Old Faces, New Places: RB Carlos Hyde, Kansas City Chiefs

Old Faces, New Places: RB Carlos Hyde, Kansas City Chiefs

Player Analysis

Old Faces, New Places: RB Carlos Hyde, Kansas City Chiefs

By

Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports)

On his fourth team in l8 months, running back Carlos Hyde went from being a fantasy football starter in 2017 to a near outcast in meteoric fashion.

He wasn’t exactly on his way to stardom after leaving the San Francisco 49ers following the ’17 season, but prior to the 2018 draft, Hyde at least had his hands on a starting job in Cleveland. Within a few months, he was in a tenuous situation after the Browns chose Nick Chubb. And merely six games later, Hyde would become a Jacksonville Jaguar.

Looking for a fresh start, the soon-to-be 28-year-old signed with the Kansas City Chiefs this spring in hopes of sharing time in a better setting. No longer realistically an option to be “the guy” in any team’s backfield, Hyde at least is in a favorable situation from the angle there is less question and a clearer role. The offense has proven capable of producing fantasy-relevant backs, and Hyde will enter the season behind Damien Williams, whose history as a full-time back is basically five games — albeit quite successfully handled.

That more defined role for Hyde will be to spell Williams. In the event Williams cannot play, Hyde ascends to share the majority of the work with other helping hands in Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson. The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Hyde could carve out a niche role in short-yardage and goal-line situations.

A quick rewind of how we came to this point shows Hyde entered an uncertain backfield after Chubb was added. Cleveland then opened the year with Hue Jackson at head coach and quarterback Tyrod Taylor as the installed starter. It didn’t take long for Jackson to get canned and rookie Baker Mayfield to emerge as the far better option for the offense, one that flourished as the year progressed.

Even though Hyde scored five rushing touchdowns in his first four games with Cleveland, he averaged just 3.3 yards per carry and was a non-factor in the passing game. After six games with the Browns, he was traded to the Jaguars. He would go on to finish out the season in a mostly reserve role, starting twice for Jacksonville, without scoring a touchdown. Hyde cracked 3.7 yards per carry twice in his remaining games, and both of those times were on only eight carries apiece. The Jaguars’ offense was a disaster, especially along the line, and Hyde was doomed from the get-go.

Moving on to the Chiefs gives Hyde a chance to return to the role he had early in his career, sharing the chores and being more efficient.

Chiefs RBs’ workload distribution under Andy Reid

Yr
Running backs 
G
Att
Tgt
Rec
Tch
Tch/G
Carry share %
Util/G
Util/G %
2014
Jamaal Charles
15
206
59
40
246
16.4
58.9%
17.7
63.1%
2014
Knile Davis
16
134
25
16
150
9.4
38.3%
9.9
35.5%
2014
Cyrus Gray
9
8
0
0
8
0.9
2.3%
0.9
3.2%
2014
Anthony Sherman
16
2
14
10
12
0.8
0.6%
1.0
3.6%
Yr
Running backs 
G
Att
Tgt
Rec
Tch
Tch/G
Carry share %
Util/G
Util/G %
2015
Charcandrick West
15
160
34
20
180
12.0
48.2%
12.9
50.6%
2015
Spencer Ware
11
72
6
6
78
7.1
21.7%
7.1
27.7%
2015
Jamaal Charles
5
71
29
21
92
18.4
21.4%
20.0
78.2%
2015
Knile Davis
14
28
3
2
30
2.1
8.4%
2.2
8.7%
2015
Anthony Sherman
16
1
5
4
5
0.3
0.3%
0.4
1.5%
Yr
Running backs 
G
Att
Tgt
Rec
Tch
Tch/G
Carry share %
Util/G
Util/G %
2016
Spencer Ware
14
214
42
33
247
17.6
65.4%
18.3
71.5%
2016
Charcandrick West
15
88
34
28
116
7.7
26.9%
8.1
31.8%
2016
Knile Davis
9
13
5
3
16
1.8
4.0%
2.0
7.8%
2016
Jamaal Charles
3
12
3
2
14
4.7
3.7%
5.0
19.6%
Yr
Running backs 
G
Att
Tgt
Rec
Tch
Tch/G
Carry share %
Util/G
Util/G %
2017
Kareem Hunt
16
272
63
53
325
20.3
86.6%
20.9
78.3%
2017
Charcandrick West
13
18
34
27
45
3.5
5.7%
4.0
15.0%
2017
Anthony Sherman
16
14
8
6
20
1.3
4.5%
1.4
5.1%
2017
Akeem Hunt
15
8
7
4
12
0.8
2.5%
1.0
3.7%
2017
C.J. Spiller
1
2
2
0
2
2.0
0.6%
4.0
15.0%
Yr
Running backs 
G
Att
Tgt
Rec
Tch
Tch/G
Carry share %
Util/G
Util/G %
2018
Kareem Hunt
11
181
35
26
207
18.8
60.7%
19.6
79.5%
2018
Spencer Ware
13
51
23
20
71
5.5
17.1%
5.7
23.1%
2018
Damien Williams*
16
50
24
23
73
4.6
16.8%
4.6
18.7%
2018
Darrel Williams
6
13
3
3
16
2.7
4.4%
2.7
10.8%
2018
Charcandrick West
3
2
3
2
4
1.3
0.7%
1.7
6.8%
2018
Anthony Sherman
16
1
9
8
9
0.6
0.3%
0.6
2.5%

*Could be factored by five games of meaningful touches to produce 17.5 percent of the total touches and 55.9 percent of the per-game utilization.

The primary takeaway should be that if Reid has a dominant starting back, a committee isn’t of much interest to him. Reid likes to put his running backs into space as hand-off extensions. This creates mismatches and also allows them a chance to withstand the rigors of being a full-time backs. Williams, 5-foot-11, 221 pounds, has enough size to hold up as well as anyone. Long story short, unless Williams either stinks or gets hurt, Hyde, given his limited role as a receiver, shouldn’t see more than 20-25 percent of the carries. If Williams shines, Hyde’s range could be 10-15.

Fantasy football outlook

What would a quarter of the action look like over the course of a season?

The 2018 Chiefs passed 60.1 percent of the time, which tied for the 10th-highest ratio. Since a great deal of the Chiefs’ backfield touches come via the aerial game, Hyde’s likely workload would be in the neighborhood of 75-95 carries using last year’s team rushing attempts. Up that figure to 90-110 for roughly a catch per game … averaging his career marks and we’re at basically 400 rushing yards and 85 receiving yards. Factor a touchdown every 31.8 carries to get to roughly three rushing scores and we’re at basically 60 fantasy points (non-PPR), which is what we saw from Spencer Ware in 11 games last year for KC.

Those stats should be considered the baseline in the event Williams stays healthy and productive. With an ADP of 10:04 in PPR and 9:03 in standard, Hyde belongs on rosters if for no other reason than being a worthwhile handcuff of sorts to Williams, even if there will be a larger committee at play if Williams is injured. Watch Thompson’s offseason progress, too, as he certainly could outplay Hyde.

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