The San Francisco 49ers are one of the biggest messes in the NFL. They’re a dumpster fire of insane proportions and there’s only one other NFC team that is as big of a mess as the Niners, and that’s the New York Giants. The Niners and the Giants play this week, as sponsored by Yakety Sax. It’s going to be a hilarious mess on the field, but is there fantasy football value to be had from that mess? Can you find your Aladdin and find the diamond in the rough? For the 49ers, there is only one player who has the ability to turn in a great performance this week. Their diamond in the rough is Carlos Hyde, but is being the most talented player still playing for the 49ers enough for him to be a useful fantasy football commodity this week?
On the season, Hyde is the #16 running back, but the story goes so, so much deeper than that. The 49ers being such a disaster means that Hyde’s opportunities vary wildly based on opponent. He’s been relatively solid, posting under eight fantasy points just three times, but he also has huge blowup games, going over 12.5 four times this year. The issue with Hyde and the 49ers is that the chances of the Levi’s Stadium turf finally exacting its revenge and mercifully swallowing the entire roster at once is equal (or greater than) a C.J. Beathard-led offense having a massive game that will leave Hyde flush with opportunity. This leaves him as an entirely a matchup-dependent play if you hit on guys like Alvin Kamara or Duke Johnson, Jr., for example.
This week he gets an extraordinarily juicy matchup as the Giants and Niners take each other on as the Giants collapse into tiny pieces all around Ben McAdoo. At this point, Bob McAdoo would be a better NFL head coach than his long-lost cousin, as there are reports that the team has all but entirely quit on McAdoo and vice versa. Even before the implosion, the Giants were bad against running backs. Six backs on the year have at least fifteen touches against the Giants, and only Malcolm Brown, a backup in garbage time, didn’t get at least eight fantasy points. These points came on yardage, too, as the Giants have allowed running back touchdowns in just three games this season. Running backs just flat out churn up yardage against them, giving a great floor.
This will be a week where Carlos Hyde overcomes the team around him to become an RB1. Saying overcome the team around him is a bit generous, actually. Let me rephrase that. Carlos Hyde will be an RB1 because the 49ers take on one of two teams in the NFL that might be more of a trash pile than they are. Hyde will get the opportunity to produce, and the pre-quitting on McAdoo Giants couldn’t stop a running back with volume; why would the rage quit version of the same roster stop Hyde?