Don't Let Chris Carson Slip in Fantasy After the Carlos Hyde Signing
The Seattle Seahawks were looking to bolster their running back depth after growing concerns that Rashaad Penny won't be ready to go for Week 1. Seattle signed Carlos Hyde to a one-year, $4 million deal to be Chris Carson's backup for at least the beginning of the season -- an insurance policy.
Last season, Hyde cracked the 1,000-yard mark with the Houston Texans (1,070) for the first time in his career, while Carson finished fifth overall in rushing yards (1,230), giving the Seahawks two 1,000-yard rushers. However, don't expect the Hyde signing to cut back on Carson's carries or fantasy value very much.
Let's take a look at how valuable both running backs are in each others' company.
Hyde's solid 2019 campaign is promising if Carson is bit by the injury bug this year or continues his fumbling issues. In Hyde's lone season with Houston, he finished as RB23 in standard leagues (143.2) and RB30 in PPR formats (153.2).
Carson led all running backs in 2019 with 7 fumbles on 278 rushes and 37 receptions. Turnovers have sometimes gotten Carson into hot water, which could potentially open the door for Hyde. Carson missed three games the past two seasons and 12 games in 2017 as a rookie, so there is a possibility Hyde could see some action due to injury, too.
Assuming Carson remains healthy and avoids turnovers, Hyde could still see time as a short-yardage back, resulting in a few touchdowns on the season, but don't expect half of what he did as a Texan to carry over. And considering Carson saw 43 red zone touches last season and 44 in 2018, there's a case that the Seahawks don't even need Hyde in short-yardage situations, either.
Hyde's also a non-factor in the passing game, further suggesting his value is strictly as Carson's backup.
In 2019, Carson recorded his second consecutive season with 1,000 yards and 9 total touchdowns as the Seahawks' every-down back. He finished as the RB12 last year in PPR leagues (232.6 points) and the RB9 in standard formats (195.6)
Carson's snap share jumped from 52.4% in 2018 (27th) to 73.9% in 2019 (7th) as the team finished in the top three in rush attempts per game both seasons. He's posted 85 or more evaded tackles in his past two seasons, along with 20 goal-line touches over that span. Carson's finished top six both seasons in carries, recording 538 combined rush attempts -- the second-most over the last two seasons behind Ezekiel Elliott (631).
Carson remains a very relevant fantasy back despite his ADP dropping to RB19 in 12-team BestBall10 drafts, going behind guys like Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley. With two straight top-15 fantasy finishes, it's safe to say Carson may be a little undervalued going into 2020.
numberFire's projections hold Hyde's value as a non-factor in fantasy football, and I tend to agree. Even after finishing as a top-30 running back last season, he isn't someone to target in drafts and is more a potential waiver wire pickup if Carson is injured or benched.
On the other hand, Carson is projected by numberFire's model to record 186.38 standard fantasy points on 255 carries, 1,128 rushing yards, 7 rushing touchdowns, 31 receptions, 257 receiving yards, and 2 receiving touchdowns. He's our RB15.
If you're selecting at the end of the second round or early third, Carson should be higher on your draft list then you probably have him now, and the Hyde signing shouldn't impact him much in 2020.