Nick Chubb fantasy football managers have had quite the experience over the past four years. As one of the top running back talents in all of football, Chubb has experienced a plethora of adversity. He’s had to split carries, deal with injuries, and play on an otherwise disappointing offense. Will 2022 be any different? There are a number of reasons to believe that this year could be his best yet.
2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: Nick Chubb
Last season was not Chubb’s best. In 14 games, he rushed for 1,259 yards and eight touchdowns and added just 174 yards and a touchdown off of 20 receptions. Chubb is a much better standard format back than he is PPR. In standard formats, Chubb finished as RB7 in total points (195.3) and points per game (14.0). Meanwhile, he finished as RB13 in points (215.3) and points per game (15.4).
Chubb missed three games in the middle of the season and was all over the place in terms of fantasy production. On just six occasions, Chubb was a top-ten back. At the same time, he finished as RB27 or worse seven times. With a quarterback playing on one shoulder throwing to underperforming receivers, the offense struggled as a whole. For Chubb, add in the fact that Kareem Hunt (and later, D’Ernest Johnson) was stealing touches.
Chubb was not utilized in the passing game nearly as frequently as the other running backs, logging just 1.8 targets per game as compared to Hunt’s 3.4 in his eight games.
Despite all of these things, Chubb finished with the second-most rushing yards in the NFL behind Jonathan Taylor‘s ridiculous year. Fully healthy, Chubb should be back atop the leaderboards next year.
Heading into 2022, things are going to both look very different and very similar for Chubb and the Browns. On one hand, his volume should stay high because his quarterback Deshaun Watson has been suspended 11 games and running mate Kareem Hunt wants a trade. On the other, defenses will be able to key in on Chubb (more than they have been, of course) and Hunt is still in Cleveland.
Chubb will be facing an easier-than-average schedule this fall. The Browns face just three top-ten defenses relative to points allowed to running backs (given, one is the 10th-best defense in Baltimore who they will play twice). Conversely, Chubb will get to face off against five of the bottom 10, including Pittsburgh twice. Chubb is currently projected to score just over 197 points in standard formats. However, the defenses they are facing allowed over 317 points.
It’s safe to say these projections for Chubb are very conservative. He’s projected to repeat his fantasy output despite only playing 14 games in 2021. Expect Chubb’s numbers to be better in 2022. Cleveland has one of the best offensive lines in football and Chubb is one of the best running backs in the league. If Hunt is able to get his wish, Chubb ends up sharing a backfield with D’Earnest Johnson and rookie Jerome Ford. Each is solid in their own right, but neither should seriously cut into Chubb’s production.
Nick Chubb is the best pure runner in the NFL.
— FanDuel (@FanDuel) August 20, 2022
Fantasy Pros has Chubb as a tier-two running back. He’s being drafted at 15th-overall and as RB8. Looking at this fall for Cleveland, the offense is going to have to lean on the rushing attack as they did with an injured Baker Mayfield last year. Four teams on the schedule are against foes that Chubb averages over 100 yards. Plus, Chubb has had the Chargers and Bengals numbers, averaging over 90 yards per game each.
Ahead of Chubb in ADP are the likes of Jonathan Taylor, Christian McCaffrey, and Derrick Henry, of course. Each player ahead of him has their own justification but Chubb is set to take another step forward in fantasy. Chubb has a ceiling for another RB2-type season.