Nick Chubb could change the complexion of fantasy football leagues in the coming weeks following the Cleveland Browns’ decision to trade Carlos Hyde to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
At the time of the trade, Chubb was owned in fewer than 20 percent of fantasy leagues. That ownership level should swing wildly in the coming hours with his ownership probably surging to over 90 percent.
The Browns are all-in on their rookie running back, who has averaged an absurd 10.8 yards per carry so far this season. The Georgia Bulldogs product has 16 carries for 173 yards and two touchdowns. He should be an RB1 immediately, and could be one for weeks to come with some of the league’s worst rushing offenses on the schedule (like Tampa Bay this week and the Kansas City Chiefs in three weeks). He’s a workhorse with a wildly productive though intensely small track record. Duke Johnson, who might be worth rostering in deeper standard leagues, will remain the go-to running back target in the passing game, but Chubb will get all the touches in the running game.
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If Chubb is still available in your league, stop reading and pick him up. Now. (Then come back and finish reading.) Chubb is also worth targeting in a trade, if his owner is reasonable about compensation. And they may not be reasonable with so much upside for Chubb.
For the Jaguars running backs, things will get complicated. They have three players who can run between the tackles in Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and now Hyde. (Fournette’s lingering hamstring issue is why the Jaguars traded for Hyde.)
Fournette should have good value late in the season when he returns to full health — but with Hyde in the picture, Fournette’s owners may have to wait a while to feel comfortable starting him again. The Jaguars seem to be bracing for even more time without him. Hyde may also help share the load with Fournette to make sure he doesn’t get overworked in the first few games back from this injury. That’s how Fournette ended up in this predicament — he did too much too soon and re-injured the hamstring.
Essentially, Hyde will carry decent value until Fournette returns. Then it will be about waiting and seeing how they handle the backfield. My guess is that they will go into a deep committee, which will irk fantasy owners.
Jaguars running back owners just lot a lot of value in their backs. Chubb owners should be overjoyed with the enormous bump in value.