If you take a quick glance at Cleveland Browns rookie running back Nick Chubb’s numbers, you’ll likely do a double take. Through four games, the second-round pick has 146 rushing yards and two touchdowns … on 10 carries.
The fact that the Browns have given Chubb just 10 carries when he’s averaging 14.6 yards per carry is mind-blowing. Even if you take out the 63-yard run he had in Week 4, Chubb is still averaging 9.2 yards per attempt. When looking at the breakdown and how the workload has been handled, it’s even more surprising. This is due to the fact that starter Carlos Hyde has a whopping 83 carries to this point for just 285 yards.
But for fantasy football owners interested in Chubb, there’s some interesting news to consider. As Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com revealed, Browns coach Hue Jackson stated Chubb “has to get some.”
“Unbelievable,” said Jackson. “He has to get some. Hyde is playing well, but this guy is scoring touchdowns from long ways away. I was impressed. I watched those two touchdowns on tape (Monday), and they were even better than they were on the field. He ran away from some people on the first one and ran away from some people on the second one. It just looked natural and easy. He was gone. They could not touch him.
That’s all great to hear from Jackson, but the question is, should we actually believe him?
Nick Chubb’s Tough-to-Gauge Fantasy Football Outlook
For most coaches not named Hue Jackson, the decision to give Chubb additional work would be an easy one. It probably would have been an easy call after his strong preseason. But Jackson is nearly impossible to gauge.
This is the same guy who said he wanted to get Duke Johnson the ball more. Take a wild guess how that played out. Johnson received fewer carries (four) in the two games after those comments compared to the two prior (eight). He did manage to jump his receptions from three to six, so I guess that’s something.
The point is, Jackson is an unreliable source when he makes statements like these.
Based on pure talent, Chubb deserves more work and fantasy owners should be excited about the upside. Unfortunately, we can’t be all that thrilled because Jackson seems unwilling to stop feeding the ball to Hyde. In the same story from Cabot above, the Browns coach went on to state that the free-agent signing is their “bell cow.”
What to Do With Nick Chubb in Fantasy
If you have a roster spot in a 12 or 14-team league (preferably with big benches) then I’d recommend adding Chubb and hoping for the best. Just know that for fantasy owners who add the rookie, you may not ever get to take him off the bench. Barring something unforeseen, Jackson doesn’t seem to have much interest in rolling out an all-rookie backfield for the Browns.
Yes, even if the all-rookie look would be the best thing for the offense and potentially help ease some of the pressure on a defense loaded with young and talented players. For the time being, the only thing to do with Chubb is to keep him on the bench and see how this situation plays out in terms of possible extra work.