Let’s be honest. What do most teenagers do when their parents leave town?
They throw a big party.
Hyde went over the 100-yard hump for the first time in his career Monday in a 20-3 victory over the Vikings. After Hyde reached 100 he thought, hey, what if I keep going? And going. And going. And—well, you get the idea. Hyde didn’t stop until he racked up 168 yards on 26 carries. That’s the highest rushing total by a Niner since Gore went for 207 yards against Seattle in 2009. Hyde WAS a teenager back then.
LeSean McCoy, C.J. Anderson, Alfred Morris, Lamar Miller—oh nothing, just naming some of the running backs picked ahead of Hyde in this year’s fantasy draft. Hyde left all of them in the dust in Week 1. In fact, he left EVERYONE in the dust. His point total was higher than any player in fantasy this week. Yes, even you Rob Gronkowski.
There’s nothing more festive than scoring a touchdown. That’s why Hyde made two end zone visits on Monday. Both were spectacular, but if you’re on a tight schedule the first touchdown is the one you have to see. Here’s my play-by-play of the event: Hyde follows his block, moves right, spins, scampers left, Colin Kaepernick blocking, all alone anddddd TOUCHDOWN! A spin? Who does that? It almost looked like an Xbox controller was guiding his movements.
Hyde entered halftime with 52 yards on seven carries. After the break, he delivered 116 yards on 19 carries. If the first half was an hors-d'oeuvre before the main course, then the second half was a porterhouse steak, extra-rare.
I’m not saying fantasy owners who had Hyde in their lineup this week were lucky—but kind of. Hyde had never done anything like this before. Prior to Monday, his career-high in yards was 55.
Hyde may have been a victim of his own hype last season. He was expected to challenge Gore for the starting job last year but those hopes faded fast. By midseason, he was only getting a handful of touches. Even this year, his late third-round ADP was little more than a guess. Hyde’s lofty ranking had more to do with opportunity than anything he’d actually done on the football field—until Monday.
Reggie Bush was carted off the field with a calf injury on Monday, leaving the 49ers with only two available running backs. The other was Jarryd Hayne, a rugby star who picked up football just a few months ago. Needless to say, Hyde is in for a massive workload next week against Pittsburgh. Keep in mind Dion Lewis, a journeyman who hadn’t played since 2012, torched the Steelers for 120 yards in the opener (69 rushing, 51 receiving). Pencil Hyde in as an RB1. On second thought, better make it pen.
Julio Guides Falcons to Close Win
A chalk play if there ever was one, Jones rewarded fantasy owners big time with nine catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Dating back to last season, he’s now been targeted 10 times or more in six of his last eight games. He had Byron Maxwell on skates most of the night, and at 6’3” and 220 pounds, there really isn’t anyone in the league who matches up well with Julio. That’s probably why the Falcons presented Jones with a five-year, $71.25 million contract extension last week. Maybe Jones will invest his newfound wealth in daily fantasy and put himself in every lineup.
Jones wasn’t the only one to feast in Atlanta’s season-opening win over Philadelphia. Though he never quite made it to the end zone, rookie Tevin Coleman produced 80 yards on 20 carries in a steady debut. Meanwhile second-year back Devonta Freeman may have lost his chance at a timeshare by getting stuffed on nearly every run. He finished with 18 yards on 10 carries, though he did provide 29 yards on three catches.
Fantasy owners have always felt the connection between Julio and Ryan. Too bad Ryan’s chemistry with his other receivers isn’t as strong. Ryan’s two interceptions Monday left fantasy owners with a bit of a bad taste in their mouths. Kiko Alonso was the recipient of Ryan’s first interception on a pass inside the end zone. The second pick was a comically misplaced deep ball that landed in the hands of Walter Thurmond.
Close but no cigar was the theme for Ryan as the Falcons settled for four field goals that probably should have gone for touchdowns. Overall, Ryan went 23-of-34 for 298 yards and a 90.1 passer rating.
The Eagles had their chances to put the game away. Cody Parkey pushed his 44-yard field goal attempt wide right, spoiling a chance to give Philadelphia a 27-26 lead with 2:32 remaining. Philadelphia forced a quick Atlanta three-and-out to get the ball back but was stymied again, this time on a miraculous interception by Ricardo Allen.
That closed the book on a game that featured 86 passing plays and only 51 rushing attempts. Philadelphia is largely responsible for this discrepancy. Despite having two Pro Bowl running backs on their roster, the Eagles managed just 63 yards on a surprisingly light workload of 16 carries. DeMarco Murray, the NFL’s leading rusher from a year ago, earned nine yards on eight carries while Ryan Mathews plodded his way to four yards on three totes. Both players scored touchdowns, partially masking a pair of nightmare fantasy outings.
Darren Sproles flexed his fantasy muscles with 50 rushing yards and another 76 on the receiving end. As usual, it’s going to take a few weeks for fantasy owners to learn the ins and outs of Chip Kelly’s offense and where Mathews and Murray fit within that scheme.
At least Sam Bradford and his bionic knee survived a full week of football. The former Heisman trophy winner went for 336 yards, his highest yardage total since Week 2 of the 2013 season.
Quick Hits: Adrian Peterson enjoyed a rather pedestrian return to the gridiron on Monday night. He finished with 31 yards on 10 carries … Redskins cornerback Chris Culliver was suspended one game for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. The ban could be related to a hit-and-run Culliver was involved in last year … A strained hamstring will sideline DeSean Jackson for 3-to-4 weeks. There goes Kirk Cousins’ best receiver … Ndamukong Suh will not be punished for his incident with Redskins running back Alfred Morris. Suh knocked Morris’ helmet off with his leg on Sunday … Eli Manning told Rashad Jennings not to score a touchdown during the team’s final possession Sunday against the Cowboys. That was some pretty bad advice. Dallas won 27-26 on a late touchdown by Jason Witten … Giants rookie tackle Ereck Flowers underwent an MRI on his ankle. He played through the injury on Sunday night … Dez Bryant underwent surgery on his broken foot and could miss anywhere from 4-to-8 weeks … The Cowboys are the most valuable franchise in sports according to Forbes. They’re worth about $4 billion … Pacman Jones will not be suspended for his altercation with Amari Cooper in Week 1, though he should expect a fine … Derek Carr is questionable for Week 2 with a bruised thumb. The Raiders have already reached out to Christian Ponder … Charles Woodson dislocated his shoulder in Sunday’s loss to Cincinnati and is also questionable for Week 2 … The Raiders fear Nate Allen tore his ACL in Week 1, though they’re still waiting for an official diagnosis … Panthers coach Ron Rivera said the team won’t put Luke Kuechly out there “until he’s ready.” Kuechly suffered a concussion Sunday against Jacksonville … Texans coach Bill O’Brien has hinted that he knows who his starting quarterback will be against the Panthers next week but won’t reveal it until game time … T.Y. Hilton is questionable for next Monday’s game against the Jets. He’s dealing with a bruised left knee … Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt is “optimistic” Delanie Walker will be able to play next week. Walker injured his hand on Sunday and was wearing a cast after the game … Demaryius Thomas was back at practice on Monday. He needed an X-ray on his hand after Sunday’s win over Baltimore … Antonio Cromartie can breathe a sigh of relief. His knee injury is only a sprain. The Jets were worried it might be a torn ACL … Marqise Lee will return to practice this week and could play Sunday against the Dolphins. Lee hurt his hamstring early on in training camp.