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Fantasy Running Backs Circle of Talent two
By JJ Buck
Talent - Joe Mixon
Head coach Marvin Lewis is all in on Mixon saying, "He's off the charts talent-wise," Lewis said. "Big, fast, catch, run, see, smart -- and he's a 20-year-old kid. He's as smart as a whip. You know, I mean, those things are fun. And I keep reminding everybody, he's a 20-year-old kid. Keep understanding that. Let Joe continue to grow and develop as we go."
Mixon is being viewed as a high end RB2 so you won’t get a great deal on the rookie. That means Hill will be a valuable depth addition for season long leagues. Bernard is coming off a torn ACL from last November and could be limited to 3rd down duties at best depending on the performance of Mixon. These situations are not fun for fantasy owners, but we're looking for the best talent and Mixon checks all the boxes.
San Francisco 49ers
Talent - Carlos Hyde
The 49ers have a new head coach and new philosophy, so it's understandable that no position is 'safe'. Hyde is still the most talented RB on the roster. On a team that was going nowhere last year, Hyde scored six times, which included a huge 193-yard rushing day against the New York Jets. I don’t feel that fantasy folks will jump off Hyde as much as the rest of the football world will, as the 49ers will still not be good at football. Hyde will be in the conversation with Mixon as 5th and 6th round draft options.
Veteran Tim Hightower has proven to be a useful fill-in over his career, but unless an injury occurs, fourth round pick - Joe Williams - could work his way into a role ahead of Hightower. Williams speed (4.41 forty) is his calling card. Kyle Shanahan is no stranger to utilizing a successful two-back system.
Talent - TBA
This is the worst fantasy situation in the league. Robert Kelly, Chris Thompson and rookie Samaje Perine will all get their chance. They got the ultimate kiss of death from offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh at the start of camp.
Cavanaugh told reporters, “I wouldn’t put a pitch count on any of them, but obviously if a guy’s got a hot hand and he’s feeling good and he’s not gassed, we’ll keep him on the field. Ideally, maybe have some third-down reps too."