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The Lowdown: Carlos Hyde, Zac Stacy, The Bell Cow In Tampa

Zac Stacy

Zac Stacy

Benny Cunningham received the start in the Rams preseason game against Cleveland. Some may look into this with cause for concern, but I am not reading too much into this.

“We just gave him a chance to run behind the first offensive line. We know what Zac can do,” Fisher said, per ESPN Rams reporter Nick Wagoner.

I think Stacy continues to be undervalued in fantasy drafts. Despite being in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, Stacy still mustered up 3.9 YPC and scored seven touchdowns in 14 games. I’ve seen a plethora of people overreact to Cunningham getting the start. Stacy hasn’t been all that impressive in the preseason and Sam Bradford is out for the year with his torn ACL. I don’t believe the injury to Bradford will hurt Stacy’s fantasy value all that much, and I don’t see a timeshare happening between him and Cunningham, but he’ll be more utilized as a change-of-pace guy to keep Stacy fresh. All of this seems to be insanely overblown. Shawn Siegele reminds you why Stacy is so undervalued.

Carlos Hyde

It seems like every year you can read an article on the “breakdown” of Frank Gore. Could this year be the year? Maybe not the breakdown of Gore, but maybe Carlos Hyde eating into his value, or maybe both?

“Rookie running back Carlos Hyde was the only bright spot of the preseason. He looked great. And the team should feed him early and often, saving Frank Gore’s legs for November and December. The rookie from Ohio State could be a key factor in the 49ers’ offensive success.”

Gore currently has an ADP in the fourth-round, which seems too high for my taste. Especially with how he finished off last season.

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Could this be a sign of things to come? It certainly could be, especially with the addition of Hyde this offseason.

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Gore also possessed his lowest YPC since 2010 and saw a drop in rushing yards per game. Mike Kerrane looks into if Hyde can be the Zac Stacy of 2014 and Justin Winn helps out with navigating the San Francisco backfield.

Doug Martin

Earlier in the offseason offensive coordinator Jeff Tedford stated that he wanted to approach the running game with a RB by committee.

I think you have to alternate,” Tedford said Tuesday. “Even when we had two, 1,000-yard rushers (at California), J.J. Arrington was a 2,000-yard rusher and and we had a couple times guys had a thousand yards apiece. But I don’t believe that one back can carry the load. It’s just too physical. I think you probably need to have two to three guys to bring different things to the table. But I think you at least need to have two to be able to spell them here and there and keep them healthy and tat type of thing. “That’s the goal to try and create some depth right there where there’s not a dropoff when one guy comes in and another guy goes out. There’s no dropoff. We just keep going.”

Now, the landscape has seen a dramatic change since then.  Injuries have happened to two of the guys who were going to be implemented in the RBBC.

“With Mike James going down with an injury and with Charles going down, those guys need to play at a certain level,” Smith said. “They’re both good players, but Doug is our bell cow. He likes that role. He’s had a good camp, hasn’t missed a beat.”

“We’re going to ask him to catch the ball out of the backfield. But the first thing for our tailbacks is they need to get positive yards and make guys miss or run over guys in the open field. We’re a balanced offensive attack. We don’t get off the bus throwing the football. We need to get production from our running game. Of course, Doug’s our bell cow.”

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It’s easy to spot when Tedford first broke news about his plan to go RBC in Tampa. Martin’s ADP looks to have seen a slight rise since then.

I was off the Martin bandwagon for awhile, but I think I’m ready to jump back on.

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