Fantasy Football: Carlos Hyde and Jerick McKinnon Find Homes

Carlos Hyde

The running back carousel continues this week as the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers found help at the position. Both Carlos Hyde and Jerick McKinnon found new teams and nice paydays.

These signings followed Dion Lewis who went to the Titans, Jonathan Stewart to the Giants and Isaiah Crowell to the New York Jets.

Carlos Hyde

The Cleveland Browns were looking for running back help after the Crow flew the coop and headed to New York. Crowell has agreed on a three year deal with the Jets after a disappointing 2017 season in Cleveland. This left a vacancy that needed to be filled.

The Browns then turned their attention towards a former Buckeye who, when healthy has been a really good running back. Hyde signed a 3 year deal worth more than $15 million including 6 million in year one per Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.

He is coming off of back to back 200 plus carry seasons over the past two years racking up nearly 1,000 yards in each and 17 total touchdowns. Hyde has show the ability to be a feature back and should get an opportunity to do so. Duke Johnson will remain in the picture and provide spot carries and fill the pass catching role he has filled during his NFL career.

The elephant in the room is Saquon Barkley. The all-world running back that is expected to go in the top of the 2018 NFL Draft and the Browns have two picks in the top four picks. Adding Hyde doesn’t rule out the possibility drafting Barkley but it does seem less likely. With a handful of quarterback options, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Bradley Chubb, and others it would not be shocking to see the Browns avoid the RB position in the early rounds.

Brace Hemmelgarn - USA TODAY Sports

Brace Hemmelgarn – USA TODAY Sports

Jerick McKinnon

The San Francisco 49ers didn’t wait long to fill the void left by Carlos Hyde. The signed former Minnesota Viking Jerick McKinnon to a four year deal worth $30 million. The McKinnon hive is probably ecstatic now that he has been freed, at least temporarily. Many fantasy owners have been clamoring for McKinnon to find a feature role somewhere, if not Minnesota.

The Georgia Southern product has flashed skills both as a runner and a pass catcher over his four seasons in the NFL. While I don’t think he is a feature back, his skill set in a Kyle Shanahan offense could be very valuable. He should see 150-200 touches this season in a timeshare.

The 49ers have Matt Breida, Joe Williams, and Jeremy McNichols currently with McKinnon on the depth chart. I would not be shocked to see San Francsico add another RB in the draft or via free agency to be the Devonta Freeman to McKinnon’s Tevin Coleman. Rashaad Penney and Nick Chubb would be ideal fits next to McKinnon.

Jeremy Hill, Demarco Murray and Eddie Lacy, among others, are still floating around in free agency. These names would make Niner fans and fantasy football owners collectively cringe but you can’t rule names like these out.

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