It was apparent to everyone as soon as the Cleveland Browns drafted Nick Chubb that Carlos Hyde wasn’t going to be in Cleveland for the full length of his three-year deal. It turns out he won’t even be there for an entire year. Earlier today he was traded to the Jaguars to boost a run game that is sorely missing Leonard Fournette.
As always, we at Dynasty League Football are here to help you examine what this means for dynasty values.
Carlos Hyde, RB JAC
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It’s not much of a secret that Hyde has struggled this season. His yards per carry total is the lowest it’s been at any point during his career, and he’s barely involved in the passing game during his time in Cleveland. For some reason, Hue Jackson kept trotting him out there even though it was clear Chubb was ready to usurp the role. Well, now the Chubb truthers won’t have to wait much longer to see if they were right about his talent level.
However, this doesn’t hurt Hyde. He may be leaving a young emerging offense, but it’s clear the Jaguars need to lean on their run game. Blake Bortles turned out to not be the hero we deserved despite some of my earlier proclamations, and the team would like to turn to the run game a little more. Normally that wouldn’t be a problem for them, but with Leonard Fournette banged up, the team wanted to look beyond T.J. Yeldon for help.
This is good news for Hyde and his owners. Despite disappointing so far this season, Hyde is currently the RB15 in .5 PPR formats. His value with the Jaguars should remain close to the same assuming he usurps Yeldon for the lead back role sooner rather than later. In terms of long-term value, not much changes either. Fournette will replace him when (if) he can get healthy, and Yeldon is a free agent next year. This will likely be a lateral move for Hyde with a slight uptick for this season.
Leonard Fournette, RB JAC
Fournette just hasn’t been right this season since injuring his hamstring against the Giants in the season opener. Fournette is one of the most talented young backs when he’s on the field. However, being on the field is the key word there. He was quite impressive in his rookie season totaling over 1,342 yards from scrimmage and ten touchdowns, but he dealt with ankle issues last season causing him to miss three games. That’s not including the six games he missed in the 2016 college season due to an ankle injury, or the fact that he missed three preseason games in 2017.
To say that he’s starting to get a reputation for being injury prone, fairly or not, is putting it lightly. Initially, there were some reports he would return this week, but then he was quickly ruled out. With the additional news of the Jaguars trading for Hyde, you must wonder if the injury to his hamstring is more serious than the team initially let on.
The news isn’t likely to help his dynasty value. However, if you are a believer, now may be a good time to acquire. It’s possible the extra rest allows him to return to full health. He has been going as high as the second round in dynasty startups, and you may be able to get a discount if you’re willing to take a risk.
T.J. Yeldon, RB JAC
If you listened to me on the Dynasty Blueprint podcast this past summer, you know that I really like Yeldon. It’s not long ago that he was selected with the 36th overall pick in the 2015 rookie draft. He’s performed admirably with Fournette out and re-established himself as someone to keep on dynasty radars. It was unrealistic to think he’d keep the lead back job all season, but it was certainly fun while it lasted.
The team acquiring Hyde obviously caps his ceiling, especially if Fournette can return later this season. However, don’t forget I mentioned that Yeldon is a free agent next year. I believe he’s flashed enough that another team will take a chance on him. His price had been on the rise, but now it likely won’t cost you all much to acquire him on the off-chance he lands in the perfect situation like Jerick McKinnon did this past season.
Duke Johnson, RB CLE
The Browns have been struggling to find consistent pass-catchers for Baker Mayfield, so it’s a little surprising that they haven’t gotten one of their best wide receivers disguised as a running back more involved. In three of the Browns six games, Johnson has seen less than two targets. It’s especially surprising since Johnson was the most targeted running back in the game the past three seasons. Granted, the Browns didn’t have much else and were continually playing behind.
The news must be good for Johnson. He’s at worst number two on the running back pecking order now. His price is likely to rise a bit because of the trade. That said, I’m not sure I’d be buying. This offense is starting to have a lot of mouths to feed, and this season his catch percentage has taken a 16% dip.
Nick Chubb, RB CLE
Now we get to the real reason you’re here. As my good friend, Gabe Geering says, it’s #Wubbalubbachubbchubb time. To say Chubb has looked good, even if it’s a limited sample, is a bit of understatement. He’s looked every bit the incredible athlete that he was in college before a freak knee injury took down his prospect status a peg.
John Dorsey did us all a favor by trading away Hyde. We now get the joy of watching Mayfield and Chubb in the same backfield regularly. From purely a fan perspective, you should be writing him a thank you letter. For dynasty purposes, the trade sends a clear signal that Chubb is going to be the guy now. That’s a very good thing when Mayfield is your quarterback, and you have the makings of a young up-and-coming offense that is going to be together for a long time. I hope that you managed to acquire Chubb before this trade, because his price is about to shoot up just on hype alone.
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