal despite his crowded situation. Both Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Hill look fantastic already, and both have flex-like value right out of the gate in 2014. Frank Gore is 31 and has a ton of mileage — Hyde is a big sleeper even past his immediate flex-like appeal, and the word is that Hill could get 200 carries in ’14 (and that’s with Giovani Bernard still likely producing top 5-10 fantasy running back numbers). Check out where all these guys rank heading into Week 1.
According to reports, 49ers rookie RB Carlos Hyde has looked solid so far in camp. With Kendall Hunter (ACL) done for the year, LaMichael James (elbow) out 4-6 weeks, and with Marcus Lattimore (knee) still unproven health-wise, the team fully expects to lean heavily on Hyde in 2014.
SMITTY: Carlos Hyde could quickly look like a strong flex play in early 2014; he has much more upside as the season rolls along, too. Hey Frank Gore owners, get your ear muffs on! Gore is 31 and has 2,189 regular-season rushes to his name. Runners usually start dropping off talent-wise at about 2,000 carries, so Gore could fade in a big way this year, especially from mid-season on. This makes Hyde a MONSTER “down the stretch” sleeper candidate, where he could crank out fantasy RB2-type numbers during the span of games he essentially gets starter-type carries. Now, Marcus Lattimore might have something to say about all of this, but he is a wait-and-see type prospect until he proves (on the field) otherwise. Looking for Full-Season 2014 Fantasy Football Projections?
Below is a 2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft (in July), and below each round you will find my commentary/take on that round. This mock draft took place on our forums, so it’s a great indicator of current/true player values. The scoring for this fantasy football mock draft was assumed to be PPR, and it was done with a ‘redraft’ (2014 only) frame of mind. Thanks to all who participated. Enjoy.
Smitty’s Take: There weren’t very many surprises in round one, and their usually aren’t. Sure, a case can be made for Peyton Manning being round one worthy, but it’s not surprising to see him fall to 2.01. LeSean McCoy, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson are spot on in my book, and I can’t argue a bit with 1.04-1.12 (aside from pushing Manning into that 1.09-1.12 range, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea).
Smitty’s Take: Ok, so this is where one draft will look completely different than another draft (even if that mock draft took place on the same exact forum 10 minutes later). I love the value of Montee Ball, even though his value has climbed higher than most expected (aside from us, as we predicted the climb). This is a redraft mock, but we’ve been pimping Ball since last season, and he and Nick Foles (and Christine Michael) have been our top “go get” players all off-season long. This was when Foles was still in most everyone’s bottom-half of their top ten-ranked passers, and this was before Ball started sniffing second-round value (he was even a 4th-round player on average back in February). In redraft, though, don’t shy away from making Ball your second-drafted player, as he is very likely to crank out top 1-5RB numbers in that extremely-potent Denver offense. I wouldn’t even shy away from grabbing him ahead of Lynch in round one. Crazy? Well, let’s talk come season’s end.
Aaron Rodgers probably seems high to some, and not high to others. Frankly, how high QBs go depends on your league and league trends, so anyone suggesting that Rodgers at 2.03 is too early, or too late, is obviously speaking based on trends that they see league-wide. His 2.03 slotting above is neither too early or too late, as he can easily earn top 15 overall value. Doug Martin has a touch more risk than upside at his 2.05 slotting above, but if you can handcuff him to Charles Sims, you can minimize most of that risk. But, if drafting at that spot, I would have let him slide to the 2.10-2.12 range, which is where I’m more comfortable snagging Martin in 2014; he has tons of talent, but he also has an injury label that he needs to shake, plus he has a potential sharing situation heading his way. Arian foster has awesome value heading into 2014, as he constantly falls in that late second-round range. He may go in the first-round in some leagues, as again, every league is different with players like this (faced injury the prior season and has some overworked concerns). He has top 5RB upside, so 2.10 is low-risk/high-reward in my opinion.
