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Chuba Hubbard: Priority Waiver Wire Target (2021 Fantasy Football)

Sep 28, 2021

It’s pronounced “Chuba,” rhyming with the low-pitched brass instrument, not “Chubba,” rhyming with the first name of Brett Favre’s favorite tight end! Any other Bubba Franks fans?

Despite barely playing nine quarters of football, Christian McCaffrey is still the fantasy RB3. Does that mean in the weeks he is out with a hamstring injury, Hubbard deserves to be ranked as a top-12 option? Let’s dive in.

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Player Profile

Chuba Hubbard was born and raised in Alberta, Canada, where he put on a show at Bev Facey Community High School. In three seasons as their running back, Hubbard ran for 6,880 yards and 82 touchdowns … absurd.

In three seasons at Oklahoma State, Hubbard totaled 3,938 yards from scrimmage and 36 touchdowns, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. 

Despite gaudy numbers, he fell to the fourth round of the 2021 NFL draft. 

In McCaffrey’s absence last Thursday, Hubbard looked solid. He ran the ball 11 times for 52 yards and caught three of his five targets for 27 yards. 

Hubbard is listed at six feet tall and 210 pounds, he ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at his pro day earlier this year. 

State of The Offense

Through three weeks, Sam Darnold is the fantasy QB11 and the Panthers are 3-0. Those numbers alone tell you the offense is capable of sustaining a productive running back, even if he’s not Christian McCaffrey.

The question is, though, just how much of this Panthers team is CMC? Will the offense simply crumble into a shell of itself without its star running back? 

My estimation is the reality will be somewhere in the middle. Rolls Royce Freeman will likely cut into Hubbard’s work. He received six touches in Thursday’s win over Houston. Third-round rookie Tommy Tremble, though listed as a tight end, also plays some running back and ran for a touchdown last week. 

This could turn into a relative abandonment of the run without their star RB, however. Darnold has proven to be a capable passer and is finally hitting the stride so many people expected him to hit earlier in his career. Additionally, Carolina has some impressive receiving options in DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and Terrace Marshall Jr. 

Hubbard’s Outlook

McCaffrey is projected to miss roughly three weeks, making Hubbard an immediate bandage to any RB issues your team may have. However, definitely do not expect CMC numbers.

The Panthers have played a relatively easy schedule through three games. Their next three games (Cowboys, Eagles, Vikings) are against opponents who’ve proven to be difficult matchups for opposing running backs with regards to fantasy points allowed.

Hubbard, over the next three weeks, is in the low-end RB2 or flex conversation.

He also has the opportunity to prove himself to be a worthy handcuff for when CMC returns. That’s if things go well. If they don’t, we’re looking at a Royce Freeman/Chuba Hubbard timeshare, in which case Hubbard would likely not be relevant in 10 or 12-team leagues.

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TJ Horgan is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from TJ, check out his archive and follow him @tjhorgantv.

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