Nick Chubb
(Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

What Does Nick Chubb Injury Mean for Fantasy Owners?

Nick Chubb has returned to the locker room after an apparent knee injury and is questionable to return.

After rolling up in pass protection, Browns’ fans were holding their breath as they watched their star running back, clutching his right knee. Chubb would leave the field under his own power, seemingly testing his knee’s mobility while heading to the locker room.

While nothing is confirmed yet, it seems as though the best-case scenario may be a hyperextension. Usually, this type of injury takes about 2-4 weeks to return. The worst-case scenario could be a torn ACL, MCL, or PCL, which would mean the end of the young runningback’s season. Let’s hope that is not the case, but it is a genuine possibility.

For fantasy owners, Chubb missing time could be a huge hit. He averages 17.6 fantasy points in three games with 292 yards rushing and four touchdowns, making him the sixth-best back in the league.

In terms of the Browns, their style of offense may not change at all. So far, Nick Chubb has averaged 17 carries in each of the three games. This puts him on pace to have approximately 272 for the season. In 2019, Chubb took a total of 298 carries as Cleveland’s workhorse back (third in carries in the NFL). While he takes a ton of carries, Chubb’s backup is an extremely capable workhorse back as well.

Kareem Hunt was one of the league’s rising stars with the Chiefs before he was released following significant off-the-field issues. Eventually, Hunt signed with the Browns to backup Chubb. In 2017, Hunt had a total of 272 carries for 1327 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground and 455 receiving yards. Hunt has shown that he can handle a massive role in an offense with a total of 325 touches on the year (2017). He may not be quite as good as Nick Chubb at the end of the day, but the Browns can go about their business as usual, more or less.

If Nick Chubb is to miss some time, Kareem Hunt will be taking the bulk of the carries for Cleveland. Look out for increases in opportunities for Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, and Odell Beckham to score points. Another player that stands to gain from a multi-week injury to Chubb is D’Ernest Johnson. After a short stint with the Orlando Apollos of the AAF, Johnson was signed in 2019 to add depth to a top-heavy Cleveland running back room. While I suspect that Kareem Hunt will be given most touches in Chubb’s absence, Johnson may be a capable relief option.

While fans hope that Chubb’s injury is not too severe, a potential ACL tear could throw a wrench in some fantasy teams in a big way. Fantasy owners may want to look to their depth to fill the void for at least a couple of weeks.