Rapid React: Carlos Hyde Traded to Jaguars (Fantasy Football)
Just like that, it’s adios to Carlos Hyde in Cleveland. Hyde was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars today for a fifth-round pick. He lasted six games in Brown and Orange after signing a three-year deal in the offseason worth over $8 million guaranteed.
Hyde has scored five rushing TDs this season, but he has been wildly ineffective with his rushing opportunities, averaging a pedestrian 3.4 YPC, the lowest mark of his five-year career. The Browns are looking to move in a new direction with exciting and explosive players, and the plodding Hyde doesn’t quite fit the bill.
The move comes on the heels of Hue Jackson’s recent comments about RB Nick Chubb getting more work. Those comments proved to be far more than lip service, as the talented rookie from Georgia will immediately get the green light in Week 7 at Tampa Bay.
Now that Carlos Hyde is in Jacksonville, let’s take a look at his fantasy outlook, the fantasy implications of the move for his former teammates in Cleveland, and what the move means for some Jaguars’ players.
Nick Chubb (RB – CLE)
He’s obviously the biggest benefactor of the Hyde trade, as he becomes the starter for an up-and-coming team that likes to run the ball. Chubb has just 16 carries this year, but he’s turned them into 173 yards, a 10.8 YPC average. He’ll be an RB2 most weeks as the Browns have a very friendly schedule on the horizon with road trips to Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh and a homestand against Kansas City and Atlanta over the next four games. He’s a great play in an extremely friendly matchup against a bad Buccaneers defense on Sunday.
Chubb has flashed his explosiveness whenever he has touched the ball (notably a 3-105-2 line in Week 4), and the coaching staff clearly views him as the RB of the future in Cleveland. Chubb is still only 62% owned in Yahoo! leagues and $4,800 in FanDuel as of this writing, but those numbers will continue to rise drastically. Snatch him up quick where available and, if you play DFS, enjoy the one-week bargain.
Duke Johnson (RB – CLE)
He’s been getting more work since Baker Mayfield took over. Johnson has at least four receptions and 45 receiving yards in two of the Browns’ last three games. He totaled 109 yards in Week 6 on just six total touches. He’s a valuable piece of this offense, and he actually finished as an RB1 in 2017 in PPR formats. He’s been unplayable to this point in the season, but with Carlos Hyde gone, expect Duke to get more carries and targets and become an RB3/flex in PPR leagues once again.
T.J. Yeldon (RB – JAX)
Yeldon collapsed last week just like the entire Jags’ offense in an ugly loss, but through the season’s first six games, he is the RB9 in PPR and the RB11 in standard. Yeldon is a talented pass-catcher and effective rusher, but with Leonard Fournette shelved and Corey Grant on IR, the backfield depth in Jacksonville has been paper thin. It’s been so thin that the Jags decided to resurrect Jamaal Charles and give him a go as a change-of-pace back behind Yeldon. That move was never a long-term fix. Leonard Fournette has played in only two games this season, and it’s unclear if he will return this season. Yeldon should get the bulk of RB touches this week, but expect Hyde to form a committee with him as soon as he gets up to speed. Hyde’s presence puts a damper on Yeldon’s promising season, and he won’t be more than a matchup-based flex after this week.
Leonard Fournette (RB – JAX)
He’s expected back after Jacksonville’s Week 9 bye, but the move to add Hyde means that the Jags have some trepidation about Fournette’s return. The second-year talent from LSU has dealt with nagging injuries since entering the league, and with Yeldon and Hyde manning RB duties, Fournette’s role for the rest of the season is as clear as mud. If you own Fournette, it would be smart to stash him with a “wait-and-see” mentality, but if you can trade him for any serviceable replacement, you should do it before his value drops any further.
Carlos Hyde (RB – JAX)
As mentioned above, Hyde hasn’t been effective with his opportunities this season, but he is still valuable in what he brings to the table. Hyde is a chain-mover and a big body inside the tackles. All of his TDs have come from inside the 10-yard line this season, and he should step in as Jacksonville’s goal-line back of choice. He’s averaged nearly 20 carries per game in Cleveland this season, but that number could easily be cut in half in Jacksonville. He will now be a TD-dependent flex on a struggling offense.