Smitty’s Take: I love the value of Gio Bernard at 3.01, but I don’t think you will see him fall that far on average. I could be wrong, and I sure hope that I am wrong, as I’d love this value in all my real upcoming 2014 fantasy football drafts. Gio Bernard is fantasy RB1-capable, yet he landed at 3.01 above… that’s crazy-good value, and again, that’s why I think that this won’t happen on average (he will more often be a 2.04-2.08 range player). Cordarrelle Patterson is now creeping into the 3rd-round in a lot of early 2014 mock drafts… expect this trend to continue, possibly even in the upward direction. He can earn that value, though, he has WR1-type upside, I just wonder if that production is still a year away. It might not be, but it gets a bit risky when you’re talking 3rd-round vs. 4th-round is all (I like him a lot in the 4th). Keenan Allen is another player that is climbing mock draft boards as of late, and let me tell you, I see the guy producing borderline low-end fantasy WR1-type numbers this year. He often falls into the 4th-round outside of STARTERS/DraftCalc communities, so snag him in the 4th-round where you can, as he can crush that value! Nick Foles is another player that ranks and gets drafted higher in DraftCalc and FFStarters worlds, so know that he often falls to the 4th-round, or even the 5th-round… and if I consider the 3rd-round still a steal (in terms of what he can do by season’s end), you can imagine how big of a steal he is to me at 4th- and 5th-round value. Use ADP data to your advantage and don’t draft Foles in the 3rd-round if you don’t have to, but I think we’re about to see Foles drop a top 3 fantasy QB season (with appearances with the top 1-2 on lots of occasions).
Smitty’s Take: Not a lot of surprises in terms of players falling into this round, but I will say that Andre Ellington is the only running back left that has top 5-10 fantasy running back upside. He has almost no risk as a 4th- to 5th-round pick, because he pulled in 39 receptions as a rookie, and 40-50 receptions feels like a given entering his first season as a starter. Ellington has HUGE, HUGE upside! I can’t wait to watch him breakout!
Now, a 4th-round argument can be made for any of the below players, especially Ben Tate (if handcuffed to Terrance West), Tom Brady, and Chris Johnson.
Ben Tate & Terrance West
Ray Rice / Bernard Pierce
According to ESPN, Falcons RB Steven Jackson enters 2014 as the team’s starter, but the Falcons plan is to groom rookie Devonta Freeman as the future three-down back.
SMITTY: While we still need to see Devonta Freeman take an NFL snap, he is a promising young rookie running back. He isn’t a big runner, as he stands 5-8, 206 pounds, but the position is changing. Smaller backs are the new trend, and I firmly believe Atlanta will give Freeman every opportunity to grab the starting gig by mid-season (if not sooner). Freeman looks like one of the better rookie rushers for 2014, even if some rookie rushers have more long-term upside. If you ask me, Tre Mason is the most talented rookie in this 2014 rookie running back class, but he has Zac Stacy, a top 8-12 caliber fantasy/NFL rusher, sitting in front of him. Now, despite Stacy being a serious talent, I eventually see Mason thriving in this league. Bishop Sankey is really the only rookie rusher walking into a better immediate situation than Freeman. Terrence West, my second favorite rusher from this 2014 rookie class, has Ben Tate (potenital top 10 fantasy rusher this year) sitting in front of him, and Carlos Hyde still has Frank Gore and still-promising Marcus Lattimore sitting in front of him. West and Hyde will both likely thrive in time, maybe even as soon as 2015, but Freeman has strong immediate upside entering this upcoming season. Our 2014 fantasy football cheat sheets are 2014-ready, so see where all these guys rank!
According to NBC Sports, 49ers RB Kendall Hunter is still the primary back-up to starter Frank Gore. According to the report, Hunter has the “trust of the coaching staff” and “thoroughly understands the team’s pass protections.”
SMITTY: It’s certainly possible that Kendall Hunter would start for the 49ers if Frank Gore ever went down, but my money is still on Carlos Hyde emerging should the team’s first- and second-down duties ever be up for grabs due to a Gore-related injury. It sounds like Marcus Lattimore still has a ways to go before he can near even a glimpse of his old self (prior to his knee injury), so it appears that the 49ers back-up running back battle, for this year anyway, is between Hunter and Hyde. Having a strong grip on third-down duties won’t automatically hand Hunter the starting gig if it suddenly became available. While anything can happen, Hyde is the handcuff to own if you’re a Gore owner (especially in dynasty formats), and the truly crafty non-Gore owner will scoop up just Hyde right about when their yearly-league draft(s) starts sniffing double-digit rounds. Want fantasy football projections for all three rushers (based on your scoring)? Launch our Draft Analyzer: