by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
According to Matt Barrows (via Twitter):
Kyle Shanahan says Carlos Hyde is going to be the first running back in games, followed by Matt Breida and the “hot hand” thereafter.
Considering how things played out in Week 5, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise. All you have to do is look at the numbers and you can tell that’s the approach San Francisco was already taking:
- Matt Breida – 10 carries for 49 yards, 3 receptions for 22 yards
- Carlos Hyde – 8 carries for 11 yards, 1 reception for 7 yards
Breida has 19 carries over the past two weeks, though it’s a bit of a surprise that the 49ers have been so willing to replace Hyde. It’s not like the veteran has been bad in 2017, with 332 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and 2 TD as well as 18 receptions for 95 yards. It’s also not like he has had ball security issues, fumbling once (Week 4) but it was ultimately recovered by the 49ers.
So what is the reason? This could simply be a case of a rebuilding team, with no ties to a veteran (the current regime weren’t the ones to draft him), eyeing the future. While there have been extension rumors, Hyde could be a free agent at year’s end and given the state of the franchise they may feel a big investment in a 27-year old running back is not in their best interest.
You can also argue that Breida isn’t the future at the position, as a 5’11”, 190 lbs. undrafted rookie. Could he be? Perhaps, but it’s easy to envision the 2018 draft producing both the quarterback and running back of the future assuming the 49ers keep on losing (and that’s a further reason to come up with an excuse to utilize a “lesser” player).
Hyde – At the end of the day Hyde continues to offer the most upside for San Francisco, but at this time he’s becoming a tough player to trust. The 49ers appear to be looking for a reason to shy away from him, and that could bring with it inconsistent results. While he’s still a player to hold and the better gamble on a weekly basis, consider him more of a FLEX option for now.
Breida – He’s well worth stashing to see how this plays out, but he’s not a player to utilize until in your starting lineup until the workload becomes consistent.
Source – ESPN
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