Dynasty Player Profile: Nick Chubb (2022 Fantasy Football)
Nick Chubb Career Production
*Based on PPR scoring
After a terrific career at Georgia, Nick Chubb was a second-round pick (35th overall) by the Cleveland Browns in 2018. He was the fourth running back off the board that year, behind Saquon Barkley (2nd), Rashaad Penny (27th), and Sony Michel (31st). Yet, Chubb has put together the best career of any running back 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 rushing attempt in his college career, including over 7.3 yards per attempt in his first two years at Georgia. Furthermore, Chubb averaged over 100 rushing yards and one scrimmage touchdown per game in his college career. His 8.1 yards per rushing attempt as a sophomore led the country.
Unfortunately, Chubb's college career wasn't perfect. He suffered a massive injury in 2015 against Tennessee, where he tore the PCL, MCL, and LCL in his left knee. Many thought the injury would impact his NFL career. Instead, Chubb has missed only seven games in his NFL career because of injury.
Since he stepped foot in the NFL, Chubb has been a workhorse running back. Despite splitting work with Carlos Hyde as a rookie, Chubb was 17th in rushing attempts in 2018. He then finished third in 2019 (18.6 per game), 14th in 2020 (15.8 per game), and eighth last year (16.3 per game). Chubb has averaged 17.1 rushing attempts per game in his three years as the starter.
More importantly, Chubb has been one of the best big-play running backs in the NFL. According to PlayerProfiler, Chubb has one of the best running backs at ripping off runs of 15 or more yards.
Last year 7.5% of his rushing attempts were breakaway runs, ranking sixth 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 ranked 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, but Chubb has done that despite defenses going out of their way to stop him.
Despite facing an average of 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 rushing attempt in his career.
The good news for Chubb is Cleveland's new franchise quarterback will make defenses think twice about selling out to stop the run.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you're aware the Browns traded for Deshaun Watson this offseason. While Baker Mayfield is a solid quarterback, Watson is a clear upgrade for the Browns. Furthermore, the Browns traded for Amari Cooper this offseason.
Last year the Browns had Jarvis Landry and an injured Mayfield leading their passing attack. Now they will have Watson and Cooper. As a result, defenses can no longer sell out to stop the run without the risk of getting burned in the passing game.
While Watson doesn't have a history of targeting his running backs in the passing game, that isn't a problem for Chubb. The veteran running back has averaged only 1.4 receptions per game since Kareem Hunt joined the team. So even if he sees zero targets, Chubb's fantasy production won't change very much.
General Prediction for 2022 and Rest of Career
The Browns have gone all-in with the trades of Watson and Cooper. While they should throw the ball more moving forward than the past few 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 featured role in 2023. Hunt and D'Ernest Johnson are entering the final year of their contracts. With Watson's massive new contract, the Browns will likely let Hunt and Johnson leave in free agency. Furthermore, the Browns added their potential Hunt replacement in the 2022 NFL Draft, using a fifth-round pick on Jerome Ford.
Even with the Browns expected to call more passing plays moving forward, Chubb's big-play ability will keep him in the mid to high-end RB2 range in 2022. Furthermore, 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 hold onto Chubb depends on the outlook of your roster. Contending teams should buy or hold Chubb. While he is 26 years old, Chubb still has a few years of solid production left in his career.
Rebuilding teams should trade away Chubb at some point this upcoming season. While his career hasn't been plagued by injuries, Chubb has missed seven games the past two years with knee and calf injuries. At 26 years old, Chubb is at that age where he becomes a sell in dynasty. While he still has a few productive years left in his career, rebuilding teams should put Chubb on the trading block.
Ideally, you want to get back a 2023 first-round pick and a younger running back with upside like Rhamondre Stevenson or Isaiah Spiller in a deal for Chubb. If you can get a package like that, rebuilding teams should trade away the veteran running back.
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