Kareem Hunt is a bit of unicorn for Fantasy purposes. He is a borderline No. 2 running back with Nick Chubb healthy, and he has league-winning upside as a quasi-handcuff if Chubb goes down. That makes Hunt worth a fifth-round pick in PPR leagues, but he has more upside than anyone else who will be available at that point. In 2020, Chubb left Week 4 with an injury and Hunt was a top-eight running back in all formats. After Chubb returned, Hunt ranked 18th in PPR, one spot behind where he finished in the final eight games of 2019. Hunt's new contract with the Browns makes it likely he'll be sharing with Chubb until he's 28 years old, which means he's more of a high-end No. 3 running back for Dynasty purposes. This offseason may very well be the best time to sell in that format.
Hunt says he's happy sharing backfield work with Nick Chubb, even noting that the Browns should give his teammate a big contract, Zac Jackson of The Athletic reports. "Pay that man," Hunt said. "He's a freak of nature. He's like a brother to me ... hope we can play together for a long time." Chubb's presence may relegate Hunt to a reserve role, but that could also help prolong his career, especially if the Cleveland offensive line maintains its high level of play from 2020. Hunt is entering the first season of the two-year, $12 million extension he signed last September, while Chubb is entering the final year of his rookie contract and figures to eventually land a much larger deal. The Browns might use a franchise tag on Chubb next offseason if they still haven't worked out a long-term contract.
Hunt rushed six times for 32 yards and a touchdown while catching his only target for two yards in Sunday's 22-17 loss to the Chiefs in the AFC divisional round. Hunt didn't register a touch in the first half, as the Browns took a 19-3 deficit into the locker room. He continued to play second fiddle to Nick Chubb in the third quarter, then took the spotlight himself early in the fourth with a three-yard rushing touchdown. Cleveland's offense got the ball only one more time after that and gained just 12 yards before punting the ball back to Kansas City, and the Chiefs ran out the clock from there. Hunt should continue to work as the 1B to Chubb in Cleveland's run-heavy offense next season after scoring 14 scrimmage touchdowns between the regular season and postseason.
Hunt registered 48 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries, adding a 13-yard reception during Sunday's 48-37 wild-card win against Pittsburgh. Hunt was contained to single-digit rush attempts for the fourth time over his past five outings, but the back's two first-quarter rushing scores against the Steelers matched his total from 51 carries between Weeks 12 and 17. His contributions are undeniable, as Hunt posted 841 yards for Cleveland's No. 3 rushing offense during the regular season. However, it appears his workload as a rusher will continue to be exceeded by that of Nick Chubb, who garnered 18 carries in the wild-card win and who has exceeded Hunt's rush-attempt total 151-91 since his Week 10 return from an MCL injury. Hunt always has the potential to break off an explosive play, and he carries 13 total TDs into an AFC divisional-round matchup against his former team in the Chiefs.
Hunt carried the ball 10 times for 37 yards in Week 17 against the Steelers. He added one reception for four yards. Hunt earned 11 touches in comparison to Nick Chubb's 14 but was outgained 108-41. Disappointing performances have become the norm for Hunt, as he logged 35 or fewer rushing yards in six of the team's final seven games. He's salvaged some fantasy value by totaling four touchdowns, though there is little doubt that Chubb will lead the backfield heading into a playoff matchup against the Steelers.
Hunt rushed four times for 11 yards and a touchdown while catching three of five targets for 41 yards in Sunday's 23-16 loss to the Jets. Hunt had just six scrimmage yards in the first half, but he was more involved in the second half with Cleveland playing catch-up. After watching Nick Chubb score from one yard out late in the third quarter, Hunt found the end zone himself from four yards out on the next drive for his sixth rushing touchdown of the season. With the Browns needing a win over the Steelers in Week 17 to clinch a playoff berth, expect Hunt to play a prominent role as both a rusher and a receiver out of the backfield.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/12||@Kansas City Chiefs||25||19.32|
|5||10/10||@Los Angeles Chargers||14||16.75|
|10||11/14||@New England Patriots||21||18.88|
|15||12/19||Las Vegas Raiders||29||22.38|
|16||12/25||@Green Bay Packers||27||20.33|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||141||615||5||34||322||4||147|