The San Francisco 49ers won’t be handing out starting jobs in 2017 – at least not at the running back position. After bringing in rookie GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan, the organization is apparently aiming for increased competition across the board and won’t automatically give Carlos Hyde his old starting job going into the new year.
That isn’t all that shocking, especially since the Niners went out of their way to beef up their offensive backfield. New coach Kyle Shanahan reportedly “banged the table” for the San Francisco front office to grab Utah rusher Joe Williams in the 2017 NFL Draft, while the 49ers also signed veteran running back Tim Hightower and traded for former Denver Broncos bench body, Kapri Bibbs.
Nothing is set in stone, but the new regime didn’t draft Hyde, who has had issues with consistency or staying healthy throughout his three-year career. The former Buckeye star did enjoy his best year yet under Chip Kelly in 2016, rushing for 988 yards and 6 touchdowns on 217 carries. Kelly is gone now, however, and Hyde enters a walk year without a guaranteed role and seemingly added competition.
Hyde isn’t a trash talent, but he hasn’t broken out yet in the NFL and the addition of Williams and Hightower could keep him from doing that during the 2017 fantasy football season. Hyde can still be a bruising back with plenty of upside, while he also flashed his PPR potential with 27 grabs and 3 receiving scores in 2016. Still, his current 3rd round draft range seems steep for a guy that previously was already impossible to trust. With a new system and added competition, we should be waiting on Hyde in fantasy drafts. If/when you do take Hyde, be sure to attach Hightower or Williams to him later in your draft.