Carlos Hyde, 49ers: Some devoted Niners fans are still optimistic that this young sophomore out of Ohio State can still fill the void left by Frank Gore and be the franchise back for the future, but common sense simply dictates that this year is not Hyde’s year. Finally inheriting the starting job for a team that has dwindled down to the bottom echelon of the NFL, it will be difficult for Hyde to make any significant (fantasy) contributions, especially without the help of run-happy offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Furthermore, the regression of the Niner defense suggests that the team will likely be playing games from behind, decreasing Hyde’s touches even more. Lastly, with Reggie Bush also a more likely candidate to steal receptions because of his proven status as a target, I struggle to suggest Hyde even as a bottom-end RB2.
Tevin Coleman, Falcons: I definitely fell into the pre-draft hype of Coleman, especially during the past offseason. I even put him high up on my likely fantasy breakouts list for this year. So why the sudden change of heart? First of all, the most concerning part of Coleman’s fantasy draft stock is his unbelievably high ADP, at 76. Sure, he has immense raw talent and a high ceiling, but he is way too unproven to be placed that high in player rankings. Coleman is also sharing the spotlight with former Florida State product Devonta Freeman, who is also top-100 in most fantasy lists. Though they both returned from injury for tonight’s game against the Dolphins, Freeman was listed as an inactive, and Coleman did not fare much better, posting 2 yards on 4 carries. Coleman can be a risk worth taking, but definitely not as a seventh-round pick.
Joique Bell, Lions: Bell has never been a solid fantasy pick, as he never was the sole starting back for the Lions, and he will not get that opportunity this year. With a proven specimen coming from Nebraska in Ameer Abdullah, who greatly impressed during his preseason appearances, the Lions will likely return to their usual run committee this season. Not only is Bell struggling to return to health before the start of the season, but there is some threat that the Lions’ third and fourth string backs, Theo Riddick, and Zach Zenner, will further drain the depleted amount of carries that Bell will start his season with. Though he has good hands and is a threat for receptions, he has little-to-no potential as a solid RB2 and owners should avoid drafting him.
Melvin Gordon, Chargers: A report from Chargers RB coach Ollie Wilson refuted any claims that Gordon had concerning pass-protection issues, stating that he’s had no problem with Gordon’s pass protecting. Be that as it may, from a fantasy standpoint, this bares little to no relevance. Not only is Gordon dealing with ankle issues, but a huge part of what made Ryan Mathews an attractive fantasy option was his receiving abilities from an ever-improving quarterback in Rivers. Sure Mathews is now out of the picture, but Danny Woodhead and Branden Oliver are still more of a threat than Gordon. Let’s also not forget his meager 34 yards on 14 carries in his latest preseason showing—not persuasive by any means.