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Fantasy Football News 2021

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11:11am EST 11/15/20

Browns RB Nick Chubb (knee) is officially active for today’s game against the Texans. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that morning that Chubb will handle the bulk of the backfield work today. Get him back into fantasy lineups.

Browns RB Nick Chubb (knee) has been activated from IR and will return for Sunday's game vs. the Texans. Over the first 3 games of the season, Chubb averaged 17 carries and 1 target to Kareem Hunt's 13 carries and 3.7 targets. We're expecting a similar touch distribution tomorrow.

Browns RB Nick Chubb (knee) got on the practice field this week but hasn’t yet been activated from IR. HC Kevin Stefanski said Friday that he’ll meet with the team’s medical staff before deciding whether Chubb will return for this weekend’s game against the Texans. We should know his status by Saturday afternoon. Chubb will be worth getting back into fantasy lineups if he suits up. If not, Kareem Hunt will get another game as feature back.

The Browns have designated RB Nick Chubb (knee) to return from IR. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll be ready to play against Houston on Sunday, but it allows Chubb to practice and opens a 3-week window for reactivating him. We'll watch the news on Chubb this week and hope to get the star runner back for Week 10 fantasy football lineups. Chubb's return will leave fewer touches available for other Browns backs, but it should also help the offense on whole. Kareem Hunt ranked top 12 across fantasy formats through 3 weeks with Chubb around before the lead back sprained his right knee in Week 4.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport hears that the Browns are "hopeful" RB Nick Chubb (knee) is able to return for next Sunday's game vs. the Texans. Chubb is expected to practice this week for the 1st time since suffering an MCL injury in Week 4. We'll monitor his progress.

Browns HC Kevin Stefanski confirmed that RB Nick Chubb (knee) won't play against the Raiders this weekend. Stefanski added that Chubb is "on schedule" in his rehab and "they'll see" if he's ready to go after the Week 9 bye. We'll continue to monitor his progress. Kareem Hunt gets at least 1 more game as Cleveland's feature back on Sunday.

12:10pm EDT 10/5/20

The Browns are placing RB Nick Chubb on IR with his MCL injury, HC Kevin Stefanski said Monday. That knocks Chubb out for at least the next 3 games, but it sounds like it might be longer. "It's a several week injury. We do expect him back this year," Stefanski said. Chubb is worth stashing on fantasy benches. His absence leaves Kareem Hunt as Cleveland's lead back -- and a RB1 in fantasy. D'Ernest Johnson played well with Chubb sidelined yesterday, carrying 13 times for 95 yards. But we're not expecting him to play such a large role going forward. Remember that Hunt was playing through a groin injury in Dallas. Johnson is still worth a speculative stash in deeper leagues, though.

Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter hears that Browns doctors expect Chubb to miss about 6 weeks.

Browns RB Nick Chubb suffered a right knee injury in the 1st quarter of Sunday's game in Dallas. He was in obvious pain but was able to walk back to the locker room under his own power. We'll update Chubb's status as soon as we know more.

Update: Chubb has been ruled out for the rest of the game.

The Browns and RB Kareem Hunt have agreed to a 2-year, $13.25 million extension, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Hunt is now locked up in Cleveland for the next 3 seasons. That, unfortunately, puts a cap on his fantasy ceiling playing alongside Nick Chubb, who's signed through 2021.

5:08pm EDT 8/22/20

Browns RB Nick Chubb cleared the concussion protocol and returned to practice on Saturday. He missed just a few days of action.

Browns RB Nick Chubb was placed in the concussion protocol on Tuesday. On Monday, LB Mack Wilson went up high to tackle Chubb, which twisted his neck awkwardly as he hit the ground. We’ll let you know when Chubb returns to practice.

New Browns OC Alex Van Pelt this week called RB Kareem Hunt's role "something we have to keep growing," according to Van Pelt added: "We have to find a way to put the best players on the field and the matchups that will come with that each week, and it will change weekly. Kareem is an extremely talented runner ... and he is exceptional out of the backfield. He is just a football player who loves to play. We have to find ways to get him the ball." Hunt ranked 3rd among all Browns in targets after taking the field last season, trailing only Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry. He saw just 20.9% of carries, though, vs. Nick Chubb's 69.9% rushing share. Obviously, any further growth to Hunt's opportunities would likely hurt Chubb's, though there's room for these Browns to go more run-heavy overall. Last year's offense went about 60-40 in pass-run split, ranking 18th in the league in passing share. Hunt is intriguing at his current RB30 ADP, going around the 5-6 turn in best-ball drafts. Chubb carries much more risk at his late Round 1 ADP.

