Cleveland's Run-First Scheme Bolsters Nick Chubb's Fantasy Value

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Second-year running back Nick Chubb was en route to a monster season during the first ten weeks of the 2019 season. From Weeks 1-10, Chubb was third in the league with 919 yards and sixth among running backs in fantasy football points. But then Kareem Hunt returned from suspension and Chubb went from averaging 15.4 points per game to 11.5.

Now heading into his third year in the NFL, Chubb is being drafted as the ninth running back and the 14th overall player according to the latest fantasy football ADP data.

Sports Illustrated’s fantasy analyst Jaime Eisner and BrownsDigest Pete Smith weigh in on whether Chubb deserves to be drafted that high in 2020.

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Bill Enright: During the twenty nineteen season Browns running back, Nick Chubb had an excellent start to the year in the first 10 weeks. He was the number four running back in fantasy football. But then Kareem Hunt came back from suspension and Chubb production kind of fell down a little bit. Let's find out what we expect from the Browns backfield in 2020 by going to Jaime Eisner, a fantasy football analyst here at Sports Illustrated, and Pete Smith from Browns Digest. Pete, I'll start with you. Do we expect a running back by committee with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to start the year in 2020? 

Pete Smith: That's the question, really. I mean, Nick Chubb was arguably the best back in all football last year. At least he was up there. And they had basically three linemen blocking form and he was still great. They upgrade the tackle position. They had a fullback, which may be the key factor for getting more out of Kareem Hunt, which might make him more productive this year. And it's going to be an interesting test because, you know, generally teams don't want to pay running back. So do they go ahead and say, we're just going to run Nick Chubb into the ground and let him walk? Or are they going to, you know, try to save him a little bit, which Freddie Kitchens did last year, and not put so many carries on his body towards the end of the year and go for more of a balanced approach. 

Bill Enright: Jaime, let me go over to you, Nick Chubb is coming off the board with the kind of the 11th-hour 12th pick according to the latest ADP data. Are you drafting or passing a shop at that price point? 

Jaime Eisner: I'll draft him there, and he's actually even going even later in certain drafts, I see him go around pick 20, which you think it's crazy that we're talking about running back ran for almost fifteen hundred yards last year and the second round being in the conversation. I know there are some concerns in PPR leagues, doesn't catch a lot of passes. And he was improving in that area before Kareem Hunt suspension ended. And then at that point, he only had eleven catches for the rest of the season after having twenty-four in the first half of the season. But his upside is at worst a mid-level RB two. He's gonna get a ton of work. He's now behind an improved offensive line in a run-heavy system. I don't see what the knock-on him is other than he's not catching a lot of passes, but he doesn't have that top-five running backup side, but he's got the higher floor than probably any of the other backs you're going to take near the end of round one.