Nick Chubb’s career production
*Based on PPR rating
After a great career with Georgia, Nick Chubb was a second-round pick (35th overall) by the Cleveland Browns in 2018. , and Sony Michel (31st). Still, Chubb compiled the best career running backs from the 2018 draft class.
During his four years with the Bulldogs, Chubb was one of the better running backs in the country. He averaged 6.3 yards per rush attempt during his collegiate career, including over 7.3 yards per attempt in his freshman two years in Georgia. In addition, Chubb averaged over 100 rushing yards and one scrimmage touchdown per game during his collegiate career. His 8.1 yards per rush attempt as a sophomore led the country.
Unfortunately, Chubb’s college career wasn’t perfect. He suffered a massive injury against Tennessee in 2015 where he tore the PCL, MCL and LCL in his left knee. Many thought the injury would hamper his NFL career. Instead, Chubb has only missed seven games in his NFL career due to injuries.
Since stepping foot in the NFL, Chubb has been a workhorse at running back. Despite splitting work with Carlos Hyde as a rookie, Chubb finished 17th in rushing attempts in 2018. He finished third in 2019 (18.6 per game), 14th in 2020 (15.8 per game) and eighth last year (16.3 per game). Chubb averaged 17.1 rushing attempts per game in his three years as a starter.
More importantly, Chubb was one of the best big-play running backs in the NFL. According to PlayerProfiler, Chubb has one of the best running backs when it comes to ripping off strides of 15 yards or more.
Last year, 7.5% of his rushing attempts were breakaway runs, earning him sixth place in the NFL. He also had a 7.4% rate in 2020, a 5.7% rate in 2019, and a 7.3% rate as a rookie. More importantly, Chubb has been in the top 10 every year of his career. Despite his 227-pound frame, Chubb is one of the best big-play runners in the NFL.
Not only is he one of the best big-play runners in the NFL, Chubb has done so despite the defense doing everything they can to stop him.
Despite averaging seven defenders in the box and a high stack front rate (percentage of rushing attempts with eight or more defenders in the box), Chubb has averaged 5.3 yards per rush attempt throughout his career.
The good news for Chubb is that Cleveland’s new franchise quarterback will make the defense think twice about selling to stop the run.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson this offseason. While Baker Mayfield is a solid quarterback, Watson is a clear upgrade for the Browns. Additionally, the Browns traded for Amari Cooper this offseason.
Last year the Browns had Jarvis Landry and an injured Mayfield leading their pass attack. Now they will have Watson and Cooper. As a result, the defense can no longer be sold out to stop the run without risking getting burned in the passing game.
While Watson has a history of not targeting his running backs in the passing game, that’s no problem for Chubb. The veteran running back has averaged just 1.4 receptions per game since Kareem Hunt joined the team. So even if he sees zero goals, Chubb’s fantasy production isn’t going to change much.
General prediction for 2022 and the rest of the career
The Browns went all-in on Watson’s and Cooper’s trades. While they should throw the ball further forward than they have in recent years, that won’t stop Chubb from having consistent fantasy value. Cleveland also has one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, led by Joel Bitonio.
While Chubb has to share the backfield this year, he could have a starring role in 2023. Hunt and D’Ernest Johnson are entering the final year of their contracts. With Watson’s massive new contract, the Browns are likely to let Hunt and Johnson go free. Additionally, the Browns added their potential Hunt replacement in the 2022 NFL Draft by picking Jerome Ford in the fifth round.
While the Browns are expected to call more passing plays in the future, Chubb’s big play ability will keep him in the mid to high RB2 range in 2022. Additionally, Chubb could have top-five upside in 2023 if the Browns don’t re-sign Hunt or Johnson.
Buy, sell or hold?
Whether you should buy, sell, or keep Chubb depends on your roster’s prospects. Competing teams should buy or hold Chubb. Despite being 26 years old, Chubb still has a few solid production years ahead of him in his career.
Reconstruction teams should hand Chubb over at some point in the upcoming season. While his career hasn’t been plagued by injuries, Chubb has missed seven games in the past two years with knee and calf injuries. At 26, Chubb is about the age to be sold in Dynasty. Though he still has a few productive years in his career, rebuild teams should bring Chubb to the trading bloc.
Ideally, you want to get back a first-round pick from 2023 and a younger running back with upside like Rhamondre Stevenson or Isaiah Spiller in a deal for Chubb. If you can get such a package, Rebuild teams should trade the Veteran running back.
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Mike Fanelli is a featured author at FantasyPros. For more from Mike see his archive and follow him @Mike_NFL2.