The Browns placed a 2nd-round tender on restricted free-agent RB Kareem Hunt. That pays Hunt $2.9 million this season and would net Cleveland a 2nd-round pick if another team offers Hunt a contract that the Browns choose not to match. In short, expect Hunt to be a Brown in 2020. It's a significant ding to RB Nick Chubb's fantasy stock. Chubb averaged 19.3 carries, 4 targets and 18.9 PPR points in 8 games without Hunt last season. Those numbers sunk to 18 carries, 2.1 targets and 13.0 PPR points in 8 games with Hunt. Hunt averaged 5.4 carries and 5.5 targets in his 8 games with Cleveland, scoring as the PPR RB16 over that span.

The Browns have named Alex Van Pelt their OC. The former NFL QB has spent the past 14 seasons coaching in Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Green Bay and Cincinnati. He was an OC for just 1 of those years, though: for a 2009 Bills squad that ranked 30th in total yards and 28th in points with QBs Ryan Fitzpatrick and Trent Edwards. It's unclear whether Van Pelt or new HC Kevin Stefanski will call plays in Cleveland.

The Browns are set to hire Kevin Stefanski as their new HC. Stefanski has spent the past 14 seasons in Minnesota under multiple coaching staffs. He took over as interim OC late in the 2018 campaign and was named OC for 2019. The Vikings ranked 16th in total yards, 10th in yards per play and 8th in points this past year. They were the league's 3rd run-heaviest offense -- although assistant coach Gary Kubiak seemingly had a lot to do with that. We'll keep an eye on Stefanski's plans for a Browns offense loaded with talent.

The Browns have fired HC Freddie Kitchens. He seemed overmatched in his 1st go-around as a HC, leading the Browns to a disappointing 6-10 campaign. We'll see who Cleveland tabs as Kitchens' replacement. There's plenty of talent on this roster, so a big step forward in 2020 is plenty possible.

Browns RB Kareem Hunt joined the team for Monday's practice. He'll be eligible to return from his suspension in Week 10. It's unclear what kind of role Hunt will play alongside RB Nick Chubb. But, at minimum, he's worth stashing on fantasy rosters as a high-end handcuff.

Anthony Poisal of the Browns' official website expects RB Dontrell Hilliard to step into RB Duke Johnson's old role as "as a pass-catching running back used mostly on third down plays." Hilliard caught 9 balls for 105 yards in 11 appearances as a rookie last year and racked up 70 grabs over 4 seasons at Tulane. “Dontrell has shown some explosion in the open field,” HC Freddie Kitchens said. “He is hard to get down. Body control is a characteristic or a skillset that running backs sometimes often get overlooked. He has great body control, change of direction and great speed. I like those skillsets.” Hilliard notably caught 2 passes on QB Baker Mayfield's lone possession in Cleveland's preseason opener. We doubt that he'll play as big a role as Duke Johnson played last season (2.5 carries and 3.9 targets per game), but any pass-catching work would put a cap on RB Nick Chubb's ceiling.

The Browns have signed former Chiefs RB Kareem Hunt. It's surprising news in terms of both timing and landing spot. Hunt is still on the Commissioner's Exempt List after video was released of his February altercation with a woman inside a Cleveland hotel. It's unclear when he'll be reinstated and how long a suspension he'll garner to open the 2019 campaign. And the Browns, of course, already have RBs Nick Chubb and Duke Johnson on the roster. We'll see when Hunt is ruled eligible to return, but his addition makes Chubb a riskier pick in early fantasy drafts. We've seen him going in the late 1st and early 2nd round of FFPC best-ball drafts.

The Browns are hiring Freddie Kitchens as their HC. Kitchens took over as Cleveland's interim OC in Week 9 of this past season and immediately turned the unit around. After averaging 21.1 points and 342 total yards over the first 8 games, the Browns averaged 23.8 points and 395 yards across the last 8. QB Baker Mayfield was especially impressive under Kitchens, completing 68% of his passes, averaging 8.6 yards per attempt and tossing 19 TDs over those 8 games. This is a big step up in responsibility for Kitchens, who had never even called plays in the NFL prior to last year. But we at least like the move for the Browns offense.

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