In 10 games replacing Christian McCaffrey in 2021, Hubbard scored at least 13 PPR points four times and at least 15 PPR points twice. That's not so great, nor was Hubbard ranking outside of the top 35 in pretty much every single advanced rushing metric last year, the least of which being a 3.56 yards per carry average. The Panthers added D'Onta Foreman this offseason to add more power and experience to their running back depth chart, likely putting Hubbard in a position to barely contribute when McCaffrey is healthy and partially work when McCaffrey is sidelined. Thus, we'd wait to add Hubbard off waivers once it's clear he'll be relied upon in the Panthers offense. You shouldn't draft him.
Hubbard could lose reps behind starter Christian McCaffrey to offseason pickup D'Onta Foreman, who offers a bigger, more physical complement to Carolina's top back, Darin Gantt of the Panthers' official site reports. Hubbard enjoyed an expanded role with McCaffrey sidelined for 10 games last season, gaining 786 yards from scrimmage and scoring six times over 197 touches as a rookie. However, the 6-foot-1, 236-pound Foreman brings a more imposing presence to Carolina's backfield and is fresh off an impressive showing while replacing the injured Derrick Henry in Tennessee last season. Foreman's addition along with Hubbard's development going into Year 2 should give the Panthers ample insurance if McCaffrey's health remains an issue, as he's now missed 23 games the past two seasons. However, compared to last year when Hubbard faced relatively little competition for the staring role while McCaffrey was sidelined, Foreman could now push Hubbard for the No. 2 gig and cut into his workload.
Hubbard rushed nine times for 48 yards and caught both of his targets for eight yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 41-17 loss to the Buccaneers. Hubbard was productive despite seeing fellow tailback Ameer Abdullah lead the Panthers with 16 touches. The rookie's presence was felt early on, as Hubbard hauled in a two-yard touchdown to cap Carolina's opening drive. Afterward, he was efficient on the ground overall, helped by a long gain of 19 yards. With star Christian McCaffrey (ankle) playing just seven games this season, Hubbard was forced into an expanded role, starting 10 games. The fourth-rounder finished with 172 carries for 612 yards and five touchdowns while catching 25 of 37 targets 174 yards and another score. Given McCaffrey's injury history and hefty contract, the Panthers may try to trade him this offseason. Whether they find a taker or not, Hubbard proved to be a solid backup capable of starting if required during his rookie campaign.
Hubbard rushed 17 times for 55 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 18-10 loss to the Saints. He also caught three of four targets for 13 yards. Hubbard scored the game's first touchdown by taking a toss 21 yards into the end zone to begin the second quarter. That play tied for Hubbard's second-longest rush of his rookie campaign and helped compensate for an otherwise difficult day on the ground. With 20 total touches, though, Hubbard was comfortably Carolina's most utilized tailback, with backup Ameer Abdullah getting the ball 10 times on offense. Despite having another tough matchup in Week 18 versus the Buccaneers, Hubbard's leading role gives him decent value.
Hubbard rushed six times for nine yards and failed to bring in his only target in the Panthers' 32-6 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. Hubbard unsurprisingly found nearly non-existent running room during his few opportunities against a notoriously stingy Buccaneers defensive front. Game script eventually nullified the Panthers' ground attack for the most part, making it an utterly forgettable fantasy afternoon for the rookie. Despite his role as a de facto lead back to close out the season, Hubbard has seen single-digit carries in each of the last two games and has been an almost complete non-factor as a receiver since Week 7. He'll have another unenviable assignment in Week 17 in the form of a Saints team that's on par with Tampa Bay in terms of stopping the run.
Hubbard ran for 40 yards on eight carries against Buffalo on Sunday. Hubbard's production was mostly driven by a 21-yard carry in the first quarter, with the other seven carries producing just 19 yards. He saw backup runner Ameer Abdullah poach four carries (though for just seven yards) and four targets, all of which were caught for a total of 48 yards and a touchdown. Hubbard might have more ability as a pure runner than Abdullah, but the latter seems to be distinguishing himself as the team's best pass-catching option at running back in the absence of Christian McCaffrey. The Panthers get a difficult matchup against Tampa Bay in Week 16.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|2||09/18||@New York Giants||26||20.06|
|3||09/25||New Orleans Saints||2||13.18|
|5||10/09||San Francisco 49ers||7||14.60|
|6||10/16||@Los Angeles Rams||9||14.95|
|7||10/23||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||14.00|
|17||01/01||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||5||14.00|
|18||01/08||@New Orleans Saints||2||13.18|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||172||612||5||25||174||1||112|