\Update August 24: Hunt and Chubb could be the most dynamic running back duo in the NFL in 2020. Chubb ranked second in rushing yards last year, but some believe he could split carries evenly with Hunt. Hunt is far more versatile, and that could make him the more desirable target at a significantly cheaper ADP.
In this series we will look at the most important fantasy football position battles for each NFL team. Opportunity is king in fantasy, as you can’t produce fantasy statistics without getting on the field. So, the first step when looking for value plays is to project, correctly, which players will win training camp battles.
The Cleveland Browns were underwhelming as a team in 2019. Many projected them to have one of the NFL’s more explosive offense following the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., but they missed the playoffs after posting a 6-10 record. Nick Chubb exceeded expectations in his second pro season though. He could face some serious competition from his backup, as Kareem Hunt will likely only get more involved in 2020.
Chubb only trailed Derrick Henry in rushing yards last year. He ran for 1,494 yards and eight scores. That helped him become a top 10 fantasy running back in standard and PPR leagues despite his inconsistent offensive line. Cleveland invested on improving up front over the offseason though. They signed a top-notch free agent in Jack Conklin and selected Alabama’s Jedrick Wills with the No. 10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. While this bodes well for Chubb’s production, it could also make Hunt more dangerous.
Hunt served an eight-game suspension for the first half of last year, but saw plenty of action when he returned to the field. Only Beckham and Jarvis Landry racked up more catches than Hunt’s 37, and you should only expect that mark to rise moving forward. Hunt was limited on the ground with 43 carries for 179 yards and two scores. Baker Mayfield will probably spend more time out wide with Austin Hooper in the mix at tight end, so a back with more versatility could be more enticing.
Chubb still has the edge over Hunt as an every down power back. Hunt can’t be an RB1 after the year Chubb had next year, but could be a strong RB3 or RB4 depending on the size of your season-long league. Hunt will have weeks where he outdoes Chubb.