It finally looked like Duke Johnson was going to get his chance to be a starter in the NFL. For about a week. With a crowded backfield, the Kansas City Chiefs decided to send veteran runner Carlos Hyde to the Houston Texans. Hyde should slide right into the starting role, putting Johnson on backup duties. Now Hyde is the running back to own in the Texans backfield. Below is the fantasy outlook for Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson after the trade.
Fantasy Football Outlook for Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson After Trade
Two Were Already Teammates
This backfield might be easier to decipher than expected. Johnson and Hyde were teammates to start the year with the Cleveland Browns. Hyde was the starter, and Johnson was the pass-catching back. Hyde never got less than 14 carries in a game. Johnson never had more than five. Unfortunately for Johnson, he didn’t even have a ton of catches during that time, with only two games with more than two receptions.
Hyde is the Better All-Around Back
Hyde only caught two passes during his tenure in Cleveland, but he was the better back and will take over Lamar Miller’s starting role. He isn’t the flashiest of runners, but he produces with volume. In four of his six games with the Browns, he had at least 60 yards rushing. He also scored six touchdowns, something the Texans undoubtedly noticed. He will be utilized in the red zone.
Looking over Miller’s stats from last season, he rarely received less than 14 carries a game, which is perfect for Hyde. Even if he cedes the field to Johnson on passing downs, he will still have a nice floor. The biggest fear is how the Texans defense will do this year. If they fall behind, Hyde could disappear from games.
Hyde was a solid runner for a few years with the San Francisco 49ers, who drafted him back in 2014. He spent his first two seasons backing up Frank Gore, but got two years as the starter in 2016 and 2017. Both years, Hyde was within 100 yards from a 1,000-yard season. He won’t be a top-ten back but should push for RB2 status.
Johnson Will Be the Pass Catcher
Johnson is the real loser here. He wanted out of Cleveland because he turned into the forgotten man behind other runners, including Hyde at one point. However, he seemed fine with his role backing up Miller. There is no doubt that he was excited for his chance to show he can be a bell cow in the league though. Now he goes back to his usual role catching balls out of the backfield, with minimal rushing attempts.
It puts him back to where he was just about a week ago, which is a late-round pick with PPR upside. Johnson has never even topped 400 rushing yards in his career, a trend that will continue in 2019. However, he’s only had less than 500 yards receiving one year in his career.
Johnson can’t be counted on to put up those same numbers in Houston. The Browns had carved out a role for him, and it is unknown if the Texans will do the same. Last season was the first where Johnson had less than 50 receptions, which is why he was still a solid fantasy option. However, Miller never even topped 40 receptions in his time with the Texans.