The workload has been pretty even in Houston’s backfield all season long even with the difference in style of play of the rushers they employ. Carlos Hyde is only edging Duke Johnson by 10 snaps through 11 games. The numbers in terms of real usage, though, are clearly skewed toward Hyde, who has rushed the ball 174 times for 836 yards so far to Johnson’s 65 for 349. Johnson has received 25 passes for 240 yards and a couple of scores, compared to Hyde’s six receptions for 22 yards. Both players have been productive to a certain extent, but nothing out of this world. They rank as RB37 and RB46 on the season, so you get the idea.
What happened last week against Indianapolis was pretty much the story of the season for the two of them, only this time they fell on the low-side of their upsides. Hyde rushed the ball 16 times but could only reach 67 yards, while Johnson was forgotten on the passing game (one target, eight yards) and had to mostly be content with just five carries for 22 yards. Neither of the two players reached seven fantasy points, and that is their true average when scoring is left out of their stat lines.
If it wasn’t for touchdowns, Hyde would have only had a game of 10-plus fantasy points while Johnson would have logged another himself. Johnson has never reached 60 yards on the ground this season and his year-best mark receiving is of 68 yards with the second-best all the way down at 33. Hyde has rushed for more than 80 yards five times and fallen under 55 only twice, but even with that he has not offered more than a paltry 10-point average on the season with a ceiling closer to 15 points than the 20 FP he reached in Week 6 (of course, helped by scoring a touchdown).
Fantasy football analysis: Houston Texans RBs Carlos Hyde, Duke Johnson
No matter where you look, New England’s defense will be at the top of the leaderboard. The Patriots will obviously focus on stopping both Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins on Sunday, which can open doors to the rushing game. Even with that, though, New England’s unit ranks first in points per game allowed to RBs, which doesn’t bode well for any of Hyde nor Johnson. The Patriots have not allowed a receiving touchdown to a rusher all season long, and I have a hard time thinking they will this weekend. Things don’t look much better on the ground, where only the Ravens backfield was able to hang a TD on that defense back in Week 9.
If the Texans go through the ground, it will be Hyde’s day. If they opt for the passing game, it will be Johnson’s. The Patriots could crush Houston, so the Texans will need to gain big chunks of yardage through the air more often than not, which will leave Hyde almost out of the equation. Johnson’s upside, even if used in passing plays, isn’t great at all against this defense. He is not a big-yardage player and as I told you New England just doesn’t allow rushers to score receiving touchdowns, leaving Johnson’s ceiling—wherever it was—at ground level.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Sit Carlos Hyde
Sit Duke Johnson