It is very rare when an NFL mid-season trade makes waves in the world of Fantasy Football. Yet as we head into Week 7, we’re met with a bit of a shocker. The Cleveland Browns traded running back Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a 5th Round pick.
There’s a lot to digest with this move so let’s break it all down.
Impact on Leonard Fournette: Now that Hyde is in Jacksonville, what does this say about Leonard Fournette? We know Fournette has barely played Three Quarters of action this year and has missed six games due to a hamstring. Reports indicate Fournette won’t be back until the Jags bye in Week 10. But does the trade for Hyde tell us Fournette may be out even longer, if he comes back at all? We don’t want to jump to conclusions but Fournette’s inability to stay healthy has been frustrating to say the least and the Jags know they need an in between the tackles runner. Operating under the assumption Fournette does eventually come back, Fournette’s value takes a BIG hit as he’ll no longer be the workhorse back for Jacksonville now that Hyde is in town.
Impact on TJ Yeldon: The Jags never wanted to use Yeldon as an every down back. He’s much more suitable on passing downs and that is the role they envisioned for him. With Hyde now in the backfield, Yeldon will have a reduced role and will be relegated to a pass-catching back. He’s still viable in PPR but he’s more of a flex option now instead of an RB2. Once Leonard Fournette comes back, Yeldon’s role will decrease even further.
Impact on Nick Chubb: If the Browns rookie back is available in any of your leagues, pick him up right away. He is now the main rusher in Cleveland’s backfield. Chubb has played great this year, averaging around 10 yards per carry, but he hasn’t had the volume since Hyde was taking up a lot of carries. That’s all about to change with Hyde no longer on the team. Look for Chubb to emerge as a Top 20 RB going forward.
Impact on Duke Johnson: If you play in a PPR league, Johnson is likely already on a squad, but if not, pick him up as a flex option. Johnson won’t get a lot of carries but his snaps will see an uptick now that the Browns backfield is more of a two man committee instead of a three man rotation. Johnson won’t get the goal-line carries or opportunities in between the twenties like his rookie teammate, but he’s still a viable option in the PPR format.
Impact on Carlos Hyde: A Top 20 RB through six weeks, Hyde has 382 yards and five TDs (tied for 4th) on the year. With Leonard Fournette on the shelf, Hyde will continue to put up really solid RB2 type stats, but that will change when Fournette gets back. However, Fournette’s health is the main focal point as we really don’t know when, if at all, Fournette comes back. So for the short-term Hyde remains an RB2, how long can he stay in that RB2 range? That depends when Fournette returns to action which could be in Week 10 or perhaps even later.