Duke Johnson Jr, Carlos Hyde's Updated Fantasy Outlook, Trade Value After Week 1

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - SEPTEMBER 09: Carlos Hyde #23 of the Houston Texans reacts after a first down against the New Orleans Saints  at Mercedes Benz Superdome on September 09, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

One game in, fantasy football owners still don't know too much about the Houston Texans' backfield.

With Lamar Miller out for the season, Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson Jr. each had a chance to prove themselves as the clear No. 1 choice on the ground. Instead, they had nearly identical workloads in the Texans' 30-28 defeat to the New Orleans Saints on Monday night.  

Hyde carried the ball 10 times for 83 yards, while Johnson ran for 57 yards on nine carries. Not surprisingly, Johnson had the edge as a receiver, catching four passes for 33 yards on five targets. Hyde was targeted once and caught a two-yard pass.

In Hyde and Johnson, Houston has a pair of complementary running backs. The former can handle short-yardage situations and power runs inside, and the latter is the more dynamic runner who can catch passes out of the backfield.

That's great for the Texans and bad for fantasy owners.

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For those who have Johnson, it's way too early to panic. Although Monday's game was less than ideal, Hyde could revert to his former level, thus positioning Johnson as the primary ball-carrier.

Because of that, now is probably not the time to trade for Johnson since his value is pretty fluid. He makes sense as a trade target, however, if you can find somebody who reads way too much into one game.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston's Week 2 opponent, allowed 107 yards on 23 carries to LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams of the Kansas City Chiefs. Even in a timeshare with Hyde, Johnson should get enough looks to warrant RB2/flex consideration, depending on your available options.

Following his performance, numerous fantasy owners are likely putting in a waiver claim for Hyde.

At the very least, adding Hyde is worthwhile in the hope he starts edging ahead of Johnson in the depth chart. You probably can't afford to wait another week to see what he does against the Jaguars.

Getting Hyde and stashing him on the bench is probably the advisable strategy for Week 2. Don't invest too much in the 28-year-old unless he can show some level of consistency over multiple games.

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