Kareem Hunt
Ross D. Franklin: Associated Press

Kareem Hunt Cannot Be Relied On For 2021 Fantasy

The Cleveland Browns have an elite backfield duo with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Chubb is the featured back and a top-five running back in the league. Although Hunt finished as the RB#10 in non-PPR formats, I question if he can produce a similar season in 2021. Chubb missed four games in 2020 and in two of those four games, Hunt had his fourth and fifth-highest scoring games all season, but can Hunt be consistently relied on for 2021 fantasy?

The short answer is no, but let me explain. Like I said earlier, Chubb is the starting running back on this team, and no one is taking his carries when he is healthy. Chubb has had more than 190 carries in each year of his career, including a 298-carry season in 2019. He is a workhorse and thrives off of a volume of touches. Hunt has significant upside when Chubb is sidelined with an injury, but relying on an injury to someone else to guarantee production is not a reliable strategy. Chubb has proven to be a durable player as well, missing only four games in his first three years.

This team is a power-running team under Kevin Stefanski and Baker Mayfield is not an elite quarterback by any means but the Browns receiving corps and tight end group are fantastic. Mayfield took a big step in 2020 and he should only be more comfortable with the offense as he enters his second year in Stefanski’s system. As I said, this team is a run-heavy offense, but they were at their best in 2020 when Mayfield was able to throw the ball around 30 times a game. That is not a high volume of throws, but it is 30 touches that are potentially out of Hunt’s reach.

The one thing I will say about Kareem Hunt that I cannot say for Chubb is that he is very active in the passing game. Even if Hunt does not get the same amount of carries as Chubb, Hunt has more value in PPR leagues. In 2020, Hunt had 38 receptions, 304 yards, and five touchdowns compared to Chubb’s 16 catches and 160 yards. Hunt should see around 100 carries and 35 catches, but as long as Chubb is healthy, I do not see Hunt being more than a low-end RB2 or flex option.

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