Carlos Hyde, Pierre Garcon's Updated Fantasy Outlook After Week 3

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 21, 2017

SANTA CLARA, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Carlos Hyde #28 of the San Francisco 49ers rushes against the Los Angeles Rams during their NFL game at Levi's Stadium on September 21, 2017 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Through two games, the San Francisco 49ers offense was held without a touchdown. 

That changed Thursday night, when head coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers offense used an effective run-pass balance to hang with the Los Angeles Rams into the fourth quarter of a thrilling 41-39 loss at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. 

Running back Carlos Hyde and wide receiver Pierre Garcon were front and center for the 49ers, and they both proved they can be considered reliable fantasy players—in varying capacities—moving forward. 

Here's a look at how their stocks should be evaluated with three weeks in the books. 

Carlos Hyde

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

No, it wasn't always pretty. 

But Hyde ran awfully hard and stitched together another strong RB1-caliber performance after he missed the majority of the first quarter with a hip injury. 

Although chunk gains—like the ones that cropped up in last week's 124-yard outing against the Seattle Seahawks—proved elusive, Hyde operated as Shanahan's workhorse and totaled 84 yards on 25 carries. 

Hyde also maintained Shanahan's trust in the red zone as the 49ers boss called on him for two touchdowns inside the 5-yard line in the second half. 

It could have been a three-score night for Hyde, too, but the 49ers opted for a play-action pass to tight end Garrett Celek when they reached the 1-yard line early in the fourth quarter. 

Looking ahead, Hyde should operate as a low-end RB1 in season-long leagues who can be plugged into weekly lineups regardless of opponent.

The only issue for the Niners' lead back is that his production could be hamstrung a bit by negative second-half game scripts since San Francisco showed Thursday it's susceptible to falling behind early because of a lackluster defense. 

Pierre Garcon

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Entering the season, the read on Garcon was that he would be a fairly safe fantasy contributor because someone, anyone, had to eat up targets in the 49ers' passing game. 

That line of thinking was proved right Thursday, as Garcon posted seven catches for a season-high 142 yards, including a 59-yard grab down the left sideline in the fourth quarter: 

Garcon has now been targeted 25 times through three games and topped 80 yards twice.

For a receiver who's just starting to build chemistry with a new quarterback in Brian Hoyer, those are numbers worth getting excited about. 

Moving forward, Garcon can be safely deployed as a flex option with WR2 upside.