The first official day of “legal tampering” brought a multitude of sought-after fireworks. Fantasy managers and NFL fans alike eagerly awaited news that their favorite team made a splash in free agency and landed that star piece to put them over the top. While Jonnu Smith might have stolen the headlines early in the day, an under-the-radar move later in the evening had profound fantasy implications heading into next season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to terms with running back Carlos Hyde on a two-year, $6 million contract, according to multiple sources. The 30-year-old proved to be a useful veteran back in Seattle during 2020. Hyde has minuscule fantasy value behind James Robinson on the depth chart, as he is not much of a threat in the receiving game. Even in the event of a Robinson injury, there is no guarantee that Hyde will provide extreme value at this stage of his career. Robinson remains a solid RB2 for the start of the 2021 season.
Let’s take a closer look at why this subtle move solidifies running back James Robinson as a potentially elite dynasty asset moving forward.
Capable Veteran Backup
Veteran running back Carlos Hyde, now 30 years old, joins the Jacksonville Jaguars on a team-friendly deal. At first glance, that addition should not wow anyone in the fantasy space. However, it’s what the moves signify from a roster standpoint that sends a much clearer message. Hyde hasn’t been fantasy viable since a two-year stretch from 2016-2017.
And even 2017 was the beginning of an ignominious run for Hyde. From 2017 to 2020, only Frank Gore and Peyton Barber come close to Hyde’s massively underwater number in FPOE (-80). Of course, you have to get a decent number of attempts to leave that many points on the table. That’s changing as well for Hyde, who played on 35% of the snaps only four times in 2020 despite a weaker depth chart than what he’ll face in Jacksonville.
Uniquely enough, Hyde rejoins former collegiate head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer coached Hyde during his last two seasons at Ohio State (2012-2013). During those two seasons, Hyde totaled almost 2,500 rushing yards and scored 31 times on the ground. These ties shouldn’t make him a threat to the incumbent, however. Robinson, despite his undrafted status, erupted onto the scene this past year. Neil Dutton recently highlighted his impressive rookie comps that include names like Dalvin Cook.