Second year running back Carlos Hyde looks to become the focal point of the San Francisco 49ers offense this season, as the departure of veteran back Frank Gore has left the door wide open for Hyde. In his rookie campaign Hyde showed flashes of pure power and quickness when given an opportunity. I have pretty lofty expectations for Hyde being able to replace the toughness Frank Gore brought to the table for years as a 49er.

The big question with Hyde this year is three-fold: can he get/stay healthy, is he THE guy and does he deserve an average draft position of 41? I believe this is a no brainer, yes Hyde deserves to get drafted late third to early fourth round, anything past the fourth round for Hyde is an absolute steal. Of course, his leg injury needs to be a non-issue in the coming weeks and we need to get a clear picture of what his exact role will be. I would still recommend targeting Reggie Bush late in the draft as a handcuff to Hyde this year. The 49ers offense may struggle at times throughout the year but I have Hyde being the bright spot this year in San Francisco.

As a rookie Hyde rushed for 333 yards with four touchdowns on 83 carries. I expect to see the touchdown total double and the yardage triple from last season. I have Hyde on the low end gaining nearly 1,000 yards rushing and seven touchdowns. Hyde has the makeup and size of a big time NFL running back with potential to showcase his skill-set this season. His division is brutal and a plethora of running backs on the depth chart are troubling, but he’s still the team’s most talented back with the most upside.

I am really high on Carlos Hyde this season and believe he will make a solid RB2 option for you in season long leagues, with the potential for RB1 value. I have been open to the idea of stocking up on wide receivers the first three rounds, and targeting Hyde to be my RB1 taken in the fourth round. The production will sky rocket as Hyde should get the bulk of the early down work and all of the goal-line work making fantasy owners very happy this season. There is obvious initial risk involved, but if Hyde pays off like I think he can you’ll be getting a potential RB1 on the cheap.

About The Author Adam Funk

Adam is a sports enthusiast with a passion for fantasy sports and the analytic element involved. Adam follows all of the professional Pittsburgh teams and also roots for West Virginia. In addition to contributing to BF, Adam contributes to Fantasy Up, The Infirmary Report and is also a Diamondbacks team correspondent for FantasyPros.com. Catch Adam on Twitter @Bradley_DFS